Nomadic Herdsmen and Crop Farmers


The primary occupation of Nomadic herdsmen is raising livestock and they engage in random movement of their cattle from one location to the other in search of grasses (Iro, 1994). The primary reason for their random movement is to have access to abundant grasses and water for their cattle.  A pastoral Fulani family is the traditional herding unit. According to (Azarya, 1996), the Fulani pastoralists of West and Central Africa trace much of their current political, religious, and socio-cultural identity from the eighteenth and nineteenth century jihad which sedentarized them within conquered communities. There are two major categories of nomads in Nigeria: the pastoralists and the artisanal migrant fishermen. The pastoralists are made up of the Fulbe or Fula, the Shuwa, the Koyam, the Badawi, the Buduma and the Dark Buzzu. The Fulbe [Fulani] are said to have originated from Senegambia and then spread across some 20 states in West Africa and the Sahel, up to Western Sudan and the Central African Republic (Blench 1994; Shehu and Hassan 1995; Blench 2010; McGregor 2014). They are described as the unitary group of people with a unitary culture. In Nigeria, they are found in 31 out of 36 states of the Federation. Tasks are divided by gender and age among the members of the family. The main work of men is to manage the herds find grazing site, build tents and camps and make security tools such as knives, bow, arrows and guns. Women are into sourcing food produce in the market, milking cows, wearing and making mat (Iro, 1994).

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