Human Ecology

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 269–286 | Cite as

Stability and resilience in East African Pastoralism: The Rendille and the Ariaal of northern Kenya

  • Elliot Fratkin


The social organizations of two closely related nomadic pastoral societies of northern Kenya, the Rendille and Ariaal, are compared in the context of the relative constancy and variability of their herding environments. It is concluded that the application of Brooks and Yellen's model of stability and resilience in human populations is of value in understanding the impact of environmental constraints on social organization, but it is argued that other social features including the organization of labor and ownership of different livestock types directly bear on the differences between the Rendille and Ariaal.

Key words

Africa Kenya pastoralism economic anthropology Rendille 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elliot Fratkin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of MarylandCatonsville

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