Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra

Ideology of a Nomadic Life

Nomads traveled for reasons of finding food for their herds. I travel to find food too – but of a different kind – food for my mind to grow. Staying still would lead to starvation and decay.


The following are thoughts from a book “In Search of Nomads” by John Ure that I read recently. The life models described are awe-inspiring – and I am jealous of the observers who wrote down these thoughts. Some insightful notes on the ideology of nomadic life:

1. Being a nomad is a state of mind – not a physical activity.

2. Home is wherever they are – not where they come from or were going back to.

3. Nomadic life was not a poor relation of settled agriculture but was a viable and often preferred alternative to the sedentary life.

4. There was a fundamental difference between wandering away and then back to a fixed base on the one hand and wandering from place to place without a fixed base, on the other.

5. Nomadic life is less constrained than the comfortably padded walls of the cells that constitute so-called civilised life.

6. “Delight” is brighter in the nomadic world than in the settled one because they accept their scanty blessings as gifts and not as dividends. It is one of the few books that I intend to read a second time.


Present-day urban nomads include those who travel as individuals rather than as tribes.


I have been fortunate to have had two experiences with nomads … first on my visit to Kutch cimg65251

and second on my visit to Chanthang in Ladakh, India. 20110905_04301

Read more about these experiences:

A cup of tea with Nomads and Gypsies of Kutch

A night-out with the Nomads of Changthang

I hope to get lucky again!

art blog, culture blog, travel blog


March 2015

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