Camel has many Names Then Why We Use Cattle Terminology?

The camel terminology is mainly derived from a cow/cattle production system in English, which is a wrong approach. I’m giving you a food for thought to reconsider and re-establish camel’s terminology. As the camel was domesticated, evolved and managed for centuries in Arabian Peninsula, the best terminology will be the one used in that region.

Joseph Freiherr von Hammer-Purgstall, a great eighteenth-century Orientalist, collected 5,774 words for camel and camel-related features and paraphernalia. Many of the terms he collected were poetical metaphors.17 But, for example, there really are at least thirty different words for camel milk.

Arabic has over 100 words for ‘camel’ which at one point had as many as 1,000 words. ‘Al-Jafool,’ for example is a camel that is frightened by anything and ‘al-harib’ is a female camel that walks ahead of the other camels.

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Land grabbing and Restrictions to Pastoralism in Afghanistan

Kuchi or Kochi but in Trouble

Afghanistan is one of the important countries of the dryland region of the world. Afghanistan is home and cradle of precious livestock breeds. The old civilization of Zoroaster domesticated the present-day Bactrian camel in the ancient city of Bakhtria in Afghanistan. Afghanistan places precious and well-adapted livestock breeds with a very touchy livestock culture and home to nomads (Kochis). Kochis or pastoralists having a diversity of livestock species and breeds. They are the custodian of such precious animal genetic resources and guardians of the rich culture of nomadism.

Restrictions in Movement

Afghanistan is the land of wars and conflicts, now new and modern problems and conflicts are arising in the country. Because of the wars, there were restrictions on the nomad’s movement with their livestock in some parts of the country.  Now arable farmers and warlords are grabbing the land for construction and high input agriculture production which further restricts the movement of livestock. Nomadism is very important for livestock and flora diversity. The restriction affects the livestock production systems of the Kochis very negatively. Such phenomenon, i.e. land grabbing is further harmful to livestock biodiversity.

The Way Forward

It is the utmost need of time to give attention to this issue and save pastoralism and their precious livestock breeds and culture. I hereby appeal to international organizations like FAO to facilitate nomadism in Afghanistan and resist land grabbing and restriction of livestock movement of the nomads or Kochis.