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Living Between Juniper and PalmNature, Culture, and Power in the Himalayas$
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Ben Campbell

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780198078524

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198078524.001.0001

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Social Life with Livestock

Social Life with Livestock

Categorizing Relationships of Animal and Human Care

(p.189) 5 Social Life with Livestock
Living Between Juniper and Palm

Ben Campbell

Oxford University Press

The relationship of people and livestock in non-capitalized production requires going beyond economistic approaches to attend to the convivial interactions of people and animals, and how animals figure in making social relations. The argument here is there is no stable ‘cultural complex’ that organizes human–livestock relations, but a number of levels of practice and meaning that alternately fuse and oppose human and livestock interests. However, in the villagers’ constant attendance to the interactive qualities of animal care, and the dependence of livelihoods on livestock, there lies a common predicament and orientation to human life pursued in tandem with non-human relations. This fact determines much of the pace and place of village life, and organizes the flows and opportunities for exchange, on-going cooperative relations, and negotiations of change that occur in the villagers’ general environmental dispositions for practical engagement with the mountain ecology as a place of social dwelling.

Keywords:   dowry, pastoralism, yaks, water buffaloes, gift, herding, clans, sacrifice, autonomy

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