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Maasai socio-economic conditions : cross-border comparison

Coast, Ernestina ORCID: 0000-0002-8703-307X (2002) Maasai socio-economic conditions : cross-border comparison. Human Ecology, 30 (1). pp. 79-105. ISSN 0300-7839

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Identification Number: 10.1023/A:1014567029853


A single round household survey was conducted between October 1997 and May 1998. Information was collected on 1545 Maasai households in Kenya and Tanzania using a standardized questionnaire. These data represent the first large-scale, cross-border comparable survey of socioeconomic indicators for the Maasai. The structure of the study is similar to that of a natural experiment: one ethnic group living in two very different nation-states. The survey results describe a current “snapshot” of Maasai livelihoods. Living arrangements are described at both the household (olmarei) and multihousehold (enkang) level, together with changes in housing type. The roles of cultivation, transhumant migration, and employment are described, including a consideration of the prevalence of murranism (warriorhood). The implications of rising levels of sedentarization and cash crop production for Maasai economic diversification are explored. Participation by Maasai in the tourism industry is extremely low despite the proximity of Maasai to major international tourist destinations in East Africa. Levels of formal education show a marked sex bias in completed primary school education in both countries, with far fewer women than men having attended school.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: Published 2002 © Springer. The original publication is available at LSE has developed LSE Research Online so that users may access research output of the School. Copyright © and Moral Rights for the papers on this site are retained by the individual authors and/or other copyright owners. Users may download and/or print one copy of any article(s) in LSE Research Online to facilitate their private study or for non-commercial research. You may not engage in further distribution of the material or use it for any profit-making activities or any commercial gain. You may freely distribute the URL ( of the LSE Research Online website.
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2006
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 00:03

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