Pastoralists in the Modern World Notes

Teachers and Examiners (CBSESkillEduction) collaborated to create the Pastoralists in the Modern World Notes . Al the important Information are taken from the NCERT Textbook Social Science.

Pastoralists in the Modern World Notes

For a long time, Gujjar Bakarwals from Jammu and Kashmir moved to the highlands in the nineteenth century in search of grasslands (pastures) for their cattle. Pastoralism is the practise of transporting animals, such as cattle and sheep, from one location to another in search of food and water. They lived with their cattle on the low hills of the Siwalik range during the winter when the high mountains were covered with snow. End of April they start their northern march in search of their summer grazing areas. Which is called as kafila. The group of families travelling together, was formed for this expedition.

On the Plateaus, Plains and Deserts

1) The Dhangars – Maharashtra

Dhangars were an important pastoral community of Maharashtra in early twentieth century. Most of them were shepherds, some were blanket weavers, and still others were buffalo herders.

  • During the monsoon, the Dhangar shepherds stayed on the central Maharashtra plateau.
  • This area was semi-arid, with little rainfall and poor soil.
  • This tract expanded into a large grazing area for the Dhangar flocks during the monsoon season.
  • The Dhangars began moving west in October after harvesting their bajra.
  • They arrived in the Konkan after a march month.
  • Because dhangars assist with the kharif harvest, manure the fields, and feed on the stubble, Konkani farmers always welcome them.
  • The Dhangars left the Konkan as the monsoon arrived and went back to their dry plateau.

2) The Banjaras – Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra

Banjaras were yet another well-known group of graziers. They were to be found in the villages of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

  • They travelled long distances in search of good grassland for their cattle, selling plough cattle and other products with villages in exchange for grain and fodder.

Pastoralists in the Modern World Notes

3) The Raikas – Rajasthan

The Raikas were people who lived in Rajasthan’s deserts. The region experienced minimal and erratic rainfall. Harvests on cultivated land varied every year.

  • Raikas practised both pastoralism and agriculture. The Raikas of Barmer, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, and Bikaner lived in their home villages during the monsoons because there was pasture there.
  • They left in search of new pasture and water in October when these grazing areas were dry and dried out, then they came back during the coming monsoon.

4) The Gollas, Kurumas and Kurubas – Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh

The dry central plateau was again covered with stone and grass in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, and was home to cow, goat, and sheep herders. Cattle were led by the Gollas. The Kurumas and Kurubas raised goats and sheep for sale, along with handmade blankets.

  • They maintained their herds, lived close to the woods, and worked various low skilled jobs.
  • They relocated to coastal areas during the dry season and left when it started to rain.

Pastoralists in the Modern World Notes

Colonial Rule and Pastoral Life

Under colonial control, the lives of pastoralists were drastically transformed. Their movements were restricted, their options for grazing were reduced, and the amount of tax they had to pay increased. Their trades and crafts suffered, and even their agricultural price dropped. It happened due to the following reasons –

  • In order to enhance agriculture and boost revenue collection, the colonial authority wanted to turn all grazing pastures into farms.
  • The designation “Reserved” was given to forests that produced commercially valuable timber, such as deodar or sal, whereas the designation “Protected” was given to other forests. Because pastoralists were banned from entering forests, these Forest Acts drastically altered their way of life.
  • The colonial authorities desired control over a settled populace. The Criminal Tribes Act was enacted by the colonial administration of India in 1871. Many communities of craftsmen, merchants, and pastoralists were labelled as Criminal Tribes under this Act.
  • There were tax imposed on land, canal water, salt, trade items, and even animals.
  • In the middle of the nineteenth century, grazing tax was implemented.

Pastoralists in the Modern World Notes

How Did these Changes Affect the Lives of Pastoralists?

Under colonial rule, the life of pastoralists changed dramatically.

  • Their grazing areas become smaller
  • They are not allowed to go to the forests because the forest was reserved and protected.
  • They have to pay more tax on the land, canal water, salt, trade item and on the animals.
  • Their agricultural stock declined and their trades and crafts were adversely affected.

How Did the Pastoralists Cope with these Changes?

Under the colonical rule the Indian pastoralists life was dramatically changed. Their grazing ground were reduced, their movements were restricted, and the tax they had to pay went up. However, they bravely and patiently adapted to these changes.

  • There was not enough grass to feed a big number of cattle, several pastroalists reduced the number of cattle in their herds.
  • When access to their previous grazing areas became challenging. For instance, the Raikas’ movement was halted when Pakistan and India established new political borders in 1947. They had to search for new locations to go. They have been moving to Haryana in recent years so that sheep can graze on agricultural areas after the harvest is cut.
  • Some rich pastoralists gave up their nomadic lifestyle. They purchased land and established a family.
  • Some settled down and began farming. Some people started trading more extensively.
  • To survive, a lot of destitute pastoralists took out loans from moneylenders. They occasionally lost their sheep and livestock and were forced to work as labourers on farms or in small cities.

Pastoralists in the Modern World Notes

Pastoralism in Africa

Over 22 million Africans still rely on some type of pastoral activity as a source of income in Africa today. The lives of pastoralists in Africa have undergone significant transformation over the colonial and post-colonial periods, much like those of pastoralists in India.

Where have the Grazing Lands Gone?

Before European colonisation, Maasailand covered a huge territory extending from northern Kenya to the steppes of northern Tanzania. It was divided in half by an international border between British Kenya and German Tanganyika in 1885. The Maasai were forced into a limited area in south Kenya and north Tanzania after the cut, and the best grazing fields were eventually taken over for European settlement.

The British colonial administration in east Africa pushed nearby peasant groups to increase agriculture beginning in the late nineteenth century. The Maasai pastoralists had previously ruled over their agricultural neighbours economically and politically in pre-colonial periods. The Maasai were limited inside a small area of land that was under strain due to the loss of the best grazing pastures and water resources.

Pastoralists in the Modern World Notes

The Borders are Closed

African pastoralists had the freedom to travel over huge distances in search of pastures in the nineteenth century. However, the colonial authority started placing different limits on their mobility starting in the late nineteenth century. Pastoralists were viewed as dangerous and uncivilised by white colonisers and European colonists.

When Pastures Dry

The lives of pastoralists were impacted by drought.  Because of this, pastoralists have traditionally relocated to survive difficult times and avoid crises.

  • Cattle are likely to die when there are no any rains and the pastures are dry unless they are transported to places where there is fodder.
  • Because of this, pastoralists have typically been nomadic and migrator.
  • They can survive difficult times and avoid disasters because to their normadism.

Pastoralists in the Modern World Notes

Not All were Equally Affected

Not all pastoralists in Maasailand were equally impacted by the developments throughout the colonial era. Maasai civilization separated into two social classes: elders and warriors. Elders make decisions about the affairs of the society and solve confilicts. The warriors, who were primarily in charge of guarding the tribe, defending the community, and planning cattle raids.

In order to manage the Maasai’s affairs, the British implemented a number of significant steps. They chose leaders from among the Maasai tribe’s several subgroups to serve as chiefs and manage the tribe’s business. Warfare and raiding were also subject to limitations. These chiefs were able to endure the destruction of both drought and war.

But the poor pastoralists had a different life style. In times of war and famine, they lost nearly everything. They had to search for employment in the towns. Some people used to make an income by burning charcoal.

Pastoralists in the Modern World Notes


Changes in the modern world have a variety of effects on pastoral communities around the world. New regulations and boundaries have an impact on their mobility patterns. It becomes challenging for pastoralists to move in quest of new pastures, and grazing becomes challenging. Cattle lose a lot of life when there is a drought. However, pastoralists do change with the times. They alter their annual migration routes, decrease the number of cattle they keep, demand the right to access new territories, put political pressure on the government to provide aid, subsidies, and other types of assistance.

Social Science Class 9 Notes

CBSE Class 9 History

Chapter 1: The French Revolution Class 9 Notes
Chapter 2: Socialism in Europe and the Russian Revolution Class 9 Notes
Chapter 3: Nazism and the Rise of Hitler Class 9 Notes
Chapter 4: Forest Society and Colonialism Class 9 Notes
Chapter 5: Pastoralists in the Modern World Class 9 Notes

CBSE Class 9 Geography

Chapter 1: India – Size and Location Class 9 Notes
Chapter 2: Physical Features of India Class 9 Notes
Chapter 3: Drainage Class 9 Notes
Chapter 4: Climate Class 9 Notes
Chapter 5: Natural Vegetation and Wildlife Class 9 Notes
Chapter 6: Population Class 9 Notes

CBSE Class 9 Political Science

Chapter 1 – What is Democracy Why Democracy Class 9 Notes
Chapter 2 – Constitutional Design Class 9 Notes
Chapter 3 – Electoral Politics Class 9 Notes
Chapter 4 – Working of Institutions Class 9 Notes
Chapter 5 – Democratic Rights Class 9 Notes

CBSE Class 9 Economics

Chapter 1: The Story of Village Palampur Class 9 Notes
Chapter 2: People as Resource Class 9 Notes
Chapter 3: Poverty as a Challenge Class 9 Notes
Chapter 4: Food Security in India Class 9 Notes

The CBSE Social Science Class 9 page on is a useful resource for students studying Geography, History, Political Science, and Economics. The page offers notes and other study materials that can help students prepare for exams, including the CBSE and other competitive exams. It is a good idea for students to regularly visit the page and stay up to date with the latest information and resources.
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