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Book chapter Book chapter Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Pastoralists manoeuvring in the drought-ridden Sahel
Author:Bovin, MetteISNI
Book title:Manoeuvring in an environment of uncertainty: structural change and social action in sub-Saharan Africa
Geographic term:Sahel
Abstract:This chapter deals with droughts in the West African Sahel and the socioeconomic and cultural responses to droughts in a nomadic society. In particular, the chapter is concerned with the extreme conditions of chronic uncertainty facing the nomadic Fulani. Based on extensive field research among a Fulani subgroup - the Wodaabe, true nomads wandering with their herds in Niger, Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon - the author shows how culture and traditional redistribution practices help members of this society survive despite recurring crises. In order to understand how people can endure such hardships, she argues for a perspective which emphasizes the role of indigenous cultural practices and social relationships. Attempts to 'modernize' the Fulani by bringing them into sedentary life, based on the economic logic of structural adjustment programmes, would, even more than elsewhere in Africa, destroy the very foundations of their survival. Bibliogr., notes, ref.