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Research Project by Christoph Lange

“Genealogies and Tribal Histories of Arabian horses – A Comparative Network Analysis of the Transcultural Milieu of Arab and Western breeders, traders and enthusiasts of the Arabian Horse. | Or: Breeding Arabian Horses. Circulation, Certification and Sta”

In the end of the 19th century Euro-American private breeders, traders and enthusiasts of the Arabian horse started establishing a global market through expanding importations of purebred Arabian horses from Egypt, Greater Syria and Northern Arabia to Europe und US. They founded local national and breeding programs and blood lines of so called authentic purebred Arabian horses. In recent years, new influential Arab elites have entered the global breeding industry, which by now has became highly capitalized and controlled by transnational associations. Under the guiding themes of a cultural re-appropriation and invention of a continuous Arab-Bedouin breeding tradition, these new Arab breeders had a huge impact on the global circulation of Arabian horses. The research project focuses on (I) How chains of translation and entanglement are negotiated, circulated and locally contextualized by breeding standards and distribution regimes; (II) therefore, the research tackles local controversies and fracture zones, created by commodification and industrialization processes of the Arabian horse breeding. (III) Finally, to explore the transformational processes and dynamics of translocally cooperating actors and elites, the project concentrates on discourses of authenticity, purity of blood and genealogical decent of Arabian horses and how they are expressed in specific local breeding and horsmanship practices, translated into the global market and retranslated back to recursively co-produce the latter.