Nomad women Night in Uganda – A nomad is a person without a fixed habitation. He or She is a member of a community without fixed habitation which regularly moves to and from the same areas. Such groups include hunter-gatherers, pastoral nomads owning livestock and tinkers or trader nomads. In the year 1995 there were an estimate of 30-40 million nomads in the world.
Nomadic hunting and gathering means following seasonally available wild plants and game and is by far the oldest human subsistence method. Pastoralists raise herds, driving or accompanying in patterns that normally avoid depleting pastures beyond their ability to recover.
Nomadism is also a lifestyle adapted to infertile regions such as steppe, tundra or ice and sand, where mobility is the most efficient strategy for exploiting scarce resources. For example, many groups living in the tundra are reindeer herders and are semi-nomadic, following forage for their animals.
Sometimes also described as “nomadic” are the various itinerant populations who move among densely populated areas to offer specialized services to their resident’s external consultants for example. These groups are known as “peripatetic nomads.
A nomad is a person with no settled home, moving from place to place as a way of obtaining food, finding pasture for livestock, or otherwise making a living. The word “nomad” comes ultimately from the classical Greek word νομάς (nomás, “roaming, wandering, especially to find pasture”), from Ancient Greek νομός (nomós, “pasture”). Most nomadic groups follow a fixed annual or seasonal pattern of movements and settlements. Nomadic peoples traditionally travel by animal or canoe or on foot. Today, some nomads travel by motor vehicle. Most nomads live in tents or other portable shelters.
Nomads keep moving for different reasons. Nomadic foragers move in search of game, edible plants, and water. Aboriginal Australians, Negritos of Southeast Asia, and San of Africa, for example, traditionally move from camp to camp to hunt and gather wild plants. Some tribes of the Americas followed this way of life. Pastoral nomads make their living raising livestock such as camels, cattle, goats, horses, sheep or yaks; the Gaddi tribe of Himachal Pradesh in India is one such tribe. These nomads travel to find more camels, goats and sheep through the deserts of Arabia and northern Africa. The Fulani and their cattle travel through the grasslands of Niger in western Africa. Some nomadic peoples, especially herders, may also move to raid settled communities or to avoid enemies. Nomadic craft workers and merchants travel to find and serve customers. They include the Lohar blacksmiths of India, the Romani traders, and the travelers.