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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Becoming Indigenous Peoples: Difference, Inequality, and the Globalization of East African Identity Politics
Author:Igoe, JimISNI
Periodical:African Affairs: The Journal of the Royal African Society
Geographic term:Tanzania
Subjects:indigenous peoples
ethnic identity
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Ethnic and Race Relations
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3876809
Abstract:Although the term 'indigenous' implies a state preceding that which is foreign or acquired, indigenous movements in Africa are a recent phenomenon. Drawing from the author's research of the Tanzanian indigenous peoples' movement in the 1990s, this article argues that indigenous identity in Tanzania does not represent miraculously preserved precolonial traditions or even a special sort of marginalization. Rather, it reflects the convergence of existing identity categories with shifting global structures of development and governance. Specifically, it reflects a combination of 'cultural distinctiveness' and effective strategies of extraversion in the context of economic and political liberalization. The Maasai, who are 'culturally distinct', and who have a long tradition of enrolling outsiders in their cause, naturally dominate this movement. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]