Being Maasai
Title Details

336 Pages

21.6 x 13.8 cm

8 b/w. 34 line. Illustrations

Series: Eastern African Studies

Imprint: James Currey

Being Maasai

Ethnicity and Identity in East Africa

Edited by Thomas Spear

by Richard Waller

  • Description
  • Reviews
A multi-disciplinary approach to studying ethnicity in Africa.
Many of the people who identify themselves as Maasai, or who speak the Maa language, are not pastoralist at all, but framers and hunters. Over time many people have 'become' something else, adn what it means to be Maasai has changed radically over the past several centuries and is still changing today.
This collection by historians, archaeologists, anthropologists and linguists examines how Maasai identity has been created, evoked, contested and transformed.

North America: Ohio U Press; Tanzania: Mkuki na Nyota; Kenya: EAEP
"Being Maasai is probably the most accomplished and certainly the most comprehensive volume produced thus far among the many recent historical studies of ethnicity in Africa. It is an unusually well-integrated and tightly organized collection, with consistently high quality in its many chapters; there is no stray or weak paper among them. It works, in effect, as a hybrid textbook...The study will likely become a benchmark for future studies of African ethnicities in general and East African pastoralists in particular. The book contains a formidable body of scholarship... -" Bill Bravman, JOURNAL OF AFRICAN HISTORY
"This is an outstanding book. The editors have achieved a superb feat of structure and integration, so that the volume reads as a close-knitwhole. ...Anyone working in, or on, East Africa should read this book, and anyone interested in interdisciplinary work will find here a model of interdisciplinary scholarship of the highest standard. -" Katherine Homewood, HISTORY
"... at once the most important historical study of the Maasai yet published and a significant contribution to the growing volume of literature on ethnicity and identity in Africa. Spear and Waller have made admirable efforts to make this work accessible. The chapters based on archaeological and linguistic research are free of jargon and clearly reveal their methodology. Moreover, in the era of the African book famine, complicated publication arrangements ensure that this volume will be available not only to European and North American scholars and students but to readers in East Africa as well. - Charles Ambler in AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW ...the book is a triumphant unity. Prehistory, linguistics, history and social anthropology are used to complement each other and produce that rarity, a real interdisciplinary study written in accessible prose. -" Paul Baxter, BULLETIN OF TANZANIAN AFFAIRS
"In all, the result is a thoughtful and highly stimulating collection of papers, representing the most complete statement on Maasai history yet published. There is not a weak essay here - a rare accomplishment in any multi-authored work - and several pieces are substantive summaries of previously scattered inaccessible literatures. -" David Anderson, AFRICAN AFFAIRS

Paperback

9780852552155

January 1993

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9781782049814

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9780821445686

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Title Details

336 Pages

2.16 x 1.38 cm

8 b/w. 34 line. Illustrations

Series: Eastern African Studies

Imprint: James Currey