High Altitude Subsistence
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High Altitude Subsistence Slope Temperature Aspect Water Wind Soil Clouds. Primary Types of Subsistence/Land Use Natural Adaptation : Make use of indigenous species Modification : Adapt environment to a species or species to environment Agriculture Animal Husbandry Agro-pastoral

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High Altitude Subsistence

Slope

Temperature

Aspect

Water

Wind

Soil

Clouds


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Primary Types of Subsistence/Land Use

Natural Adaptation: Make use of indigenous species

Modification: Adapt environment to a species or species to environment

Agriculture

Animal Husbandry

Agro-pastoral

Transhumance

Nomads

Multiple Combinations


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  • Agriculture in Mountains MUST Exhibit:

  • Stability and Resilience to Environmental Fluctuations

  • Sustainability or Optimum level of Renewable Resource Use and Recycling

  • Equitability and Vested Self Interest- Resource Maintenance of activities that modify the environment

  • Also Crop Selection Considers:

  • What people want to consume and sell

  • What is produces in adjacent fields

  • Ecological Limitations

  • Issues of Carrying Capacity of land…..Population Control


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Production Zones (Culturally Created)

A communally managed set of specific productive resources in which crops are grown in distinctive ways. Include Infra-structural features, a specific rationing system of resources (irrigation) and rule making mechanisms that regulate how productive resources are used.

Land Tenure

Rights and Obligations held by different groups or actors over diverse privileges concerning land…Dictates who has the rights to use land, not the right to own land

Households and Communities, Land Creates Communities


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Agriculture in High Altitude

Hardy Crops- Barley, Wheat, Quinoa

Maize production….Alfalfa….

Yields versus Maturation Time

Shorter Growing Season and Longer Maturation Period

Crop Rotation and Fallow periods- Soil Fertility and Maintenance

Altitude and Crop Placement- Verticality

Aspect/Cloud Cover and Crop Placement

Double Cropping and Timing

Diurnal Temperatures

Risk of Frost


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  • Terracing and Irrigation

  • Catching water, Re-diverting water, Storing water in soil, disperse surplus water

  • Dealing with Slope: Orography

  • Dealing with water scarcity and surplus

  • Furrowing

  • Erosion

  • Andes Example:

  • Canal Building and distribution of Plots

  • Faenas- obligatory work parties


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Reciprocity and Exchange in the Andes

In the Andes this is crucial to having agricultural system work

Verticality of crop growth and Anexio Villages…Exchanging crops and goods that grow at different altitudes.

“Vertical Archipelago” (Murra)

Symmetrical and Asymmetrical modes of Reciprocity

Waje-Waje- Exact Exchange (account kept, Ayuda-no account)

Minka- Return with goods, more formal, no ties

Voluntad- Kinship


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Cuy-Guinea Pig

High Protein, Low Fat

Have high fecundity- 1 male and 7 females can produce 360 cuy a year- 77 lbs of meat!

Kept in kitchen-believe that they need smoke

Eat scraps and alfalfa


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  • Pastoralism/Animal Husbandry

  • Pack animals, travel, meat, milk, wool, hides

  • Cattle/Horse-low, Sheep/Goat-Mid, Llama/Alpaca/Yak-High

  • Reproduction and Physical

  • Helps to alleviate agricultural deficits

  • Seasonal movement of the animals-Transhumance

  • Storage of Fodder versus Grazing year round

  • Animals adapted to eating high altitude grasses

  • Shared Pastures

  • DUNG- Fertilizer and Fuel


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Transhumance

How does it differ from nomadism, semi-nomadism and seasonal alpine pasture use….?

Ascending Transhumance

Descending Transhumance

Intermediate Stationed Transhumance

Dual Stationed Transhumance


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DUNG!

Animals important for food, travel, etc., but are ESSENTIAL for agriculture and fertilization

Camelid/Yak Dung for Fuel-no trees

Sheep Dung for Fertilizer


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  • Pastoral Nomads in the Himalayas- “drokpa”

  • An Example from Limi, Nepal

  • Move the herds year-round, no storage of fodder

  • Movements are based on LATITUDE and NOT ALTITUDE

  • Move herds north into Tibet….low snowfall, high wind velocity

  • Use black haired yak tents “ba”

  • Nuclear Family units with a hired hand

  • Rich diet in dairy and protein

  • Trade- Surplus


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Almwirtshaft-Alps

Mixed Mountain Agriculture

Rhoades and Thompson (1975):

“The key to the success of agro-pastoral transhumance in the alpine valleys is the constant motion, the vertical oscillation of cultivators, herders and beasts following the vicissitudes of climate in an effort to exploit micro-niches at several altitudinal levels”

Is this a valid statement? Do all mountain cultures practice their land-use in this way…What about the case of Limi?


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Dr. Pitambar Sharma, Geographical Development Expert: "Mountain culture is different from other cultures. If you go to  mountain regions of other parts of the world, say to Bolivia or Ecuador in South America, and come back to the mountains of Nepal, you sense some commonalities. People's capacity to adapt to mountain environment - coping mechanism - is more or less similar no matter which mountain regions of the world they come from."


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