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Maasai in Mto Wa Mbu, Tanzania

The Effects of Tourism & Investment

Maasai in Mto Wa Mbu, Tanzania

By Bonnie Bates.  The Maasai stand out wherever they go, striking in their height, beauty and colourful attire. A nomadic people of the open plains of northern Tanzania and southern Kenya, their traditional way of life – herding, living in small communities, agriculture – is facing a serious threat from tourism and land privatization. Tanzania recently allowed huge amounts of Maasai land to be bought by foreign corporations for hunting and agriculture, displacing of thousands of Maasai. This has forced many Maasai to earn incomes in tourism, in fabricated “Maasai villages” or as the “token Maasai” of hotels along the Swahili Coast and Zanzibar, selling their iconic image to eager tourists. How long before this beautiful culture is lost?

About Bonnie Bates (13 Articles)
Currently working towards a Masters in History and African Studies at Carleton University, my areas of interest include North African and Saharan history, gender, identity, culture, politics and language.

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