Preserving nomadic lifestyles


Nomadism is a way of life of peoples who do not live continually in the same place but move cyclically or periodically. It is distinguished from migration, which is non-cyclic and involves a total change of habitat. Nomadism does not imply unrestricted and undirected wandering; rather, it is based on temporary centres whose stability depends on the availability of food supply and the technology for exploiting it. The term nomad encompasses three general types: nomadic hunters and gatherers, pastoral nomads, and tinker or trader nomads. The latter groups may also make and sell simple products or get hired out as labourers. The diverse groups that are loosely termed Gypsies are the best-known example of this type of nomadism.


The economy of one Semang group, the Batek De' of Kelantan (Malaysia), is intimately connected to variations in economic activity, both seasonally and historically (since 1875). The Batek follow a hunter-gather lifestyle rather than another possible way of life practised in the region (i.e. swidden).

Type Classification:
E: Emanations of other strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 15: Life on Land