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Download PDF by Lotte Hughes (auth.): Moving the Maasai: A Colonial Misadventure

By Lotte Hughes (auth.)

ISBN-10: 023024663X

ISBN-13: 9780230246638

ISBN-10: 1349545481

ISBN-13: 9781349545483

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Extra info for Moving the Maasai: A Colonial Misadventure

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A few women are becoming more influential politically. 32 The fluidity of ethnicity in Africa is implicit throughout this book. 33 But when describing informants’ origins, I shall use their preferred terms; for example, the Il-Laikipiak (more properly Il-Aikipiak) is an extinct section said to have been wiped out by a combined force of Purko-Kisongo warriors in the mid-1870s, yet many individuals continue to claim that Introduction 15 they are Ol-Aikipiani. There is growing Laikipiak nationalist sentiment in this community on Laikipia today.

Colonial conquest had its advantages, then, but it put an end to Maasai domination of a space whose epicentre was the central northern Rift Valley. These early alliances turned sour as settlers rode in on the back of the railway, and demanded their share of the Rift. The Maasai were assumed to represent a threat to the railway, lines of communication and European settlement around ‘the iron road’. Also the vast cost of building the railway had to be recouped somehow. Official priorities shifted away from the protection of ‘natives’ to the promotion of commercial agriculture by Europeans on either side of the line.

An exhaustive appraisal of the Eliot affair is not appropriate here. But from the bulky correspondence – published as Cd. 2099 – it is clear Eliot was at least no hypocrite, was consistent in his dealings, and had grounds to believe there was something suspect about London’s rubberstamping of the Syndicate lease. 33 Also, its property manager in BEA, J. K. Hill, happened to be Sir Clement’s nephew John; though Sir Clement was not listed as a shareholder, he may well have been a beneficiary. The grant was certainly less defensible than smaller ones to individual settlers, both in terms of official obligations to pump in capital and develop the land, and flagrant abuse of Maasai grazing and watering rights.

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Moving the Maasai: A Colonial Misadventure by Lotte Hughes (auth.)


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