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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Pauperization of the Maasai in Kenya
Author:Hillman, Eugene
Periodical:Africa Today
Period:4th Quarter
Geographic term:Kenya
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Politics and Government
Ethnic and Race Relations
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/4187017
Abstract:Since the advent of colonialism in East Africa, the Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania have been progressively dispossessed of their communally held land. Most of it, and the best of it, has already been expropriated for the benefit of others. The major beneficiaries are the absentee owners of large cash-crop plantations and commercial ranches. The alienation of the remaining Maasai lands is still going on in the 1990s. As their rangelands decreased over the years, these pastoral peoples continued to increase in numbers, while the size of herds declined. At the same time, it hardly seems possible to sustain the majority of people in Maasailand on the basis of a predominantly crop production economy given the uncertainty of yields as a result of the meagre and always erratic patterns of rainfall. Pauperization is taking place of a majority for the sake of enriching a minority in the name of national development. Outmigration from Maasailand may be a solution for some of the impoverished Maasai, but only for the very few who have had the rare opportunity of decent elementary schooling. The gradual disintegration of the Maasai ethnocultural world is predictable. Ref.