Pastoral Practices in Transition: Animal Husbandry in High Asian Contexts

  • Hermann KreutzmannEmail author
Part of the Advances in Asian Human-Environmental Research book series (AAHER)


Vast tracts of High Asia are utilised for pastoral strategies of survival, and the mountainous areas provide livelihoods to herders and their households. Locally adopted and adapted pastoral practices reflect politico-historical and socio-economic changes that are often the result of external intervention. Pastoral practices in the mountain periphery seem to be a vital indicator of change. Two regions will receive special attention – the Pamirian Knot and the Tibetan Plateau – in 16 case studies grounded in the wider framework of. External and internal ­boundary-making and quite distinct path-dependent developments are reflected in the typology given here. The focus of the case studies is directed towards the variation of experiences in a wider angle, drawing attention to marginalised groups in the mountainous periphery of High Asia.


Modernisation Development Pastoral adaptation strategies Hindukush-Karakoram-Himalaya Pamir Tibetan Plateau 



Insights presented in this chapter were collected from 1984 to 2011 in several research projects that received generous funding provided by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and the Volkswagen Foundation. The previous and the continuing support is gratefully acknowledged. In addition, the Mountain Development Programme of InWEnt – Capacity Building International – supported the meeting and exchange with pastoralism experts in conferences, symposia and workshops in High Asia since 2000 and enabled an intensified sharing of knowledge between academics, decision-makers and development practitioners. Personal experiences of pastoral practices were enjoyed in High Asia mainly in the Hindukush, Pamirs, Karakoram and Himalaya during about a decade of fieldwork in which I significantly learnt from shepherds and yak breeders.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Human Geography, Department of Earth Sciences, Centre for Development Studies (ZELF) and Institute of Geographical SciencesFreie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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