NCERT Solutions for Class 9 History Chapter 5 Pastoralists in the Modern World

NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Social Science History Chapter 5 Pastoralists in the Modern World are prepared by expert teachers. These solutions contain answers to all questions provided in the History (India and the Contemporary World – I) textbook.

Class 9 History Pastoralists in the Modern World Questions and Answers

Question 1: Explain why nomadic tribes need to move from one place to another. What are the advantages to the environment of this continuous movement?

Answer: Nomads are people who do not live in one place but move from one area to another to earn their living. These people are involved in animal husbandry so they need to move in search of pastures for their animals. When pasture is in one place over then they move to another for fresh pastures. This movement has significant environmental advantages, including the prevention of overgrazing, which helps maintain the health and sustainability of grasslands. Additionally, this mobility allows ecosystems to recover and supports biodiversity by preventing any single area from being overused.

Question 2: Discuss why the colonial government in India brought in the following laws. In each case, explain how the law changed the lives of pastoralists:

  • Waste Land rules
  • Forest Acts
  • Criminal Tribes Act
  • Grazing Tax

Waste Land rules: The colonial government aimed to increase revenue by converting ‘waste lands’ (lands not under cultivation) into agricultural lands. This policy led to the takeover of lands traditionally used by pastoralists for grazing. As a result, the available land for grazing shrank, severely affecting the pastoral lifestyle. Pastoralists lost access to their traditional grazing grounds, leading to difficulties in sustaining their herds.

Forests Acts: With the enactment of various Forest Acts, the colonial government sought to regulate the use of forests, declaring many areas as reserved forests where no grazing was allowed. These laws restricted pastoralists’ access to forest resources, including forage for their animals. The reduction in available grazing land forced pastoralists to alter their migration routes, often leading to inadequate grazing options for their livestock, impacting their livelihoods.

Criminal Tribes Act: The British government eyed nomadic people with suspicion and disregard on account of their continuous movement. They could not be tracked down or placed in one particular place, unlike rural people in villages who were easy to identify and control. Hence, the colonial power viewed nomadic tribes as a criminal. The Criminal Tribes Act was passed in 1871 and it further ruined the lives of the pastoralists who were now forced to live in notified settlements and were disallowed from moving out without a government permit.

Grazing Tax: The imposition of a grazing tax was another measure to generate revenue for the colonial government. This tax was levied on pastoralists for grazing their animals on certain lands. The financial burden of the grazing tax reduced the economic viability of pastoralism. For many pastoralists, this meant reducing the size of their herds or facing increased hardship in sustaining their traditional way of life.

 Question 3: Give reasons to explain why the Maasai community lost their grazing lands.

Answer: The Maasais lost their grazing lands due to the following reasons:

  1. During colonial times, the British and German governments divided Maasailand between Kenya and Tanzania, taking the best grazing lands for white settlement and reducing the Maasai to a confined and less fertile area.
  2. Large areas of traditional Maasai grazing lands were turned into protected areas such as the Maasai Mara and Serengeti Park, where pastoralists could no longer graze their livestock.
  3. The colonial and post-colonial promotion of agriculture led to the conversion of grazing lands into crop fields, further limiting the space available for Maasai herds.
  4. The establishment of national borders and the introduction of permits restricted the Maasai’s traditional nomadic lifestyle, limiting their access to pastures across regions.

Question 4: There are many similarities in the way in which the modern world forced changes in the lives of pastoral communities in India and East Africa. Write about any two examples of changes which were similar for Indian pastoralists and the Maasai herders.


Two significant changes that similarly affected the lives of pastoral communities in India and the Maasai herders in East Africa due to the modern world include:

  1. Restriction of Movement: In India, Forest Acts and the creation of protected areas restricted pastoralists’ access to their traditional grazing lands, confining their movement. Similarly, in East Africa, the Maasai faced movement restrictions with the establishment of national parks and game reserves, as well as fixed national borders. These restrictions severely limited their nomadic lifestyle and access to essential resources
  2. Loss of Grazing Lands: Both Indian pastoralists and the Maasai experienced a reduction in their grazing lands due to several factors. In India, the implementation of the Waste Land Rules and the expansion of agriculture transformed grazing lands into farmlands. In East Africa, the Maasai lost large portions of their lands to agricultural expansion, game reserves, and colonial settlement schemes. This resulted in a significant decrease in the lands available for pastoral activities, challenging their traditional livelihoods and way of life.

These changes disrupted the ecological balance and economic foundation of pastoral communities, challenging their ability to sustain their traditional ways of life.

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