Himalayan Pastoralism: A Study On The Livelihood And Mobility Of The Bakarwal Tribe

The paper aims to look at the relation of livelihood and mobility, and the health hazards faced by the pastoral Bakarwal tribe based in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Livelihood pattern of Bakarwals constitutes mostly of herding animals, and seasonal migration plays an all-important role in attaining the same. With the exhaustion of winter pastures in plains, they move to the highland pastures in Greater Himalayas in early spring along with their herds and household items by crossing various passes in the Pir Panjal and Siwalik ranges. Melting snow, gusty winds, dangerous ravines and valleys along with threats of the wild pose high risks to the health and lives of this people and their livestock. Moreover, various factors have led to the loss of this age-old tradition and the Bakarwals are quickly adopting a settled way of life. Data about the study has been collected through various ethnographic techniques among the community in the intervening pastures of the Kashmir valley.