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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Ha(l)ving Land in Common: The Subdivision of Maasai Group Ranches in Kenya
Author:Galaty, John G.ISNI
Periodical:Nomadic Peoples
Geographic term:Kenya
customary law
land law
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/43124076
Abstract:Throughout the world, customary rights in land are being replaced by formal systems of tenure, often devised to stimulate change in forms of agrarian production. To avoid the inequities and fragmentation that accompany privatization, some tenurial models have been developed that would confer land rights on a community, whose members would bear responsibility for managing and husbanding its resources. This paper explores the legal, institutional and social conditions under which a particular system of common holdings becomes vulnerable to enclosure and individualization: Group Ranches in Kenya. Group Ranches, as founded in the Masai districts of Kenya from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s, exercised three functions: land holding, resource management and community organization. Based on freehold title, it was thought that Group Ranches would provide security of tenure, and this would lead to increased investment in the land and greater range productivity. The paper argues that the Group Programme implemented in the Masai districts fulfilled none of the institutional requisites that would have increased its chances of success. Security of tenure was undermined since membership was not limited, share rights of members were not protected and exclusion of nonmembers was not accomplished. Bibliogr.