A four-page essay on nomadic tribes in Africa, written by a teenage Lucas at Thomas Downey High School in Modesto, California.

Today, a bit of a rarity.

A paper written by George Lucas in 1959 for the Economic Geography class at Thomas Downey High School in Modesto, California. Lucas would have been 15 when he wrote this, and it obviously speaks to his interest in anthropology at an early age. Perhaps this was an early origin of the sandpeople?

As evidenced by the watermark on these images, the essay was auctioned off sometime in 2005.

Transcript follows:

There are a number of communities whose mode of life involve different proportions of nomadism and cultivation. They are often engulfed in the term semi-nomadism. Semi-nomadism may be found in true deserts but this mixed mode of life is most typical of the traditional (?) of semi desert and steppe where rainfall (?)reliability provokes great fluctuations in crop yields unless irrigation is possible. In other words geographical conditions favor a double existence especially when lack of (?capital?) and specialized techniques make large scale cultivation difficult. But exact nature of the mode of life of a particular tribal group depends on many other human factors such as the life of the group, its traditions its (?), and the weather, altitude and stability of the central government.

In North Africa we find this semi-desert-steppe gone to the interior of the moister, more developed atlantic and mediterranean domains. The more extreme area of cultivation is on the narrow, moister plain south and east of Tripoli. Most of this desert-steppe (?gone) has less than 6 inches of rainfall per year.

The semi nomadic tribes large in size from about 1300 to over 83000. These tribes have flocks of sheep and herds of goats, which they move from one pasture to another. They also generally have control of an oasis, on which they grow date palms, olive orchids and build permanent villages which are deserted part of the year. The semi nomads live almost entirely on camel milk, dates, barley and olive oil.

Semi-nomadism is essentially subsistence economy. Semi nomads may be officially settled into agriculture more easily than nomads. Semi-nomadism is no necessarily a transitional (?) between nomadism and agriculture; it is a distinct mode of life.


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