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Who herded animals, gave women higher social statuses, and influenced many societies all without having a definite location? No other but central Asia’s very own, Nomadic Pastoral societies! The Xiongnu, Arab, Turk, and Masai (from central Africa) cultures were all considered to be the best of the best, the ‘cream of the crop’ except they were comprised of pastoralists who herded cattle instead of the usual agricultural societies that were based around growing crops as their basic economy. All these social groups were completely different but their success can be attributed to the same foundations. The Xiongnu had a more centralized hierarchical political system, copied later on by the Turkic and Mongol empires. The Turks and Arabs took Islam to India and Anatolia and enabled trade routes through Arabia all while maintaining two of the largest empires of the century. Many farmers adopted certain elements from the Masai culture such as religious tendencies, hairstyles, and other habits. These societies were linked together mainly by their pastoral ways, reaching the top and continuing to climbing and obtain further success. A strong economic foundation is the basis to every well off civilization. These Nomads clearly should be credited with pining the well-known real-estate phrase of success: ‘location, location, location’ as their own formula! By migrating from place to place in search of new pastures to graze, they were able to prosper by selecting the best possible land throughout each of the year’s seasons. There had to have been a method to their madness; to pick up a whole group, displacing it to a completely new area every few months could have meant a guaranteed failure. However, through their impeccable adherence to proven methods of organizing their society, their adaptive behavior, innovative drive to create new tools and use of horseback riding in herding was what truly helped them succeed. That being said brings up a main difference between pastoral societies and agricultural communities. Pastorals held women to the same standards as men. They are said to have performed at their level; from mastering horses and being able to ride them to participating as warriors- Women clearly helped these civilizations advance. They not only helped care for much of the livestock, but they served as political advisers and had much fewer restrictions. These women were viewed as a man’s equal. With a quiver in one hand and a bow in the other, pastoral societies really made it a point to keep them involved. Who new the ‘women’s lib’ movement had its origins in a tent in the 13th century. Every pastoral society was different but they maintained a consistent form of being that got them to their pinnacle. These societies had fewer people than their agricultural counterparts, but that didn’t stop them from acquiring wealth and prominence. Having every member, men and women, of their community involved in some way whether it was helping to graze, herd, or anything else they did, really pushed them forward. For these peoples, the old adage ‘Home is were the herd is.’ was truly very close to their ‘hearts’.

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