Journey with the transhumance pastoralists (Gujjar-Bakarwal) of Jammu and Kashmir with special Reference to Rajouri, Poonch and Udhampur District.
Gujjar-Bakarwal, the transhumance pastorals of Himalaya’s are two major nomadic tribes of Jammu and Kashmir which constitutes the third largest ethnic group with the population of about 11.9% of the total population in J&K (census 2011). These tribal groups always moves from the warm lowland valleys to the cool highland valleys in summer and return back to lowland valleys following the same precise and repeated routes in winter along with the herds of livestock to exploit the seasonal availability of pastures. Although, both the tribal group practice livestock rearing as the traditional mainstay of their economy like nomads but some of them occupy intermediate position between nomadism and a sedentary mode of life by practising agriculture. Belonging to the same ethnic group, Gujjars possess large herds of buffaloes while Bakarwals associated with goat and sheep rearing. They played a crucial role in meeting the requirement of milk and meat for the state. The present study made an attempt to sketch an outline of the ethnographic profile of Gujjars-Bakarwals, their nomadic lifestyle in summer pasture, collection and documentation (both textual and audio-visual) of their material culture, as a part of Museum Research Programme.
Keywords: Transhumance, livestock, Gujjar-Bakarwal, tribal and summer pasture