nomadism

nomadism

[noh-mad]

Way of life of peoples who do not live continually in the same place but move cyclically or periodically. It is based on temporary centres whose stability depends on the available food supply and the technology for exploiting it. A hunting and gathering society is a type of nomadic group. Pastoral nomads, who depend on domestic livestock, migrate in an established territory to find pasture for their animals. Tinker or trader nomads, such as the Roma (Gypsies; see Rom) and the Irish and Scottish Travellers, are associated with a larger society but maintain their mobile way of life. Nomadism declined in the 20th century as urban centres expanded and governments sought to regulate or eliminate it.

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