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Title: The Unchanged and Unrepresented Culture of Respect in Maasai Society
Authors: MEGURO, Toshio
Keywords: Maasai
Maasai Olympics
Issue Date: Oct-2019
Publisher: The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
Journal title: African Study Monographs
Volume: 40
Issue: 2-3
Start page: 93
End page: 108
Abstract: The changes in Maasai livelihood and nomadic lifestyle have been the focus of scholars, with more recent attention on ways the Maasai manipulate the discourse and images about themselves. The objective of this study is to clarify how the Maasai think about change in their traditional culture, using the Maasai Olympics, a conservation programme launched by an NGO as ‘an innovative conservation strategy.' So far the Maasai Olympics has succeeded in attracting global attention and funds. The sponsoring organisations and the various media have reported that the Maasai Olympics ‘innovate' the traditional culture of the Maasai under the cooperation and agreement with the local community. However, the author has found that such a narrative is inaccurate, and disregards the Maasai thinking that they have been maintaining their cultural core, namely, the sense of respect (enkanyit). While the Maasai have become aware of the politics of representation, the author argues that the globally dominant discourse of the Maasai Olympics is one that has been appropriated by the outsiders, and a misrepresented version of the Maasai traditional culture is being disseminated.
Rights: Copyright by The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University, October 1, 2019.
DOI: 10.14989/244852
Appears in Collections:Vol.40 No.2, 3

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