Chapter 37: Pastoralism as a Form of Entrepreneurship
37 Pastoralism as a form of entrepreneurship A. Allan Degen Entrepreneurship is expressed in different ways by various societies (Dana, 1995). In this chapter I focus on entrepreneurship as it is practised by the Bedouin. The word Bedouin is derived from the Arabic word badawi, man of the desert. Traditionally, Negev Bedouin depended on nomadic pastoralism for their lifestyle and livelihood. Sheep, goats and camels provided them with milk and milk products, wool and hair for weaving carpets and tents, and animals for traditional slaughter. Today, there are more than 150 000 Bedouin in the Negev Desert of southern Israel. About half of these Bedouin live in planned urban communities and half in rural, spontaneous, non-recognized settlements. Figure 37.1 shows a market at the predominantly Bedouin community of Rahat. Many of these Bedouin families raise some livestock, mainly sheep but also goats, camels and cattle. Figure 37.2 shows Awassi sheep and local goats being shepherded by Bedouin girls. Changes since 1948 have turned the Bedouin pastoralists of pre-Israel times into marginal pastoralists today. Two important characteristics of current Bedouin pastoral activity in the Negev below the 220 mm isohyte are evident: (1) pastoralism can be Figure 37.1 Rahat; photograph by A.A. Degen 308 M2538 - DANA PRINT.indd 308 25/02/2011 08:37 Pastoralism as a form of entrepreneurship 309 Figure 37.2 Awassi sheep and local goats being shepherded by Bedouin girls; photograph by A.A. Degen practised mainly on margins of other agricultural activities, on fallow and aftermath fields and in uncultivatable...
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