Problem

Endangered lifestyles of nomads and pastoralists

Nature:
Sedentary farming and stock raising have preempted the favoured habitat of pastoralists, who have lost their grazing lands. Most governments try to control the nomads and pastoralists and settle them as farmers or stock rangers.
Incidence:
Around 60% of Somalia's population are nomads, dependent upon livestock of their livelihoods and for food. If the current rate of desertification of pasture land continues, plants, livestock and humans will die together. At the same time, graze is being harvested and exported for hard currency.

Gypsy nomadism has declined in the 20th century for economic and political reasons, including the spread of systematic agriculture, the growth of industry, and the policies of governments that view nomadism as incompatible with modern life. Wandering, or lungo drom, has been one of the typical features of the Gypsy life. Used as a verb, to Gypsy or Gypsying means to wander, play the Gypsy or picnic in the woods. However, this exotic stereotype has often disguised the fact that fewer and fewer may have remained truly migratory. Besides, it is clear that nomadism of the Gypsies has been largely insular in character. All nomadic Gypsies migrate at least seasonally along patterned routes that - if not stopped by authorities - ignore national boundaries. They also follow along a chain, as it were, of kin or tribal links. Most of the Gypsies that still travel do so only part-time and use cars, trailers and camper instead of horses and wagons. They need to pay the fuel and most of the camping sites. For these reasons, many Roma retain their mobility and keep open all possibilities for travel while maintaining houses during cold winter months and when work is scarce.

The majority of the Gypsies in Slovakia do not practice nomadic life anymore. The Slovak and Hungarian Slovak Gypsy groups have been sedentary due to various limitations already for two or three centuries. The smaller Vlach Gypsy group has been travelling until the the communist regime banned nomadism for good in the 1950s. Because work possibilities and travelling used to be two sides of the same coin, this has certainly contributed to degradation of the Romany traditions, skills and language. Gypsies that do not travel live typically 2-3 kilometres outside of a village in camps of settlements with only a few dirty houses without facilities, in cellars, or in cardboard or wooden shacks (this is also valid for other Eastern European countries with large Gypsy populations).

Broader Problems:
Nomadism
Endangered cultures
Narrower Problems:
Gypsy persecution
Related Problems:
Uncontrolled migration
Values:
Endangered
Problem Type:
E: Emanations of other problems
Date of last update
05.01.2000 – 00:00 CET