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Gülcan Kolay

The Turkish Army has been reported many times to use the burning of villages, forest and fields as a strategy in the war against the Kurdish insurgents. However, the army not only destroys the villages, the fields, the forests but also animals. Despite the vast research by academics on the destruction of the villages by the Turkish army, little is known about the damage caused by the army to animals. This article deals with the use of mules for the legal or illegal cross-border trade between Turkey-Iraq and Turkey-Iran, more precisely between Kurdish regions, and the destruction of the mules, who play a very important role in this kind of commerce, by the Turkish Army in the context of conflict against the Kurds.

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The Mule Caravans of Western Yunnan

An Oral History of the Muleteers of Zhaozhou

Ma Jianxiong and Ma Cunzhao

Mule caravans established a network across physical, political, and ethnic boundaries that integrated Southwest China, Southeast Asia, and Tibet. This article is a first exploration of this little-known mobile network. Based mainly on oral history, it focuses on the mule caravans based in Zhaozhou in western Yunnan from the late Qing to the 1940s, when the first motor roads were constructed. The investigation assembles horse and mule technologies and trade organization in detail in order to reconstruct the role and standing of transporters and their networks in local society, in the regional setting, in a volatile political environment, and in the face of challenging natural conditions.

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Pushkar Sohoni

The domestication and use of animals is an integral part of the history of technology, as beasts were used to improve the efficiency of agricultural, military, and transportation activities. Individuals and social groups often had to be introduced along with animal technologies, as the domestication, breeding, training, and handling of animals was a culture that could not be immediately learned. In the age of European empires, several ethnic groups were imported along with the animals that they tended. This article highlights the role of humans as part of animal technologies, as an important anthropological component when technologies that involve animals are introduced to new settlements and areas. Using three case studies in which animal technologies from Asia were introduced to other parts of the world, it can be seen that humans are an essential and integral component of animal technologies.

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The Distant Sound of Mule Caravan Bells

Interview with Mr Li Zhengxiong, 19 August 2003 at Sanyi North Village, Heqing County, Yunnan

Ma Cunzhao

Sanyi consists of two villages, a northern and a southern one. In the Republican period (1912–1949) there was a “cauldron boss”1 in charge of the “northern caravan” by the name of Tenth Sister, who hailed from Sanyi North. Th e author came to the village to meet Mr Li Zhengxiong (Bai nationality, 78 years old), a grandnephew of Tenth Sister. Th e following is Mr Li’s account:

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Elena Salerno

By the mid-nineteenth century, the territory of present-day Argentina was still a sparsely settled network of towns beyond which lived some native peoples. In 1860 the incomplete Martin de Moussy survey estimated a total population of about 1 million inhabitants; a decade later the first national census recorded about 1.8 million. Halperin Donghi summarizes the situation in “A Nation for the Argentine Desert,” the prologue to his classic work about this period.1 At that time, the country lacked roads, and the traditional transport system, as Enrique M. Barba describes in a pioneering book, consisted of cart tracks that were impassable during the rainy season, and some staging posts that provided rudimentary services for long-distances travelers.2 Indigenous trails trodden by livestock, called rastrilladas, supplemented them.3 Years later, Cristian Werckenthie studied the traditional transport of the pampas. Bullock carts were the principal means of transport; elsewhere, mule trains were the norm.