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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Social Organization and Water Control among the Borana
Author:Helland, Johan
Year:1982
Periodical:Development and Change
Volume:13
Issue:2
Period:April
Pages:239-258
Language:English
Geographic term:Ethiopia
Subjects:Boran
water resources
animal husbandry
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Link:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7660.1982.tb00119.x
Abstract:Although the Borana are found in both Kenya and Ethiopia, for the purposes of the present article their land has been limited to the parts wholly within Ethiopia. Sustained pastoral production in Borana depends on the balanced relationship between pasture, animals, and humans. The author describes how the availability of water, and the social control mechanisms which regulate this scarce resource, imply a control over the stocking rates of the Borana range. Other features of Borana social organisation impose strict rules on human reproduction, resulting in a situation where manpower is in short supply in a society that is based on a labour-intensive economy. The Borana live in a well-balanced ecological adaptation and this balance is maintained by a complex social structure which is closely related to the regulation of access to, and utilisation of, the critical water resource. Under the traditional circumstances of Borana pastoralism, the organisational forms of Borana society thus constitute an adequate adaptive solution. This has important implications for the planning of development in Borana. Notes, ref.
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