Being Maasai, Becoming Indigenous: Postcolonial Politics in by Dorothy L. Hodgson

By Dorothy L. Hodgson

What occurs to marginalized teams from Africa once they best friend with the indigenous peoples' flow? Who claims to be indigenous and why? Dorothy L. Hodgson explores how indigenous id, either in inspiration and in perform, performs out within the context of financial liberalization, transnational capitalism, nation restructuring, and political democratization. Hodgson brings her lengthy event with Maasai to her realizing of the transferring contours in their modern struggles for popularity, illustration, rights, and assets. Being Maasai, turning into Indigenous is a deep and delicate mirrored image at the probabilities and bounds of transnational advocacy and the dilemmas of political motion, civil society, and alter in Maasai groups.

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Extra info for Being Maasai, Becoming Indigenous: Postcolonial Politics in a Neoliberal World

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Most of these interviews were in Swahili, although a few were in English or Maa. 20 Being Maasai, Becoming Indigenous I then traced the links—of funding, ideas, people, affiliations, and so forth—of these major nodes—the key actors and sites—with more “minor nodes”: the other groups, institutions, people, places, and so forth. I selected certain minor nodes for more in-depth ethnographic study (participant observation, interviews, document reviews, project visits). One set of minor nodes was the array of Maasai NGOs and CBOs—from well-established organizations to foundlings—working in all of the pastoralist districts.

We are now participants—mostly uninvited—in the production of identities, or in the legitimation of identities being produced by others. To the degree that these movements represent an attempt to create new meanings and identities—which in turn have the potential to produce new configurations of power—such a role cannot remain unacknowledged. (1999b:180–81) In other words, given the centrality of particular claims about culture and history to assertions of indigenous identity, how do the proponents and opponents of indigenous movements use the theories and findings of anthropology to assert or contest certain claims?

11 The emergence of transnational indigenous rights coalitions and networks has enabled indigenous peoples to better assert and lobby for their own interests and demands in these deliberations. Of course, state institutions, transnational organizations, and NGOs engage in positionings as well. During the past few decades, there have been radical changes in the priorities and practices of multilateral institutions and other development donors. As part of the neoliberal “reforms” of the 1990s, most shifted resources away from nation-states in favor of “local” NGOs and 8 Being Maasai, Becoming Indigenous community-based organizations that were presumed to be more effective in reaching the “grassroots” (Bebbington and Riddell 1997; Edwards and Hulme 1992, 1995; Fowler 1995).

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