Reintegration

By Allen F. Roberts
University of California, Los Angeles (formerly University of Iowa)

Maasai peoples, Kenya, warriors and girlfriends (faces obscured by request). Photo by Donna K. Pido.

Life in a manyala cattle camp among Maasai people is spartan but idyllic, with frequent opportunities for sport and entertainment. All activities are shared, and belongings held in common. Milk from one's own cows is given to a fellow Moran of one’s age grade, who offers his in return. Moran solidarity provides social cohesion today, as Maasai struggle to maintain their cultural identity in radically changing times (Fedders 1973; Hodgson 2011). As a gauge of contemporary cultural politics, note that the faces of those portrayed in this and the previous photograph have been obscured to respect Maasai wishes of anonymity when their images have so often been exoticized over the years for interests other than their own.