Summary of the Indigenous Struggles of the Maasai People

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The Maasai land is geographically located in Southern Kenya and Northern Tanzania. This area is otherwise known as the Great Rift Valley. The Maasai consider, “the valley” to be their native grounds and refer to it as “The Cradle of Mankind”. However, the government has begun to view this land as valuable and has reduced the Maasai land by a great deal, primarily taking the best land and leaving the dry, arid parts in which the Maasai have little use. The Maasai people are almost completely dependent on their land as they are a semi-nomadic culture. Hearding livestock such as cattle, goats and sheep is one of their greatest occupations and they rely upon the planes and feeding grounds of the great rift valley to do so. They also rely upon the scarce water source of the valley for the hydration of their cattle. The Maasai people originated in Northern Kenya and migrated south along the Nile Valley around the mid fifteenth century. They then found themselves in the Great Rift Valley, at which time they pronounced the land sacred to their culture. Though the government did not fully remove the Maasai of their native land, they have reduced their land occupation by a great deal. Though the Maasai people live of the land, like most indigenous cultures, the do not farm or grow crops, as it is against their belief system to break soil. The indigenous struggles of the Maasai people and their history of conflict is quite similar to the struggles faced by Canada’s Natives. During the nineteenth century Africa saw increasing western encroachment into Kenya. This took the form of missionaries and explorers. The missionaries were keen to convert tribes to Christianity, stop slave trading and abolish some of the Maasai practices which they perceived as barbaric (such as dressing almost naked, and drinking cows

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