Frantkin paper - Anthony Milne Ariaal Pastoralists of Kenya...

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Anthony Milne Ariaal Pastoralists of Kenya by Elliot M. Fratkin The Ariaal people of Kenya are a relatively small pastoralist people that currently live in areas near Ndoto Mountains and Mt. Marsabit. The Ariaal have lived in these areas since at least the nineteenth century. The Ariaal are a group that have descended from mixing of both Samburu and Rendille groups through intermarriage and common interest such as war against Turkana. Author Paul Spencer explains that these two distinct societies of the western highland cattle keeping Samburu and the camel keeping Rendille of the lowlands, were able to ally and intermarry because they had no competitiveness over herding environment. The Ariaal in turn have formed the bridge between both the Maa speaking Samuburu and the Cushitic speaking Rendilles’ cultures. For instance, the Ariaal speak both languages, use many pieces of each groups’ specific cultures, and of course in actual geography, being somewhat of a buffer between the two territories. These Ariaal groups for the most part can trace their ancestors back to either Rendille and Samburu groups but it is not uncommon for many Ariaal to be from other tribes such as Maasai, Turkana, Somali, and many others. Yet the combination of Samburu and Rendille culture, customs, and general lifestyle that are the main ingredients of the Ariaal. And because of the relatively young existence and common descent of the Ariaal, much of Ariaal life is described in terms of Rendille and Samburu throughout this book. The Ariaal, like all pastoralists, depend on the possession of animal livestock for survival. Most Kenyan pastoralists’ herds consist of camels, cattle, or small stock such as goats and sheep, or a combination of the three. The Ariaal mix the lifestyles of both the Rendille and of the Samburu by keeping substantial amounts of all three types of animals. The keeping of different types of animals lets the Ariaal utilize different grazing
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environments and to help against major losses if something such as illness was to strike only one type of livestock. Because, Camels and cattle tend to need different types of grazing to survive, such as cattle in the highlands and camels in the lowlands, the Ariaal tend two split up their herds into these two groups. Although pastoralists, which tend to be thought of as constantly moving, the Ariaal set up major encampments as a sort of base or center to their civilization. Elders, married women, and young children are the primary inhabitants of these semi-permanent developments along with the “domestic herds” of milking and transport camels and most small stock. The rest of the animals
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  • Fall '05
  • DAVIS,ALIC
  • Personal life, Livestock, Ariaal, Milne Ariaal Pastoralists

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