List of nomadic peoples

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Main article: Nomad

This is a list of nomadic people arranged by economic specialization and region.

Nomadic people are communities who move from one place to another, rather than settling permanently in one location. Many cultures have traditionally been nomadic, but nomadic behavior is increasingly rare in industrialized countries.

Nomadic cultures are listed in three categories of economic specialization: hunter-gatherers, pastoral nomads, and "peripatetic nomads".


Main article: Hunter-gatherer

Nomadic hunting and gathering, following seasonally available wild plants and game, is the oldest human method of subsistence.


Main articles: Pastoralism and Transhumance

Pastoralists raise herds, driving them or moving with them, in patterns that normally avoid depleting pastures beyond their ability to recover. The pastoralists are sedentary, remaining within a local area, but moving between permanent spring, summer, autumn and winter (or dry and wet season) pastures for their livestock.


Peripatetic nomads offer the skills of a craft or trade to the settled populations among whom they travel. They are the most common remaining nomadic peoples in industrialized nations. Most, or all, of the following ethnonyms probably do not correspond to one community; many are locally or regionally used (sometimes as occupational names), others are used only by group members, and still others are used pejoratively only by outsiders. Most peripatetic nomads have traditions that they originate from South Asia. In India there are said to be home of over two hundred such groups.[citation needed] Many peripatetic groups in Iran, Afghanistan and Turkey still speak dialects of Indo-Aryan, such as the Ghorbati.[1][2] There is also academic scholarship that connects European Romany groups with India.


  1. ^ Nomads in India : proceedings of the National Seminar / edited by P.K. Misra, K.C. Malhotra
  2. ^ Rao, Aparna (1986). "Peripatetic Minorities in Afghanistan—Image and Identity." In Die ethnischen Gruppen Afghanistan, edited by E. Orywal. Wiesbaden: L. Reichert
  3. ^ "Peripatetic peoples and Lifestyles" by Aparna Rao in Disappearing peoples? : indigenous groups and ethnic minorities in South and Central Asia / edited by Barbara A. Brower, Barbara Rose Johnston pages 53 to 72 ISBN 1598741209
  4. ^ Customary strangers : new perspectives on peripatetic peoples in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia / edited by Joseph C. Berland and Aparna Rao. Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 2004. ISBN 0897897714
  5. ^ "Marginal Groups and Itinerants" by Ingvar Savanberg pages 602 to 612 in Ethnic groups in the Republic of Turkey / compiled and edited by Peter Alford Andrews, with the assistance of Rüdiger Benninghaus (Wiesbaden : Dr. Ludwig Reichert, 1989) ISBN 3-88226-418-7
  6. ^ Rao, Aparna (1986). "Peripatetic Minorities in Afghanistan—Image and Identity." In Die ethnischen Gruppen Afghanistan, edited by E. Orywal. Wiesbaden: L. Reichert
  7. ^ Ender, Morton. Military Brats and Other Global Nomads. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002. ISBN 978-0-275-97266-0
  8. ^ Sutherland, Ann. Gypsies: The Hidden Americans. Waveland Press, 1986. ISBN 0-88133-235-6