Being Maasai, Becoming Indigenous: The Cultural Politics of Representation, Recognition, Resources, and Rights


ACLS Fellowship Program




This project explores the historical and contemporary cultural, political, social, and economic dynamics of the indigenous rights movement in Africa through a case-study of Maasai in Tanzania. How and why have Maasai become "indigenous"? What have been the achievements and costs of allying themselves with the transnational indigenous rights movement for their ongoing struggles for recognition, rights, and resources in Tanzania? What are the assumptions, objectives, ideas, practices, and experiences of different actors involved or affected by the movement, including its leaders, members, Euro-American activists, Tanzania officials, UN representatives, donors, and others?