From Latin no more, which in turn derives from a Greek word, the term nomadic allows to refer to the one who goes from one place to another without establishing a fixed residence. The concept is linked to the person what is in constant travel or displacement and opposes the notion of sedentary.
A nomadic people It is one who does not live in a stable territory as a permanent residence. This way of life implies a very particular social, administrative and economic organization, which adapts to this way of living.
Among the many and varied signs of identity that serve to determine that a culture or group is nomadic, we could highlight the following:
Socially, they are fundamentally structured in what would be clans and tribes.
The patriarch is usually the highest authority. This is an old man who is respected by the rest of the group and who, based on his knowledge, is the one who determines where they are going to go and at what time they are going to start the exit.
They stand out for greatly protecting the environment. That is because they basically subsist on it, on the food that it can provide them at all times.
Oral tradition in this type of culture is essential. Hence, elements such as the story take center stage.
In ancient times, before the development of the farming and the cattle raising, all human beings were nomads since they had to move to get food. Nomadism made it possible to populate large regions of the planet and contributed to adaptation to natural phenomena such as glaciation.
It is difficult to know the history of nomadic peoples since writing is a characteristic of sedentary societies. That is why many of the references to these traveling cultures actually come from descriptions made by sedentary peoples. The best way to meet a nomadic people of antiquity is through the traces interpreted by the archeology.
In addition to all the above, it must be emphasized that at present the tribes and nomadic groups that exist throughout the world geography are experiencing a situation of threat of disappearing. That is due to different causes. However, among all of them we would highlight the following as the main ones:
Development of armed conflicts that revolve around land ownership.
Excessive and uncontrolled exploitation of natural resources.
Non-peaceful imposition of sedentary lifestyle taking as an excuse the achievement of development.
Several populations are still nomadic today. The arab bedouin, the eskimos of Greenland and the tuaregs of the Sahara desert, for example, are among these groups. Private ownership of land, the advance of industrialization and border control are some of the problems that exist for the subsistence of nomadic peoples.
In addition, we could also highlight other nomadic groups such as the Yanomami in Venezuela, the Pygmies and Mbuti in Africa, the Mongols in Asia or the Gypsies in Europe. A wide and varied number of nomadic cultures that would become part of the 40 million people who currently live under the shelter of non-sedentary lifestyle.