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Making Sense of Past, Present and Future. Images of Modern and Past Pastoralism among Nyangatom Herders in South Omo, Ethiopia

School of Social Sciences (Development Studies), Friedensau Adventist University, An der Ihle 19, 39291 Möckern, Germany
Received: 10 March 2018 / Revised: 7 April 2018 / Accepted: 13 April 2018 / Published: 19 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arid Land Systems: Sciences and Societies)
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This article asks how Nyangatom pastoralists currently make sense of the past, present and future of their pastoralist livelihood. Nyangatom pastoralists, like all agro-pastoralist groups in southern Ethiopia, are faced with enormous structural changes in their immediate surroundings, primarily due to large-scale industrial agriculture and a government policy encouraging them to be sedentary. While the impacts have been discussed elsewhere, thus far little focus has been placed on what images of the past, present and future these changes create among the Nyangatom. This article pays attention to these changes by highlighting the results of a larger qualitative study. It becomes evident that discourses of modernity and culture are translated into the everyday lives of Nyangatom herders. While the past is constructed as a cultural/traditional time by the older generation, an image of modernity shapes the present life of younger generations. The administration plays a contradictory role in transmitting modernity ideals. The future of the Nyangatom is envisioned as a modern pastoralism, yet there is general pessimism with regards to pastoralism persisting. View Full-Text
Keywords: pastoralism; Ethiopia; South Omo; Nyangatom pastoralism; Ethiopia; South Omo; Nyangatom
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Blau, J.P. Making Sense of Past, Present and Future. Images of Modern and Past Pastoralism among Nyangatom Herders in South Omo, Ethiopia. Land 2018, 7, 54.

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