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- For the 2006 historical epic set in Kazakhstan, see Nomad (film). For other senses of this word, see nomad (disambiguation).
Communities of nomadic people move from place to place, rather than settling down in one location. Many cultures have been traditionally nomadic, but nomadic behaviour is increasingly rare in industrialised countries. There are three kinds of nomads, hunter-gatherers, pastoral nomads, and peripatetic nomads. Nomadic hunter-gatherers have by far the longest-lived subsistence method in human history, following seasonally available wild plants and game. Pastoralists raise herds and move with them so as not to deplete pasture beyond recovery in any one area. Peripatetic nomads are more common in industrialised nations travelling from place to place offering a trade wherever they go.
 Nomadic hunter-gatherers
For more than one million years before domestication, nomadic hunter-gatherers (also known as foragers) moved from campsite to campsite following game and wild fruits and vegetables.
 Examples of nomadic hunter-gatherers
- Various groups of Pygmies, such as the the Mbuti of the Ituri Rainforest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- The Bushmen (also known as Basarwa or San) of southern Africa
- Many Native Americans prior to Western contact
- All Indigenous Australians prior to Western contact.
 Pastoral Nomads
The term "nomad" most often refers to one whose subsistence is based upon domestication of animals. This nomadic pastoralism is thought to have developed in three stages that accompanied population growth and an increase in the complexity of social organization. Sadr has proposed the following stages:
- Pastoralism: This is a mixed economy with a symbiosis within the family.
- Agropastoralism: This is when symbiosis is between segments or clans within an ethnic group.
- True Nomadism: This is when symbiosis is at the regional level, generally between specialized nomadic and agricultural populations.
 Origin of nomadic pastoralism
Nomadic pastoralism seems to have developed as a part of the secondary products revolution proposed by Andrew Sherratt, in which early pre-pottery neolithic cultures that had used animals in order to store live meat (on the hoof) began also using animals for their secondary products, for example, milk and its associated dairy products, wool and other animal hair, hides and consequently leather, manure for fuel and fertilizer, and traction.
The first nomadic pastoral society developed in the period from 6200 - 6000 BC in the area of the southern Levant. There during a period of increasing aridity, PPNB cultures in the Sinai were replaced by a nomadic pastoral pottery-using culture, which seems to have been a cultural fusion between a newly arrived mesolithic people from Egypt (the Harifian culture), adopting their nomadic hunting lifestyle to the raising of stock. This quickly developed into what Jaris Yurins has called the circum-Arabian nomadic pastoral techno-complex and is possibly associated with the appearance of Semitic languages in the region of the Ancient Near East. The rapid spread of such nomadic pastoralism was typical of such later developments as of the Yamnaya culture of the horse and cattle nomads of the Eurasian steppe, or of the Turko-Mongol spread of the later Middle Ages.
 Examples of pastoral nomads
- Bakhtiari of Iran
- The Bedouin
- Kuchis (Kochai)
- Somalis (certain clans)
- Mrazig of Tunisia
- Eurasian Avars
- Wu Hu
- Some reindeer-herding Sami communities
 Traditionally nomadic people in industrialized nations
- Roma (Gypsies)
- Irish Travellers
- Some Saami communities
One of the consequences of the break-up of the Soviet Union and the subsequent political independence and economic collapse of its Central Asian republics is the resurgence of pastoral nomadism. Taking the Kyrgyz people as a representative example, nomadism was the centre of their economy prior to Russian colonization at the turn of the C19/C20, when they were settled into agricultural villages. The population became increasingly urbanized after World War II, but some people continued to take their herds of horses and cows to the high pasture (jailoo) every summer, i.e. a pattern of transhumance. Since the 1990s, as the cash economy shrunk, unemployed relatives were absorbed back on the family farm, and the importance of this form of nomadism has increased. The symbols of nomadism, specifically the crown of the grey felt tent known as the yurt, appears on the national flag, emphasizing the centrality of their nomadic history and past in the creation of the modern nation of Kyrgyzstan.
 Nomadism unique to industrialized nations
 See also
 Further reading
- Sadr, Karim. The Development of Nomadism in Ancient Northeast Africa, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991. ISBN 0-8122-3066-3
- Cowan, Gregory. "Nomadology in Architecture: Ephemerality, Movement and Collaboration" University of Adelaide 2002 (available: )
- Chatwin, Bruce. The Songlines (1987)
- Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus (1980)
- Grousset, René. L'Empire des Steppes (1939) (French)bs:Nomadi
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