To nineteenth-century Europeans, they were the "noblest savages," an elite corps of painted and feathered warriors, strangely aristocratic in their disdain of other people's civilization.
For the Maasai, nothing has proved an inducement to change during the last 100 years: not peace for war; money for cattle; nor cities and settlement for the plains and open boundaries of their land covering much of southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. This isolation, their land, their traditions, codes and values have all been defended in a long, mostly passive war of resistance carried out by a society structured as a standing army.
Now the old tribal conflicts are no longer acceptable in the new nation states. No land can be left fallow and unproductive and the Maasai cattle are counted in the national herds. Change has not been forced on the Maasai. But they are on the final retreat to the point of individual choice: either across the line of time and cultural advance or all the way back to the reservations - to whatever land is left to them.
In this superb, full-color portrait, photographers Mohamed Amin and Duncan Willetts have produced a comprehensive pictorial record, and John Eames the narrative background, to these remarkable people.
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Book Description Camerapix, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P11190472213X