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Harnessing FortunePersonhood, Memory and Place in Mongolia$
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Rebecca M. Empson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264737

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264737.001.0001

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Managing the Landscape’s Resources

Managing the Landscape’s Resources

(p.234) (p.235) 7 Managing the Landscape’s Resources
Harnessing Fortune

Rebecca M. Empson

British Academy

This chapter focuses on the accumulation of wealth through herding. For pastoral herders, movement across the landscape is the dominant means by which fortune is harnessed and growth in animals achieved. Here, fecundity and wealth are visible in mobile and transitory forms. At the most basic level, it is the herds that form the landscape as it is they who traverse the land and contain the fortune that engenders the fertility and vital energy that makes ‘places’. In the face of competing claims on the landscape, local shamans are motivated to establish relations with previous inhabitants who are held to reside in particular places. In so doing, they gain endorsement from past historical figures who claim that they are good people who should remain there. In securing this endorsement, the Buriad go some way in gaining authority over the place in which they currently live.

Keywords:   wealth, herding, pastoral herders, fortune, herds, shamans, Buriad

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