Herding on High Grounds: Diversity and Typology of Pastoral Systems in the Eastern Hindukush (Chitral, Northwest Pakistan)

  • Marcus NüsserEmail author
  • Arnd Holdschlag
  • Fazlur-Rahman
Part of the Advances in Asian Human-Environmental Research book series (AAHER)


This chapter analyses pastoral migration patterns as strategies for utilising the grazing resources at the marginal belts of human habitation in Chitral, an area located in the eastern Hindukush of northern Pakistan. Beyond the common features of combined mountain agriculture, pastoral utilisation strategies vary between different tributary valleys in the region. Based on six case studies from northern, eastern and southern Chitral, similarities and differences between pastoral resource utilisation are presented and analysed here. Although the influence of heterogeneous environmental settings needs to be considered, differences in resource utilisation mainly stem from distinct settlement processes and territorial rights of access and utilisation, which in turn evolved from ethnic and social segregation between two dominant actor groups: the Kho mountain farmers and formerly nomadic Gujur. Hence, a better understanding of the complexity, diversity and dynamics involved in pastoral management systems must be based on a historically informed study of these spatial and social patterns.


Human ecology Pastoralism Diversity Chitral Pakistan 



This research has been substantially funded by the German Research Council (DFG) within the framework of the Pakistan-German joint research programme ‘Culture Area Karakorum’ (CAK). We thank Adam Knowles for proofreading.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography, South Asia InstituteUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.Institute of GeographyHamburg UniversityHamburgGermany
  3. 3.Department of Geography, Urban & Regional PlanningUniversity of PeshawarPeshawarPakistan

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