Changing population mobility in West Africa : Fulbe pastoralists in central and south Mali

TitleChanging population mobility in West Africa : Fulbe pastoralists in central and south Mali
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsM.E. de Bruijn, and J.W.M. van Dijk
Secondary TitleAfrican affairs : the journal of the Royal African Society
Pagination285 - 307
Date Published2003///
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsAfrica, Fulani, identity, Internal migration, Mali, migration, mobility, Sahel

Mobility is the most important response by the inhabitants of the Sahel to climatic adversity. This 'condition sahélienne', characterized by unstable climatic circumstances, irregular rainfall patterns and periods of drought, has an important influence on people's decisionmaking processes regarding their livelihood. Migration studies mainly focus on labour migration to urban areas. Although mobility is part of the repertoire of Sahelian people, the form it takes varies considerably between social groups and individuals, and over time. In this article the authors focus on a neglected and almost invisible category of rural-rural migrants in the Sahel, the Fulbe pastoral people and their developments over the last three decades and the economic and social conditions in which they find themselves. It concludes that these rural-rural migrations are deeply engrained in cultural patterns in West Africa, exemplified by specific institutions for dealing with hosts and strangers. However, mobility is often not a planned process, and all kinds of survival strategies are used in a very flexible manner. The phenomenon has given rise to a specific character of cultural dynamics and ways of defining identity for the people involved. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]

IR handle/ Full text URL
Citation Key2086