Flashcards for Patterns of Subsistence
Topic 3:  Pastoralism
(20 cards)

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Copyright © 2004 by Dennis O'Neil. All rights reserved.

The kind of animal that is predominantly herded by pastoralists in East Africa.


The kind of animal that is predominantly herded by in northern Scandinavia.


The preferred kind of animal for herding among most pastoralists in Central Asia.


The term for the kind of pastoralism in which people follow a seasonal migratory pattern that can vary from year to year. The timing and destinations of migrations are determined primarily by the needs of the herd animals for water and fodder. These societies do not create permanent settlements, but rather they live in tents or other relatively easily constructed dwellings the year round.

pastoral nomadism

The term for the kind of pastoralism in which people follow a cyclical pattern of migrations, usually moving their animals to cool highland valleys in the summer and warmer lowland valleys in the winter. This is seasonal migration between the same two locations in which they have regular encampments or stable villages often with permanent houses.


The kind of region in which pastoralism is the optimal subsistence pattern when the technological level is low.

semi-arid open country in which farming can not be easily sustained

The kind of kinship pattern that is most common for pastoralist societies. (Hint: this descent pattern is one in which family ties are followed through the male line only.)

patrilineal descent

The most important criterion on which the division of labor in pastoralist societies is based.

gender (male or female)

The personality traits for pastoralist men throughout the world that are encouraged and respected by their societies.

cooperative with each other but aggressive towards outsiders; realistic with an attitude of self-containment, personal control, and bravery

How men in pastoralist societies usually acquire prestige and power.

being a brave and successful leader of men as well as by accumulating large herds of animals

The common marriage pattern for successful pastoralist men in East Africa.

polygyny (one man and several wives)

The food source for all herd animals kept by pastoralists around the world.

plants (usually grasses)
Where the Zulus live.
South Africa
Where the Masai and Kikuyu live.
East Africa
Where the Saami (or Lapps) live.
northern Scandinavia
Where the Mongols live.
Central Asia (Mongolia)

Pastoralists who began an intermittent war with the Dutch settlers of South Africa (i.e., the Boers) after defeating several African farming peoples. They were finally subdued with great difficulty by the British army in 1879.


What most national governments tried to do with the pastoralists in their territories during the 20th century.

force them to stop their migrations in order to control them and reduce the size of their herds in order to prevent over-grazing

Pastoralists who conquered China and Central Asia in the 13th century A.D. as well as much of Russia and the Middle East in the 14th century.


A term that refers to how jobs are divided up within the family and society.

division of labor