Cattle, Capitalism, and Class: Ilparakuyo Maasai Transformations

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Temple University Press, 1992 - Social Science - 247 pages
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Focusing on the Ilparakuyo Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania, Peter Rigby discusses why third world development policies with regard to pastoral societies are inappropriate and likely to fail. A political economy of development, Rigby maintains, must incorporate historical, cultural, linguistic, and even aesthetic dimensions of the peoples involved. Using ethnography and other research materials, and basing his understanding on his years of living with the people he writes about, the author illuminates the culture and explores the prospects for a distinct section of pastoral Maasai--the Ilparakuyo. In addition, he attempts to develop a historical materialist theory of language in relation to a specific East African culture. While rural development is a priority in many recently independent third world countries, it is often not designed for the benefit of the producer. Rigby analyzes the language and customs of the Maasai to chronicle the changes forces upon them by both colonial and post-colonial governments, and the complexity of their responses to these challenges. The cultures, languages, and aspirations of such pastoral societies are often overlooked by development planners. Rigby describes how government expectations should be based on an understanding and respect of such social conditions. Author note: Peter Rigby is Professor of Anthropology at Temple University.
 

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Contents

Selffulfilling Prophecy
17
Photographs
32
Class Formation in Historical Perspective
35
Ideology Religion and Capitalist Penetration
59
Pastoralism Egalitarianism and the State
83
Some Ilparakuyo Views of Peripheral Capitalism
98
Katau ole Koisenge the authors younger brother frontispiece
107
Lesinka and Siparo ilmurran warriors with Toretos motorcycle
113
Kaisuse and Kone ole Kipalisi ilmurran warriors with Koisenges
120
The Dynamics of Contemporary Class Formation
132
Appendix
197
Bibliography
215
Index
235
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About the author (1992)

Peter Rigby is formerly of the Moi University, Kenya.

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