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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Strategies of Environmental Adaptation and Patterns of Transhumance of the Shuwa Arabs in the Nigerian Chad Basin
Author:Braukämper, Ulrich
Periodical:Nomadic Peoples
Geographic terms:Nigeria
Northern Nigeria
animal husbandry
Urbanization and Migration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Abstract:The half million Shuwa of the Lake Chad region of Nigeria are the westernmost representatives of the 'Baggara' (Arabic: cattlemen), Arabic-speaking seminomads who occupy a broad strip of savanna from the White Nile to the eastern Borno State of Nigeria. After they migrated from the Sahel some 200 years ago, they had to cope with the then very humid habitat of the Chad Basin, which required intensive adaptive cultural strategies for the keeping of animals and the use of grazing resources. This article deals with the ecological constraints on the agropastoral system of the Shuwa. It discusses the special measures adopted by the Shuwa in order to be able to keep livestock in flooded areas in view of the prevalence of tsetse and other harmful insects, the nature and use of grazing resources, and the Shuwa pastoralists' seasonal migration or transhumance between dry and wet season pastures. While the Shuwa have for the most part been seminomads, in recent times they are responding to the massive administrative, demographic and ecological challenges by abandoning mixed farming or agropastoralism in favour of a stricter separation of economic activities in permanent agricultural villages and, in a small minority of cases, specialized mobile cattle camps. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in French and Spanish.