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Who Owns the Stock?

Who Owns the Stock?: Collective and Multiple Property Rights in Animals

Anatoly M. Khazanov
Günther Schlee
Copyright Date: 2012
Edition: 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 342
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  • Book Info
    Who Owns the Stock?
    Book Description:

    The issue of collective and multiple property rights in animals, such as cattle, camels or reindeers, among pastoralists has never been a subject of special cross-cultural and comparative study. Focusing on pastoralist societies in East and West Africa, the Far North and Siberia, and the Eurasian steppes, this volume addresses the issue of property rights and the changes these societies have undergone due to the direct or indirect influence of modernization and globalization processes. The contributors also investigate the interplay of older sets of rights and modern marketing policies; political, ecological and economic effects of collectivization and de-collectivization; the existence of collective and private property in the Soviet Union and its successor states; state taxation and destocking measures in African dry lands; and the effects of quarantine, as well as import and export regulations. The rich and well-researched ethnographic, historical, and economic data in these chapters provides new theoretical insights into the matter of property rights in animals.

    eISBN: 978-0-85745-336-5
    Subjects: Anthropology, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Maps, Figures and Tables
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-24)
    Anatoly M. Khazanov and Günther Schlee

    The subject of this volume is various forms of property rights in livestock in pastoralist societies. The notion of property belongs to the most complicated and complex ones, and as Kuper (1999: 245) aptly remarked, complex notions inhibit an analysis of the relationship between the variables they pack together. The complexity of property rights in any human society, including the preindustrial, has already attracted the attention of a number of scholars (see, for example, Libecap 1989; North 1990; Hann 1998b; Ensminger 2002b). It was also noticed that these rights are never absolute or unrestricted, although they have various degrees of...

  5. Part I. Tundra and Taiga

    • Chapter 1 ‘I should have some deer, but I don’t remember how many’: Confused Ownership of Reindeer in Chukotka, Russia
      (pp. 27-44)
      Patty A. Gray

      As the title of this chapter implies, I seek to highlight the perspective of individual reindeer herders with regard to issues of ownership of the reindeer in their midst. If multiple, overlapping claims to reindeer are to be found in Chukotka, they are less likely to occur among the herders themselves than between the herders and the state. In the former Soviet Union as well as in post-Soviet Russia, reindeer herders in Chukotka have competed with state agencies for ownership and control of individual reindeer, and have come out the losers.

      Russia’s privatization programme of the early 1990s was surrounded...

    • Chapter 2 Reindeer, Social Relations and Networks in a Post-Socialist Arctic Community: The Dolgan in Sakha
      (pp. 45-64)
      Aimar Ventsel

      This chapter deals with the social networks and cooperation surrounding domestic reindeer in my field site in Anabarskii district on the coast of the Arctic Ocean, the north-westernmost district of the Republic of Sakha in Eastern Siberia.¹ Most of my time during field research was spent in the village of Uurung Khaia, one of the two ‘agricultural settlements’ in the district. A Dolgan settlement with a population of 1,200, Uurung Khaia is located in the tundra zone, some forty kilometres south of the coast. The Dolgan are a Turkic-speaking indigenous minority of about 6,500 who, with the exception of this...

    • Chapter 3 Earmarks, Furmarks and the Community: Multiple Reindeer Property among West Siberian Pastoralists
      (pp. 65-98)
      Florian Stammler

      This chapter analyses property and entitlements in reindeer among Nenets¹ pastoralists, a Samoedian-speaking group that migrates annually with large herds of reindeer in the tundra for distances of between 100 and 1,200 km. In the Yamal-Nenets autonomousokrug(district, hereafter YNAO) in Russia’s west Siberian North, there are more than half a million domestic reindeer (rangifer tarandus), accounting for approximately half of all such deer in Russia and a third of the world’s domestic reindeer. In spite of pressure on pastures by industrial companies that are extracting oil and gas from huge deposits, the number of domestic reindeer in the...

    • Chapter 4 ‘Trust’ or ‘Domination’? Divergent Perceptions of Property in Animals among the Tozhu and the Tofa of South Siberia
      (pp. 99-120)
      Brian Donahoe

      Southern Siberia, northern Mongolia, and the northern tip of Inner Mongolia in China represent the southernmost extremes of reindeer habitat in the world. These are ecological transition zones between the boreal forests of Siberia and the steppes of Eurasia; political and administrative transition zones between the Russian Federation, Mongolia and China; and cultural transition zones between Turkic-, Mongolic-, and Tungusic-speaking indigenous populations.¹

      The way of life of the hunting and reindeer-herding populations in this area confounds the neat typologies of production systems traditionally recognized in Western anthropology, as it blends traits of hunter-gatherers and pastoralists, blurring to some extent the...

    • Chapter 5 Milk and Antlers: A System of Partitioned Rights and Multiple Holders of Reindeer in Northern China
      (pp. 121-138)
      Hugh Beach

      In August 1997, during the brief period when the research for this chapter was conducted, the village of Olguya in northern China (Inner Mongolia) hosted a population of approximately five hundred people, most of whom composed the thirty families of reindeer-herding Evenki who once wandered freely across the Russian—Chinese border. These few Evenki (sometimes wrongly referred to in China as ‘Yakut Evenki’ to indicate their Russian origins — not to be confused with the numerous other Evenki groups of China, many of whom inhabit the large Chinese Evenki autonomous region) are the only reindeer-herding people in all of China. Their...

  6. Part II. The Eurasian Steppe

    • Chapter 6 Pastoralism and Property Relations in Contemporary Kazakhstan
      (pp. 141-158)
      Anatoly M. Khazanov

      Contemporary forms of pastoralism and property relations in Kazakhstan are the outcome of environment, history and politics. While the environment has remained basically the same, history and politics have been unfavourable to pastoralists since the second half of the nineteenth century. The whole of ex-Soviet Central Asia can be neatly subdivided into regions that are suitable for irrigation agriculture (medieval Maveraunahr) and those that are favourable to extensive and mobile pastoralism (part of medieval Dasht-i-Qipchaq). For millennia, almost all the territory of Kazakhstan except the southern irrigated zone, which belonged to Maveraunahr in the medieval period, was the domain of...

    • Chapter 7 Property Rights in Livestock among Mongolian Pastoralists: Categories of Ownership and Categories of Control
      (pp. 159-176)
      Peter Finke

      Mongolia is unique in its predominance of pastoralism as an economic base. In presocialist times more than 90 per cent of the population, including a large part of the aristocratic elite and the clergy, subsisted on livestock rearing. Although this has changed in Mongolia in recent decades, pastoralism has remained an essential element of its lifestyle and identity up to the present day.

      Livestock and sufficient grazing areas are the key resources in any pastoral society, and how access to these resources is organized determines the distribution of wealth in society. In the course of the twentieth century, property regimes...

  7. Part III. Africa

    • Chapter 8 Forms and Modalities of Property Rights in Cattle in a Fulbe Society (Western Burkina Faso)
      (pp. 179-192)
      Youssouf Diallo

      The West African Fulbe (Fulani in the English-language literature and Peuls in the French-language literature) are predominantly pastoralists whose principal form of property is cattle. As in most Fulbe groups, in the Fulbe society of western Burkina Faso, the raising and possession of cattle is the preferred method of accumulating wealth and acquiring property and status. The social and economic functions of cattle determine the forms and modalities of property rights in this society, where every individual is allowed to constitute a herd of his or her own and assert the power that controlling this type of property affords. It...

    • Chapter 9 Individualization of Livestock Ownership in Fulbe Family Herds: The Effects of Pastoral Intensification and Islamic Renewal in Northern Cameroon
      (pp. 193-212)
      Mark Moritz

      A man’s herd is a complex organization of individuals tied to one another in diverse ways; quite as complex as the community of people in which he lives and in many ways reflecting that community. His herd depicts the household structure, lineage, and clan; expresses the network of social relationships as they extend to his father’s father and the yet unborn son of his son; and also reflects the ties that have been established through the marriages of his aunt and his sisters and the no less tenuous ties arrived at through contractual relationships, all of which bind him to...

    • Chapter 10 From Cultural Property to Market Goods: Changes in the Economic Strategies and Herd Management Rationales of Agro-Pastoral Fulbe in North West Cameroon
      (pp. 213-230)
      Michaela Pelican

      Cattle play an important economic and symbolic role among the Mbororo (agropastoral Fulbe) in North West Cameroon, and are considered both the basis and the source of their livelihood, social status and ethnic identity. Property rights in animals and animal products thereby form an integral part of the socio-economic organization affected by economic, ecological and political developments in recent decades. In this contribution, property rights in animals are addressed in three ways: (a) property relations understood as social relations between people, (b) property relations as social relations between people and animals, and (c) property rights in the interplay of socio-economic...

    • Chapter 11 Fulbe Pastoralists and the Changing Property Relations in Northern Ghana
      (pp. 231-246)
      Steve Tonah

      Fulbe pastoralists have only lived permanently in Northern Ghana since the beginning of the twentieth century. Prior to this period they seasonally moved cattle from their settlements in the Sahelian and savannah regions of Burkina Faso to Northern Ghana. However, most of them returned to their home region with the arrival of the seasonal rains. In contrast to the Fulbe, most of the agricultural groups in Northern Ghana have a longer history of settlement in the area and consider themselves to be the autochthon population. Some, like the Mamprusi and Dagomba, are known to consist of groups that, similar to...

    • Chapter 12 Multiple Rights in Animals: An East African Overview
      (pp. 247-294)
      Günther Schlee

      Four times a year at specific lunar dates, the Rendille of northern Kenya and their Boran-speaking neighbours, the Gabra, hold domestic sacrifices known assooriyo. There is ‘song and dance’ and the mood is festive.Sooriyois also a propitious time to brand camels. The latter are held forcefully to the ground with their feet bound, while the red-hot iron is applied. The seasoned moviegoer’s experience of cowboy films might lead one to expect people to proudly mark their camels with their own brand, and be surprised to find that a Gabra or Rendille¹ man would mark various camels in...

  8. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. 295-298)
  9. Bibliography
    (pp. 299-320)
  10. Index
    (pp. 321-332)