Tuesday, April 2, 2019


Catwalk photo: Louis Vuitton (2012 Spring-Summer collection)

‘We understand we shall not be titled henceforth to cross the boundary of the new Serengeti National Park which we have habitually used in the past. We agree to move ourselves, our possessions, our cattle and all our other animals from this land by the advent of the next rains.’ – Colonial-era agreement expelling Maasais from the Serengeti

‘When I started researching this piece on the Maasai, I intended to write something akin to a love letter to this fascinating tribe. Alas, given the effects of modernization, this section has turned out to be more like a “Eulogy for a Culture”. Nonetheless, the contribution of the Maa people to the world cannot be gainsaid. They have bequeathed to us beautiful legends, myths, dances, fashions, and lessons on how to live in harmony with nature. They have inspired in us a spiritual fervour to protect our traditional ways of life, and see them as good – not retrogressive. As in the distant past, the Maasai community continues to earn “the admiration of strangers”… ‘

Discover the (possible) origins of East Africa’s most famous community, as well as their rise and fall, in ‘Changing the Literary Map of Africa’ (PDF), available here: http://tiny.cc/tsql4y

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