Thursday, 26 June 2014

Nomads are not only destroyers but also protectors of cultures by Shun T

The nomads were regarded as evil and stupid tribes for a long time. There were many nomads who have conquered the world. The Hun, the Mongol, the HsiungNu(匈奴), and the Turks are the principal examples of them. Of course they have attacked many areas in Eurasia, conquered pastoral people, and some groups destroyed their cities. So Russians especially have called them “Tartaros”, which means god of hell because of their conquered memory. It is a fact that nomads have controlled most part of the world for a long time. But many cultures have been assimilated and developed under nomads’ regimes. They are not only civilization destroyers but also protectors and creators of culture. Prejudice against nomads is wrong. We should know nomads more.
              First of all, nomadic regime have maintained and protected trade routes. And they encouraged tradespeople to trade freely in conquered area. For this, official and private trades have been developed among the many cities under their government. For example, Mongol government maintained the Silk Road in 13th. They protected caravans under their cavalry and set up Jamuka(駅伝制:ジャムカJamuka), which is the relay system that has many stations having relay horses.
              Second, nomadic hegemony lasted for a long time. For instance, the Ottoman Empire, which consisted of Turkish people, ruled the main part of West Asia and east Europe from the 14th century until the 19th century. The reasons why their regime lasted for a long time were, that they had powerful forces and adopted intelligentsia in conquered lands. They create hybrid nations by nomadic power and pastoral knowledge.
             Finally, nomadic governments didn’t convert conquered people to any religion unlike Christianity. Nomadic governments only ruled people who were conquered and collected taxes from them. Moreover, their Khans (medieval ruler of the Turks and the Mongol) converted themselves to religions in the conquered lands, for example, Islam and Buddhism. Religions like Islam and Buddhism were protected by the Mongol or the Ottoman government and many religious cultures were developed under the nomadic regimes.
             I think Prejudice against Nomads should be revalued. We tend to think nomads are terrible, evil, and stupid tribes. But looking back the history, we may reconsider the evaluation of nomads. They have governed extensive area and adopted local intelligentsias to rule. Moreover they didn’t prohibit local people to believe in their own religions, so many religious cultures developed in under their government. Nomads are not inferior and brutal people.

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