Sedentarization in Turkana: social and ecological consequences : a proposal
Renfrew, Melanie Patton
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The major research question for this thesis is, "How do loss of livestock and sedentarization bring about changes in Turkana social organisation?" Sedentarization involves basic economic change from herding livestock to alternative livelihoods, for example, irrigation agriculture. Ownership of animals is being replaced by use of other resources for livelihood (land, water, soil, wood) in a concentrated rather than widespread territory. As nomads settle, their population density increases, which can intensify their social interaction as well as competition over resources. In human history, this intensification led to an increased need for political leadership. Theoretically, as the Turkana become sedentary, then social stratification will develop. Fieldwork for this research is taking place in Morulem, an irrigation site along the Kerio River near Lokori, which is two hours from the main tarmac road in Turkana. Although there are a few civil servants working in Morulem, the external influence are fewer than in other settlements in Turkana District.