Transhumance in the Alps

Transhumance in the Alps

The traditional economy of the Alps throughout history has been based upon rearing cattle involving seasonal migration between valley and high pastures (German " _de. Almwirtschaft, Alpwirtschaft" from the term for "seasonal mountain pasture", " _de. Alm, Alp").

That practice has shaped a lot of landscape in the Alps, as without it, most areas below 2000 m would be forests. While tourism and industry contribute today much to Alpine economy, seasonal migration to high pastures is still practiced in Bavaria, Austria, Italy and Switzerland, except in their most frequented tourist centers. In some places, cattle are taken care of by local farmer families who move to higher places. In others, this job is for herdsmen who are employees of the cooperative owning the pastures.

Transhumance contributes a lot to traditional Alpine culture, such as Yodel, Alphorn or Schwingen.

Some people spent the winters isolated in the high pastures.In Johanna Spyri's novel "Heidi", the "Alm-Öhi" ("high-pasture grandfather") is such a person, despising and despised by the villagers.


German "Alm" "seasonal mountain pasture" is a reduced form of "Alben", the original dative singular of "Albe". In Alemannic German, "Alp" remains current. The word is originally identical to the name of the "Alps" itself, probably a pre-Roman (and possibly pre-Indo-European) term for "mountain".

There is evidence of transhumance economy in the Alps dating to the 5th millennium BC (Neolithic Europe).Fact|date=September 2007 [ AINSA] research found evidence for transhumance in the Northern Limestone Alps dating to the Late Bronze Age Halstatt culture (17th to 10th centuries BC), with pastures above the treeline at 1500 to 2100 m.


In 1997, Austria had over 12,000 sites where 70,000 farmers take care of about 500,000 cattle. Alpine pastures amount to a quarter of the farmland.

Bavaria had 1,384 sites hosting 48,000 cattle, about half of them in Upper Bavaria and the other half in the Allgäu.

In Switzerland, about 380,000 cattle including 130,000 milk cows as well as 200,000 sheep are in summer on high pastures. Milk from cows here is usually made into local cheese specialities, handmade using traditional methods and tools. Alpine pastures amount to 35 percent of Swiss farmland.

ee also

*History of the Alps
*Valleys of the Alps
*Animal husbandry
*Swiss folklore
*pre-Christian Alpine traditions

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

См. также в других словарях:

  • History of the Alps — The valleys of the Alps have been inhabited since prehistoric times. Alpine culture centers around transhumance.Early historyThe Wildkirchli caves in the Appenzell Alps show traces of Neanderthal habitation. During the last glacial maximum, the… …   Wikipedia

  • Transhumance — is a term with two accepted usages: * Older sources use transhumance for vertical seasonal livestock movement, typically to higher pastures in summer and to lower valleys in winter. Herders have a permanent home, typically in valleys. Only herds… …   Wikipedia

  • Swiss Alps — Satellite image of Switzerland in October 2002. On the north side of the Alps, the regions located above 2000 m are covered by snow. The canton of Ticino (on the south side) is almost snow free in early autumn. The Swiss Alps (German: Schweizer… …   Wikipedia

  • Pre-Christian Alpine traditions — The central and eastern Alps of Europe are rich in traditions dating back to pre Christian (pagan) times, with surviving elements amalgamated from Germanic, Gaulish (Gallo Roman) and Raetian culture.urvival through the agesAncient customs… …   Wikipedia

  • Culture of Austria — Austrian culture has largely been influenced by its past and present neighbors: Italy, Poland, Germany, Hungary and Bohemia. Contents 1 The arts 1.1 Music 1.1.1 Classical music First Viennese …   Wikipedia

  • Swiss folklore — is used to describe a collection of local stories, celebrations and customs of the alpine and sub alpine peoples that occupy Switzerland. The country of Switzerland is made up of several distinct cultures including German, French, Italian as well …   Wikipedia

  • Dolpo — Yak caravan near Saldang in the northern part of Dolpo. Dolpo (Tibetan: དོལ་པོ ) is a high altitude culturally Tibetan region in the upper part of the Dolpa District of western Nepal, bordered in the north by the Tibet Autonomous Region of Chin …   Wikipedia

  • Культура Австрии — Культуру на территории сегодняшней Австрии можно проследить начиная с около 1050 г до н. э. с Гальштатской и Латенской культур. Однако, культура Австр …   Википедия

  • Switzerland — /swit seuhr leuhnd/, n. a republic in central Europe. 7,248,984; 15,944 sq. mi. (41,294 sq. km). Cap.: Bern. French, Suisse. German, Schweiz. Italian, Svizzera. Latin, Helvetia. * * * Switzerland Introduction Switzerland Background: Switzerland s …   Universalium

  • Durance — For the commune in the Lot et Garonne departement, see Durance, Lot et Garonne. Durance Mirabeau Bridge over the Durance. Origin Cottian Alps Mou …   Wikipedia

Поделиться ссылкой на выделенное

Прямая ссылка:
Нажмите правой клавишей мыши и выберите «Копировать ссылку»