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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Risk and Uncertainty among the Maasai of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania: A Case Study in Economic Change
Author:McCabe, J. TerrenceISNI
Periodical:Nomadic Peoples
Geographic term:Tanzania
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://doi.org/10.3167/082279497782384730
Abstract:Since about 1990 the author has witnessed a major shift in the subsistence economy of the Maasai living in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) in northern Tanzania. During this period their economy has changed from one based exclusively on the raising of livestock to one which combines cultivation and livestock keeping. The author examines how changes in Maasai subsistence strategies can be viewed as a response to the failure of traditional risk handling strategies. He argues that the disarticulation of livestock and human populations which has led to a steady impoverishment of the people, combined with the incidence of livestock disease and restrictions on land use resulting from conservation policy has made the dependence on livestock as the sole source of the Maasai economy too risky. The Maasai responded to risk by altering their livestock management system; the failure of these adjustments led to a failure of risk aversion strategies which led to a state of uncertainty. In order to re-establish a sense of certainty in their economic system, the Maasai rapidly adopted cultivation. The author feels that the adoption of cultivation has contributed to the revitalization of the pastoral economy among the Maasai of the NCA. Bibliogr., notes, ref, sum. in French and Spanish.