Nomadic Pastoralism: the Process of Impoverishment

  • R. M. A. van Zwanenberg
  • Anne King


Few historical studies have been made of the nomadic pastoral peoples of East Africa and consequently we know little about their past, even in the nineteenth century. Such studies as have been made have concentrated on the broad sweep of the history of migration of pastoralists or on their recent political past and little attention has been paid to their economic or social histories. For information in these fields we have to turn to the work of anthropologists, but use of this source itself provides problems for the historian. Anthropologists, who are concerned with the economic and social aspects of the societies they are studying, tend to concentrate on the current structures and functions of social and economic institutions. As a result the view of life they present tends to be timeless and to give an impression that things have not altered, unless the studies are specifically concerned to examine change in the society. Existing studies of nomadic pastoralists in Eastern Africa, give an impression of timelessness — that methods of production in the precolonial period have hardly altered and that in modern times change has passed these societies by.


Economic History Pastoral Area Colonial Government East Coast Fever Nomadic Pastoralism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Baker, P. A., ‘A Geographical Appraisal of Karamoja as a Beef Production Area’, unpublished manuscript in Makerere University Library, Kampala.Google Scholar
  2. Barber, J., Imperial Frontier (EAPH, 1968).Google Scholar
  3. Barber, J., ‘The Karamoja District of Uganda’, JAH, vol. III, no. 1 (1962).Google Scholar
  4. Brandt, R., ‘Rinderpest or Cattle Plague’ and ‘Pleuropneumonia’, Agricultural Journal of British East Africa ( 1908, 1909 ).Google Scholar
  5. Chambers, R. J. H., ‘Report on the Social and Administrative Aspects of Range Management Development in North Eastern Province of Kenya’, cyclostyled (1969).Google Scholar
  6. Daryll Ford, C., Habitat, Economy and Society (Methuen, 1963).Google Scholar
  7. Dyson Hudson, H., Karimojong Politics (OUP, 1966).Google Scholar
  8. Ehret, C., Southern Nilotic History (Northwestern University Press, 1971).Google Scholar
  9. Gulliver, P. H., ‘Nomadism among the Pastoral Turkana of Kenya’, Nkanga, no. 4 (n.d.).Google Scholar
  10. Gulliver, P. H., ‘A Preliminary Survey of the Turkana’, mimeographed, University of Cape Town (1950; repr. 1963 ).Google Scholar
  11. Halderman, J. M., ‘An Analysis of Continued Semi-Nomadism among the Kaputie Maasai Group Ranchers’, working paper no. 28 (IDS, 1972 ).Google Scholar
  12. Heady, H. F., Range Management in East Africa (Government Printer, Nairobi, 1960; rev. ed., 1972 ).Google Scholar
  13. Henning, R. O., ‘Range Management in the Pastoral Areas of Kenya’, Journal of African Administration, vol. xiii, no. iv (1961).Google Scholar
  14. Henriksen, G., ‘Preliminary Report on the Fieldwork Conducted in Turkana in the Period May through November, 1972’ (unpublished).Google Scholar
  15. Hill, J. H., ‘Native Cattle and their Relations to the Future Stock Industry’, Agricultural Journal of British East Africa (1908).Google Scholar
  16. Hill, P., Studies in Rural Capitalism in West Africa (OUP, 1970).Google Scholar
  17. Huntingford, C. W. B., Nandi Work and Culture (HMSO, 1950).Google Scholar
  18. Jacobs, A. H., ‘African Pastoralists: Some General Remarks’, Anthropological Quarterly (July 1962).Google Scholar
  19. Jacobs, A. H., ‘A Chronology of the Pastoral Maasai’, Hadith, 1 (EAPH, 1968 ).Google Scholar
  20. Jacobs, A. H., ‘Memorandum on the Political and Economic Development of the Maasai’, cyclostyled, private circulation from Dr Jacobs.Google Scholar
  21. Kenya Colony, African Land Development in Kenya, 1946–1962 ( Government Printer, Nairobi, 1962 ).Google Scholar
  22. Kenya National Archives, ‘A Visit to Elgeyo-Marakwet’, Ministry of African Affairs (July 1938).Google Scholar
  23. Kenya. Report of the Northern Frontier Commission, Cmd. 1900 (HMSO, 1962).Google Scholar
  24. Report of the Land Commission of Kenya. Evidence & Memoranda, Cmd. 4556 (HMSO, 1934).Google Scholar
  25. King, K. J., ‘The Maasai and the Protest Phenomenon, 1900–1960’, JAH, vol. xii (1971).Google Scholar
  26. Lambert, H. E., ‘The Pressure on the Land’, private papers of Mr Lambert, University of Nairobi Library.Google Scholar
  27. Lewis, I. M., ‘Somali Conquest of the Horn of Africa’, JAH, vol. vi, no. 2 (1960).Google Scholar
  28. Leys, N., Kenya (London, 1924).Google Scholar
  29. Maher, C., ‘Soil Erosion and Land Utilisation in Kamasia, Njemps and East Suk Reserves’, cyclostyled report (1937).Google Scholar
  30. Massam, J. A., The Cliff Dwellers of Kenya (repr. Cass, 1968).Google Scholar
  31. Mbithi, P. M. and Wisner, B., ‘Drought and Famine in Kenya’, working paper no. 46 (IDS, 1972 ).Google Scholar
  32. Newland, R. N., ‘Review of the Cattle Trade in British East Africa, 1904–08’, Agricultural Journal of British East Africa (1908).Google Scholar
  33. Nsubuga, H. S. K., ‘Dairy Farming in Busoga, West and East Mengo’, RDP no. 61 (1968).Google Scholar
  34. Ogot, B. A., History of the Southern Luo, vol. I (EAPH, 1967).Google Scholar
  35. Pole Evans, I. B., ‘Report of a Visit to Kenya’, Agricultural Department Library (1938).Google Scholar
  36. Richards, A. I., Hunger and Work in a Savage Tribe (Routledge, 1935 ).Google Scholar
  37. Rigby, P., ‘Pastoralism and Prejudice : Ideology and Rural Development in East Africa’, Nkanga, no. 4 (n.d.).Google Scholar
  38. Ruthenberg, H., African Agricultural Production Development Policy in Kenya, 1952–65, Ifo Institute, Berlin (1966).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Smith, A., ‘The Economy of the NFP and the Italian Abyssinian War’, East African Journal (Nov 1969).Google Scholar
  40. Soja, E. W., The Geography of Modernisation in Kenya: a Spatial Analysis (Syracuse University Press, 1968 ).Google Scholar
  41. Stanner, W. E. H., ‘The Kitui Kamba…’, Ph.D. thesis (London, 1939 ).Google Scholar
  42. Sutton, J. E. G., The Archaeology of Western Kenya, memoir no. 3 of the British Institute in Eastern Africa (1973).Google Scholar
  43. Theiler, Dr, ‘Diseases of Livestock in Africa’, Agricultural Journal of British East Africa (1909).Google Scholar
  44. Tignor, R. L., ‘Kamba Political Protest and the Destocking Controversy of 1938’, African Historical Studies, vol. iv, no. 2 (1971).Google Scholar
  45. Uganda, Beef and Cattle Ranching Development ( Government Printer, Entebbe, 1968 ).Google Scholar
  46. Uganda, Report of the Committee on the Marketing of Livestock Meats and Fish and their Products in Uganda ( Government Printer, Entebbe, 1969 ).Google Scholar
  47. Uganda Veterinary Department, Annual Reports (1920–60).Google Scholar
  48. Webster, J. B., ‘Pioneers of Teso’, Tarikh, III, 2 (1970).Google Scholar
  49. Webster, J. B., Okalany, D. H., Emudong, C. P. and Egimu-Okuda, N., The Iteso During the Asonya (EAPH, 1973 ).Google Scholar
  50. Welch, C. P., ‘Pastoralists and Administrators in Conflict: A Study of Karamoja District, 1897–1968’, M.A. dissertation, University of East Africa. (1969).Google Scholar
  51. Wilson, F. O. B., Correspondence (24.8.1932) from Nanyuki, among Lady Wilson’s private papers.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© R. M. A. van Zwanenberg with Anne King 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. M. A. van Zwanenberg
  • Anne King

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations