Maasai People

Essay by ashpet14 July 2009

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‘Heartbreak on the Serengeti’ by Robert M. Poole is about the Maasai people and their land, which is being taking away can be related to a few theses that we have learned in class. The Maasai people have been kicked off the own land to create park for people to enjoy and not consider that the people are the ones who have been there and helped maintain it. The thesis which I found most fitting to analyze this article is ‘control of resources and landscape have been removed from the hands of local communities in the name of conservation and sustainability; that the state and global efforts to conserve the ‘environment’ have disabled local systems of livelihood, production and socio-political organizations, and conservation has been used as a mean of controlling in and around the area, which is the removal of local control to state control’ . Examples of these can be found through out the article.

The conservation and control thesis I felt was best suited for this article since it showed many similarities that the Maasai people seem to be dealing with. The fist is the control of resources and landscapes that have been removed from the locals to be conservation areas, is a strong concept shown in this article. When looking at the article it says that people were booted out of their land because they were seen as interfering with the animals that lived on that land. The Maasai’s land was made into national parks, the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater. The people that lived off hunting as a means for food now had to move and resort to farming as a means for food. Some of the Maasai tried to keep their land but their efforts got them no where and they were still forced...