The Masai in the Nineteenth Centery: A Re-evaluation of a People and Their History, 1830-1895
Atkinson, Ronald Raymond, 1944-
MetadataShow full item record
The Masai are surely one of the most distinctive and fascinating people in East Africa. Contact with them and their rugged and beautiful country on a rather brief and thus necessarily superficial level while on a work-camp project at Narok, Kenya, convinced me this was so. It was this conviction that served as my initial rationale for selecting them as my general thesis topic. Then a very good and stimulating paper on "Kikuyu and Masai Responses to the Establishment of British Administration in the East Africa Protectorate" given by G. H. Mungeam at University College Nairobi further channeled my interests. I determined to view these early years of Masai contact with European administration, as they were surprising years with the nature of contact of Masai with outsider being manifested in strange and unexpected (to the outsider) ways. I wanted to see if, by studying these years of contact, it was possible to describe this seemingly strange response of the Masai to European rule in a seemingly more reasonable fashion than usually done. Once I began to delve into the literature of Masai sociopolitical organization and history it became clear that to understand the Masai response to administration one must surely take into consideration the earlier years of Masai history, the earlier contacts they had had with other outsiders. Thus the emphasis of my study shifted to the earlier years of the nineteenth century.