Millions of people live in deserts around the world. They are called Desert Peoples. Their lifestyle is so different, as they have to live in harsh conditions in the desert. In this lesson, let’s talk about the daily life of desert peoples.
Why we call them Desert peoples?
The human beings of a particular nation or community or ethnic group are called peoples. So, such people live in deserts are called desert peoples.
E.g. Aborigines of Australia, Bedouins in the Syrian Desert and also, Nomadic Mongols of the Gobi Desert
1) Some people mine either copper or other materials in desert mines.
2) They also work on desert farms.
3) Shepherds (or nomads) in the Middle-East go from place to place looking for food and water for their animals.
People who live in deserts usually live near a source of water. This is because to make their daily life easier.
E.g. They live on the banks of rivers that flow through deserts or on oases.
Since water is so important to life in the desert, it must be carefully used and also be carefully protected. So, people in the deserts in fact, know how to use less water in their day-to-day needs. Therefore, they are so careful in using as well as protecting water.
Desert oases indeed, give life to the desert peoples. So do springs and waterholes. Thus, they support the life in deserts immensely.
It either runs off the hard, dry surface or evaporates into the air.
A little amount of rainwater soaks to the ground where it may eventually join underground rivers and streams. However, in few places, water from these underground rivers or streams flows to the surface of the desert. So, the water forms a spring or waterhole, making the land fertile. Hence, plants can grow. This is called an oasis. Also, a river flowing through a desert may have long oases along its banks.
A place where water flows out of the ground is called a spring.
So, now what’s a waterhole?? A pool of water from which animals drink regularly is called a waterhole.
Examples of plants grown on oases Examples of animals kept by desert peoples
* Some vegetables * Cattle
* Dates * Sheep
* Figs * Goats
* Olives * Camels
People who live in permanent houses, and also the Nomads or nomadic peoples.
People who live and work on the move from place to place are called nomads or nomadic peoples.
It is because, in deserts, it’s so hot during the day. So, desert peoples often travel at night when it is cool, and rest during the daytime.
1) Sahara Desert 2) Arabian Desert 3) Syrian Desert 4) Gobi Desert
1) Sahara Desert – Bedouins 3) Syrian Desert – Bedouins
2) Arabian Desert – Bedouins 4) Gobi Desert – Mongol People
Arabian nomadic people are called Bedouins.
They live mainly on camel’s milk, cheese and also dates.
Bedouins’ tents are made from either goat or camel skins.
This is because to protect themselves from the heat, cold and wind-blown sand as well
Nomadic Mongols are herdsmen
Gers are round tents
They are made from thick felt (a type of thick fabric) stretched over a wooden frame.
This is because to avoid people crossing one country to another illegally. On the other hand, crossing one country to go to another without having permission which is against the law of that particular country.
Due to the great heat and in order to avoid it people in deserts have to dress up carefully.
Reason to wear it
|Long, flowing robes||To protect from the heat, cold and wind-blown sand|
|Loose fittings||To prevent a lot of sweat evaporation, so that the body does not dehydrate (Removal of water) so quickly|
|Headgears (clothing for the heads)||To protect the head from the hot sun|
|Blankets||To protect the face and keep the sand out of the mouth|
People who live in deserts wear light colours, because dark colours attract and absorb heat while light colours reflect heat.
These clothes are mostly made of either linen or cotton or any breathable fabric. Therefore, these materials allow air to reach the body so as to keep the body cool.
Type of home
Materials used to build it
|Mud-bricked homes (Permanent houses)||Sun dried mud bricks (Native American mud-bricked homes are called ‘Adobe homes’)|
|Portable homes like tents (Temporary houses)||Goat or camel skins, thick fabric, thickly woven goat’s hair|
Houses in deserts are painted white, because white reflects heat. So, inside the house is cool.
1) As a result, the heat or sunlight cannot directly and easily enter homes.
2) Since the rain is torrential (very heavy rains), desert houses need to be water proof.