Why Nomadic Tribes Need to Move from One Place to Another?
The nomadic tribes move from one place to another to adjust to seasonal change and make effective use of pastures available in different places in different reasons.
The nomadic pastoralists of the mountains, Gujjar Bakarwala of Jammu and Kashmir, Gaddi shepherds of Himachal Pradesh to avoid harsh winters and make available grazing pasture move down to low hills. They graze their herd on dry scrub forests. With the onset of summer in April they again move upwards. With the snow melted, sprouted grasses provide rich nutritious forage for the animal herd.
As regards the nomadic tribes, in the plains and plateaus the alteration of monsoon and dry season defines the seasonal rhythm of their movement. In the dry season the nomads move to the coastal region to graze their cattle on the flourishing agricultural tract and rich soil.
With the onset of monsoon they return with their flocks to their settlements on the plateau, a semi arid region with thorny bushes. Apart from pastures it is because the sheep cannot tolerate wet monsoon conditions that the tribes need to move, e.g., Dhanger of Maharashtra.
The nomadic pastoralists of the desert region, e.g., Raikas of Rajasthan combine cultivation with pastoralism. The movement of these tribes like those of nomads of plains is dictated by the onset of monsoon.
During monsoons they stay in their home villages grazing their cattle on available pastures and tilling the land. By October when these grazing grounds are exhausted and cultivation harvested they move in search of other pastures and water.
Nomadic tribes combine a range of different activities-herding, trading and cultivation. Apart from need for grazing pastures their movement is partly influenced by need to sell plough, cattle and goods to villagers.
The advantages to the environment from this continuous movement are:
(i) Continuous movement of the nomadic tribes allowed the pastures to recover; it prevented their overuse and intensive grazing, which would lead to deterioration of pastures.
(ii) Enabled pastoralists to set up relationships with farmers on the way so that the herds could graze on the stubble of the harvested field. This helped in weeding the soil of left over's and the cattle also helped manure the soil.
(iii) Nomadic pastoralism provided a way out for supporting a population in a difficult environment and presented a sustainable approach to land use.