Difference Between Nomadic and Sedentary

Nomadic vs Sedentary

Between Nomadic and Sedentary, a great difference can be observed in their lifestyles. From the beginning of time, the human being has evolved passing different stages such as the Stone Age, the Medieval era, etc. In each phase, certain differences have taken place in the manner of living of the human being. Nomadic and Sedentary can also be viewed as two such societies where the lifestyle of the human being greatly differ. Nomadic societies do not have permanent settlements but travel from one part to the other. Even today, there are people of some cultures who prefer a nomadic lifestyle to a sedentary lifestyle. A sedentary society is settled in one place permanently and does not move from place to another. In the modern world, this has become the mainstream way of life. Through this article let us identify the possible differences between nomadic and sedentary cultures.

What is Nomadic Lifestyle?

Nomadic people travel from one place to the other and do not make permanent settlements. These people can either belong to hunting and gathering societies or else to pastoral societies. Hunting and gathering communities travel to various places in search of food such as wild animals or else plants. In the case of pastoral societies, the need for travel mainly stems from owning livestock. These people possess large herds of sheep, goats, cattle, yaks, horses or even camels.

Nomadism as a lifestyle becomes mandatory, especially, if the land is infertile in the region due to ice, sand, etc. which makes it necessary for the people to travel in order to adapt to the circumstances. Nomads usually build small tents once they have found a possible place for settling temporarily. Nomads usually travel in groups. These groups are formed by the integration of families or even tribes. There are elders in the group, or else a chief in the case of a tribe, who take decisions for the entire group.

Difference Between Nomadic and Sedentary

What is Sedentary Lifestyle?

Sedentary lifestyle or else sedentism can be defined as a society or way of life where people are permanently settled in one place, without traveling from one place to the other. For sedentary societies, it is vital to find fertile land to settle down so that they can grow plants and also raise livestock. Their settlements are much more permanent and include houses, storage buildings, etc. They also need preservation methods and storage techniques, unlike the nomads.

Sedentary Societies were first to be seen near waterways such as rivers. This allowed them to begin cultivation of crops and also led to developing various methods and techniques which allowed them to better their chances at farming. However, sedentism has certain disadvantages such as the spread of infectious diseases, waste disposal problems in cultivation, and fertile land.

Nomadic vs Sedentary

What is the difference between Nomadic and Sedentary?

• Definition of Nomadic and Sedentary:

• Nomadic people travel from one place to the other and do not make permanent settlements.

• Sedentary lifestyle or else sedentism can be defined as a society or way of life where people are permanently settled in one place.

• Type of Society:

• Nomadism includes hunting and gathering societies.

• Sedentism includes cultivation.

• Fertility of Land:

• Nomads are not much worried about the fertility of the land as they travel.

• Fertility of land becomes a major problem for sedentary cultures.

• Waste disposal and diseases:

• Waste disposal and diseases can affect sedentary societies much greater than nomads.

• Settlements:

• Nomads do not build settlements such as houses and are satisfied with tents.

• Sedentism involves building houses, storage units, etc. which guarantees better shelter.


Images Courtesy:

  1. Nomadic people via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
  2. Farmers by Dennis Jarvis (CC BY-SA 2.0)
  • C Kane

    that just shows what kind of retards wrote the bibles. Cain was the agricultural man, Abel was the nomad. If you look at history, it’s always the nomadic tribes that attack the agricultural civilization. never the otherway around. idiots who wrote the bibles shouldve grown some more brain before making up shits.


      you are a stupid person. that is such a stereotype.