Name ID 359
Ofcansky, Thomas P and Yeager, Rodger Historical Dictionary of Tanzania
Page Number: xvii
Extract Date: 1700-1850
Pastoral Maasai peoples expand into northern Tanganyika and dominate large areas of the eastern Rift Valley, highlands and plains.
Gibb's Farm Gibb's Farm Brochure
Page Number: 2
The area round Karatu was cultivated as early as 2,000 years ago by the Mbulu or Iraqw, a Kushitic group of people who migrated south from Ethiopia and the Yemen, and who still dominate the area today. The Maasai came fairly recently, in the early 1800’s, but were driven into other areas, more suitable for cattle herding, by repeated wars with their agricultural neighbours, and by sleeping sickness in their herds.
Fosbrooke, Henry Arusha Integrated Regional Development Plan
Page Number: 7c
Extract Date: 1810
Paper 1 Land Tenure and Land Use
In the Maasai (Monduli, Kiteto, Loliondo) area the dominant people are of course the Maasai. They penetrated into this area from the North, commencing at the beginning about 1810 and spreading slowly southwards over the next 50 years. They are divided into numerous sub-tribes of which the Kisonko form the largest part of the Tanzanian Maasai. Several of the Kenyan sections, mainly Purku, Loitai and Latayok have spread into Tanzania, mainly in the Loliondo area.
Hanby, Jeannette & Bygott, David Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Page Number: 12
Extract Date: 1840
about 150 years ago the Datago were defeated by the Maasai in the Ngorongoro Crater. The massive fig trees northwest of Lerai Forest ... are sacred to the Maasai and Datoga people. Some of them may have been planted on the grave of a Datago leader who died in battle with the Maasai around 1840.
'They (the Masai) are dreaded as warriors, laying all to waste with fire and sword, so that the weaker tribes do not venture to resist them in the open field, but leave them in possession of their herds, and seek only to save themselves by the quickest possible flight.'
Fosbrooke, Henry Arusha Integrated Regional Development Plan
Page Number: 5
Paper 1 Land Tenure and Land Use
In Arusha/Arumeru the dominant groups are the Arusha and the Meru. The MERU, a Bantu speaking people came first, about three hundred years ago, arriving from the Usambara area together with the first Macheme Chagga, whose Bantu language is very closely allied to Meru. They settled in the forest on the south eastern slopes of Mount Meru (still their homeland) which was at that time only inhabited by the Koningo, a hunter/gatherer people of small stature. The Meru are skilled agriculturists who have utilized their favourable environment over the centuries without depleting its fertility.
The Arusha were the next arrivals. In their original home, Arusha Chine, they were of Pare origin. About 1830 they were encouraged by the Maasai to settle in the Selian area, west of the present Arusha town. They absorbed earlier Maasai speaking people, became Maasai speakers themselves and received a big influx of the Maasai in the 1880's when many lost their cattle in the rinderpest epidemic. The Arusha, like the Meru, have as agriculturists made the most of a favourable environment, but their mode of life is more heavily orientated towards cattle, most understandable considering the Maasai elements in their origins.
Maasai, East African nomadic people speaking the Maasai Sudanic language. The Maasai traditionally herded their cattle freely across the highlands of Kenya. Probably at the height of their power in the mid-19th century, they suffered from the British colonization of Africa and the resultant ecological and political changes. Rinderpest, an infectious febrile disease, apparently accompanied the British, decimating the cattle herds that supplied the Maasai with milk and blood; famine and then smallpox followed.
Koponen, Juhani Population: A Dependent Variable
Extract Date: 1890's
The catastrophes of the 1890s began with the great Rinderpest panzootic in 1890. Spreading southward from the Horn of Africa, Rinderpest swept over the country like bushfire, killing cattle and game. The estimate first put forward by the German lieutenant, who said that 90 per cent of Tanganyika’s cattle and half of its wild animals perished from Rinderpest, may well be roughly accurate.
Famine and Smallpox followed [the Rinderpest], especially among peoples who depended on cattle. While the endemicity of Smallpox was no doubt maintained by caravan traffic, which had grown up with the establishment of colonialism, another factor also involved in the Smallpox epidemics of the 1890s was the increased mobility of people who were searching for food and security. The pastoral Maasai, of whom perhaps two-thirds died, suffered the worst. Northwestern Tanzania was also hit by Smallpox, particularly Karagwe. In the mid-1890s German doctors claimed that ‘every second’ African had a pock-marked face.
Russell, Mary The Blessings of a Good Thick Skirt: Women Travellers and their World
Page Number: 214
Extract Date: 1891
When, in 1891, the American May French Sheldon set out on her remarkable journey to Africa she disclaimed any scientific knowledge and said she was going 'simply to study the native habits and customs free from the influence of civilization'. This, however, was not good enough. The Spectator noted that since the journey had no scientific end it was motivated by a 'merely feminine curiosity . . . hardly a useful and laudable one'. Poor May! Even when she revealed that she had disciplined her recalcitrant porters by whipping them, the editor was unbelieving. Surely she wasn't strong enough to have punished the porters herself, personally? It was Catch 22. To have whipped the men herself would have been spirited but, regrettably, unladylike.
A book review in the same issue gives us an idea of the ideal woman. The heroine was '. . . graceful . . . pretty. . . sweet. . . and wholesome' and unlikely to have gone round whipping men, even if they were servants. There was also the fact that May was American and probably one of these New Women, for had she not left her husband in Naples while she went off on her own, jaunting through Africa?
'The horror,' continued the Spectator, 'is that the Lady Errant is not unlikely to encourage still further the feminine spirit of unrest and the uneasy jealousy that is forever driving the fair sex into proving itself the equal of the other. Isabella Bird Bishop has already shown what a woman is capable of in the way of pluck and courage.' Isabella by then was protected by the sober cloak of widowhood, was engaged in setting up a hospital in Srinagar and, best of all, was British.
But we should stay with May a little longer to learn what exactly the results of this 'feminine curiosity' were. Entertained by the Sultan of Zanzibar, she learned that his great regret was to have only three daughters and no sons. And he, in turn, discovering that she had no children, found it hard to believe that her husband did not have a few other wives hidden away who would provide him with the necessary family.
When travelling among the Maasai, she carefully noted the current market prices - five large beads for a wife but ten for a cow. In a playful moment, she showed a local chief how to cut a segment of orange peel into a set of teeth. Delighted, he withdrew and returned, bloody but smiling, to present her with one of his own teeth, just extracted, with a hole already bored through it so that she could string it round her neck.
May French Sheldon was a flamboyant dresser, suiting her garments to the occasion, for clothes are an important ingredient in the woman traveller's make-up, serving the dual purpose of helping her maintain her identity while at the same time giving out a clear message to those she meets along the way.
Oscar Baumann’s book, Durch Masailand, gives a chilling picture of the destructions caused by the Rinderpest among the pastoral people. Baumann travelled through the territory in 1891 when the impact of the plague was in clear evidence.
From the old Masai settlement in the Ngorongoro Crater, Baumann wrote[in 1894]:
'Large numbers of the woeful creatures who now populate Masailand congregated around the thorn fence of our camp. There were skeleton like women with the madness of starvation in their sunken eyes, children looking more like frogs than human beings, ‘warriors’ who could hardly crawl on all fours, and apathetic, languishing elders. ... They were refugees from the Serengeti, where the famine had depopulated entire districts, and came as beggars to their tribesmen at Mutyek who had barely enough to feed themselves. Swarms of vultures followed them from high, awaiting their certain victims. Such affliction was from now on daily before our eyes...'
Douglas-Hamilton, Iain and Oria Among the Elephants
Extract Date: 1900
based on copies of old German maps, Mto-wa-Mbu was tribal no-man's land between the warring Maasai and Wambulu at the turn of the century, and nowhere were there any settlements to be found.
Latham, Gwynneth and Latham, Michael Kilimanjaro Tales
Extract Author: Gwynneth Latham
Page Number: 190
Extract Date: 1900~
Many Afrikaners (Dutch Boers) were exciled after the Boer War for refusing to take the oath of allegiance to the British Government in South Africa. By ox-wagon they had trekked up to Tanganyika, then German East Africa, where they were received with open arms by the wily Huns, who gave them land at Arusha.
This was not as a benevolent gesture, but so that they could be used as a buffer against the savage, marauding Masai warriors. They suffered sorely at the time, but after the Germans had tamed the Masai, by force and worse, the exiles were left in peace and found that they had been alloted the most fertile land in the country.
From Arusha and Moshi, with their lovely climates and beautiful permanent streams, came the best coffee, fruit, vegetables, the later mostly grown for their seed which was exported to wholesalers in South Africa.
Turner, Myles My Serengeti Years
Page Number: 032
Extract Date: 1901
In 1901, A large raiding party of Masai attacked a group of thirty German askaris in the Ikoma area. [the Ikoma Fort is situated on top of the most easterly of a series of low hills called Nyabuta, about one mile north of the Grumeti River] The battle went on all day until evening, when the German troops withdrew into the Fort boma. That night the Masai attacked again but were driven off.
The weakened Maasai attacked rather than cooperated with the new rulers. In 1904 and 1912-13 the British government relocated the Maasai population to distant southern Kenya and Tanzania, where they now live.
Read, David and Chapman, Pamela Waters of the Sanjan
Page Number: front cover
Extract Date: 1930's
Cole, Sonia Leakey's Luck
Page Number: 112-113
Extract Date: 1935
After this brief reconnaissance [to Laetoli] they returned to Olduvai to find that the pool which they had been using for their water had turned to mud and become the property of a resident Rhino, who used it for his daily ablutions. Worse still, in order to keep the wallow moist he urinated into it freely. More inviting water supplies were available both at the spring at Olmoti and at Ngorongoro, but petrol was too short to be used for this purpose. They tried to collect rain water off the roofs of the tents, forgetting that the canvas had been impregnated with insecticide; there were dire results, and all the party were violently ill after drinking the water. By this time they were also running short of food. Sam White and Peter Bell were due to return to England, and the lorry taking them back to Nairobi was to bring much needed supplies to the garrison at Olduvai; but it never returned.
For the next fortnight Louis and Mary's diet consisted almost entirely of rice and sardines. An even greater hardship was the lack of cigarettes, and they had to resort to picking up fag ends scattered round the camp. When the lorry failed to appear after two weeks they set out to look for it. At one point they had to turn back as the road was in such a terrible state, and they spent the rest of the day helping to extract Indian traders' lorries from the mud. Their reward was a little flour and sugar, but they were still very hungry. Next their own car overturned in a gully, and they spent a whole day trying to extricate it with a plate and some spoons. (The lack of proper tools seems curiously uncharacteristic of Louis, who was usually so efficient.) Watching their efforts was a crowd of supercilious Masai warriors who considered it beneath their dignity to do any manual labour. It was just as well that Louis did not try to press them: almost at that very moment the District Commissioner at Narok was being murdered by Masai for ordering them to help with road work. Louis and the Masai treated each other with mutual respect, and many of them had cause to be grateful for the treatment they received at the clinics he ran at Olduvai.
The lorry turned up just in time to pull the car back on to the road - its delay had been caused by clutch trouble. (By a curious coincidence the man who mended the clutch at the Motor Mart in Nairobi became Mary's nearest neighbour at Olduvai thirty-five years later: he is George Dove, a 'character' with magnificent waxed moustachios who ran a delightful little tourist lodge at Ndutu, some thirty miles from Olduvai, in the early 1970's.) The car itself was in far worse condition than the lorry had been, with the whole of the bodywork damaged, but amazingly it was still able to run. Louis and Mary returned to Olduvai to pack up before setting off for their next target, a place called Engaruka.
Crile, Grace Skyways to a Jungle Laboratory: An African Adventure
Page Number: 190
Extract Date: 4 January 1936
THE Government Hospital at Arusha is a pretty, Spanish type of building. A large coffee plantation is on one side, and opposite is old Meru. As I waited outside this morning, many natives passed, mostly Masai women in their old skins. Like the giraffe and the camel, one is aware of them twenty feet or more away. Most of the women carried babies, as well as heavy loads, upon their backs or heads. The babies were tied onto their mothers in many and intricate ways-over their hips, on their backs, around their stomachs-and, as if they were not burdened enough, the arms, legs, and necks of the women were wound with telephone wire, hanging far below their breasts, and the lobes of their ears were distended with bone ornaments or wooden disks. With the Masai, wealth is measured by cattle, and the more cattle a Masai possesses, the more telephone wire his wives wear.
All sorts of arresting coiffures passed as I watched.
The Masai women shave their heads but the men have many ways of dressing their hair. Most of the Masai warriors plait it in pigtails, wearing one in front and one behind; some wear curiously shaped little bonnets made of goats' stomachs; some tie wool and string into their hair, making wigs as it were, which they plaster with oil and red mud, while some wear immense headdresses of ostrich feathers and tails.
The Masai love decoration and personal adornment. Their shields are painted in a variety of design, and both men and women wear earrings and bracelets and necklaces.
One young Masai warrior I watched walk down the road, his straight muscular side and limb showing each time he stepped. He was marvelously developed, not an ounce of fat, the long muscle of the leg playing gracefully at each step, just like that of the antelopes we have been so constantly studying. These natives seem no more naked than does an antelope, and they are just as beautifully formed.
This fact of no fat interests me. In our dissections a small amount of fat was found about certain organs. This, however, was more apt to be seen among the carnivora than the herbivora. The elephant showed only 26 pounds of fat. One never sees a fat native. Neither does one see scrawny natives. A young Masai warrior is as perfect a specimen of his kind as is a young lion of its kind. The young warrior bleeds his cattle and mixes the blood with sour milk for his food. The lion kills his food, getting the same chemical units. It really is as logical for the native to take the blood which the animal makes as the milk.
Marsh, R.J. & E.P. Photos of Arusha Environs
Page Number: 003
Extract Date: 1953-57
Turner, Myles My Serengeti Years
Page Number: 041
Extract Date: 1954
Over 200 families, of which 82 were Masai, were established on the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater, growing maize and tobacco, diverting streams for irrigation and destroying vegetation. Apart from the Masai, none of these new arrivals could claim traditional rights of occupancy in the Park, and in 1954 their activities were banned. By the end of the year almost all the cultivation in the Park had ceased and most of the crop growers had been re-settled elsewhere.
Allan, Tor Ndutu memories
Page Number: c
Extract Date: 1960’s
One day my father said, “We’re going down to remove the Masai from Moru Kopjes with Miles Turner and Gordon Pullman.” The villagers had been given notice to leave but were still there when the deadline date arrived. Serengeti had already become a National Park and was being extended to include more of the migration routes. If you look carefully at some of the big rocks at Moru, you’ll see where the manyattas were. On the leeward side of most big kopjes in the Moru area, there are remains of rather large circular stones and rocks which I believe are remains of the villages, unless they’re the remains of the Stone Bowl people before, or both.
I remember that day as hell and bloody fury – flames and smoke and dust, confusion, animals and people, shouting and shooting. The smoke and the burning – the horror of it all. The villages were torched and the dogs were shot. One dog was breathing through a great bleeding hole in its neck. The women and children were rounded up into trucks. Hundreds of cattle and other livestock were herded away by the young warriors and middle-aged men towards the east into part of Hidden Valley, past the springs at the eastern end and from there south east to the top end of Ndutu/Olduvai gorge, and down across the Lake Lagarja beaches. I know it was Lagarja because I remember seeing the flamingos. I think after that they were resettled in the Crater Highlands.
Smith, Anthony Throw out two hands
Page Number: 156-157
Extract Date: 1962
Unfortunately, although most of the area was uninhabited by man, a part of it was a traditional grazing area of the Masai. As the ways of animals and man conflict, it was subsequently decided to remove this area from the park, and to give it a different status. It is now known as the Ngorongoro Conservation Authority, and the Masai are permitted to live and graze over its 2,400 square miles. This move, and the later repercussions, are the subject of fierce controversy. Many people feel it was wrong, particularly in an age when natural areas are being eaten into all over the globe, for any park to secede part of itself for any reason. Others felt the Masai had more than enough room, perhaps 90,000 square miles to graze over, and they should not be allowed to jeopardize the future of one of the world's wonders (which the crater undoubtedly is). The main trouble with the Masai, quite apart from their love of cattle, apart from their desire to keep many more than they need, and also apart from their cattle's ruthless grazing technique, is that they induce in many Europeans a certain complaint or blindness known affectionately as Masai-itis.
This must be explained, as it is the root of many remarkable decisions, not least the one to take the crater area out of the Serengeti park. Generally speaking, the Europeans in Africa have, since the beginning, encountered two types of African. There have been those who were oppressed before the white man arrived, and those who were the oppressors. These were the subject and the warrior races. Again, generally speaking, and I am aware that there have been exceptions, the oppressed groups dropped their tribal customs, and donned dark glasses, short trousers, and open-necked shirts. They became clerks, and very useful to the invaders. However, in the background, and often a pain in the neck to the invaders, were the old warrior tribes. They had more to lose, and resented losing it. They were the traditional Africa, with fierce customs, rigid ideas, and an implacable disregard for change. They caused headaches for the administrators, but earned respect. They were malleable to nothing, and changed those who were trying to alter them.
Such a group were, (and are) the Masai. I understand that some individuals have been to school, but the majority live in huts of wattle and dung, and obey their laws but no one else's. The men do no work, and have virtually no interest in money. They are apparently content with the old days, and welcome nothing of the new—except for the fact that the vets keep their cattle free from rinderpest. This aloofness from the twentieth century is the cause of the split among those who know them. Some resent it, as being almost unnatural. Others welcome it, and feel at last they have met a proud, dignified, courteous race who merit admiration. This second group, as like as not, become champions of the Masai. In their opinion, and protagonists of any movement tend to become too one-sided, the Masai can do no wrong. The blindness has infected them. Masai-itis has got a hold.
Both points of view are equally understandable. Unfortunately,
Matthiessen, Peter The Tree Where Man Was Born
Page Number: 161
Extract Date: 1972
In a similar cave [he is in the Gol Mountains] in the Moru Kopjes, shields, elephants and abstract lines are painted on the walls in the colours that are seen on Maasai shields; the white and yellow come from the clays, the black from ash of a wild caper, and the red ochre is clay mixed with juice from the wild nightshade. Presumably the artists were a band of young warriors, il-moran, who wander for several years as lovers, cattle thieves, and meat-eaters before settling down to a wife, responsibilities, and a diet based on milk and cattle blood. ...
Until 1959, when their herds were banished from the Serengeti, they [the Maasai] lived intermittently at Moru Kopjes and elsewhere in the park, and signs of their long stay include mints and peas that thrive in the wake of overgrazing by domestic herds.
Amin, Mohamed; Willetts, Duncan and Marshall, Peter Journey Through Tanzania
Extract Date: 1984
It [Mto wa Mbu] has long been a trading centre where many different people have settled, notably the Mbugwe, Iraqw, Gorowa, Irangi, Totoga, Chagga and Maasai. The area ... is in fact the most linguistically diverse and complex in Africa. It is the only place in the continent where the four major African language families - Bantu, Khoisan, Cushitic, and Nilotic - occur together.
Parkipuny, Moringe The Human Rights Situation of Indigenous Peoples in Africa
Extract Date: 1989 Aug 3
In East Africa there are two main categories of vulnerable minority peoples who have been in consequence subjected to flagrant violations of community and individual rights. These are hunters and gatherers, namely the Hadza, Dorobo and Sandawe together with many ethnic groups who are pastoralists. The Maasai of Tanzania and Kenya are the largest and most widely known of he many pastoral peoples of East Africa. These minorities suffer from the common problems which characterize the plight of indigenous peoples throughout the world.
Maasai males are rigidly classed by age into boys, warriors, and elders. Girls often have their marriages negotiated by their fathers before they are born. Both boys and girls undergo circumcision ceremonies. Older women enjoy the same status as male elders. The Maasai, most of whom are nomadic throughout the year, live in kraals, small clusters of cow-dung huts constructed by the women. Today [1993~] the Maasai number approximately 250,000. They remain a pastoral people.
CD Groliers Encyclopedia
Extract Author: Phoebe Miller
The Maasai are a nomadic cattle-herding people of East Africa who, in the face of change, have with determination clung to their traditional ways, rejecting the cash economy and refusing to settle or become farmers. One of the tall, slender, Nilotic peoples, the Maasai are East African in physical type. They speak an Eastern Chari-Nile language of the Sudanic stock.
Traditionally, the Maasai ranged widely over the Kenya highlands in raiding expeditions, but after suffering famine and disease they were persuaded by the Kenya government to move to southern Kenya and Tanzania. They were estimated to number close to 300,000 in the late 1960s.
Cattle are the basis of the Maasai economy, providing food, mainly in the form of milk and blood, and property for payment of bride-price. Maasai also keep many sheep, and some goats and donkeys.
Social features include descent through the father's line and multiple wives. Traditionally, Maasai males have been age-graded in the stages of boy, warrior, and elder. A man may marry only after he has served as a warrior, at about age 30. Maasai residence groups are divided into elders' and warriors' Kraals, or villages. Married men, their families, and the livestock live in elders' kraals. Warriors, some of their mothers, and some sisters, who are the warriors' lovers, live in warriors' kraals.
Extract Date: 1996
© 1996, Features Africa Network All rights reserved Distributed by Africa Online, Inc.
Three executives from a major film distributors company of Britain are in Dar es Salaam to select locations for the shooting of a film aimed at promoting Tanzania's tourism.
Brian Hudson, head of the delegation told reporters that their first mission in the country is to tour the Northern tourist circuit which harbours most of the country's national parks and Mount Kilimanjaro. He said they would go to Tanzania on Sunday for a similar mission. Hudson said they would sign a 25-million-US-dollar agreement on the project with the host group, Tanzania Maasai Film Investors Group. The film entitled 'Maasai' aims at selling Tanzania's tourism abroad.
Claytor, Tom Bushpilot
Extract Author: Tom Claytor
Page Number: 18g
Extract Date: 1996 July 03
We drive down nearly 2,000 feet to the crater floor below. I feel like I am on a journey to the center of the earth. I have never been down here before. Rian explains that foot patrols are the most important defense to poaching. He says that a horse is good, like they use in Etosha Park (Namibia), but then you need backup. He says motorcycles are also good, like they use in Kruger Park (South Africa), but they give you away and you have to watch the road. 'There is no such thing as a bad field ranger,' Rian tells me, 'but they are only as good as their leader.' We arrive at the anti-poaching camp, and group leader Corporal Mbelwa assembles his men for me to inspect. There is a map of the area on the wall, and bunking quarters for the scouts. I like the scouts. These are the guys who make their living by trying to save rhinos. They are formal and disciplined on the outside, but behind all the guns and camouflage uniforms are the warm smiles of Africa. The thing Rian has learned the most since his arrival in Tanzania has been patience. It can cost up to $50 to send a one page fax or up to $100 to telephone his parents on a bad line, so communications are difficult. He also reminds me that he is just an advisor here, so all of his ideas and thoughts have taken time.
What I enjoy the most about Rian, is that he has been interested to learn the ways of the Maasai. He tells me that they are very proud people, but they are useless for manual work. The Maasai warrior has five different age groups, and the weapons carried by the different age groups are all different. They will also have two different leaders - a diplomatic leader and a war leader. Today, there is a certain amount of racism towards the Maasai. They are considered to be underdeveloped by other Africans. In the past, the Maasai used to raid cattle. They can't now; the times are changing. I find it interesting to see how a previously superior race is now becoming inferior to a modern day system. Now, when you steal a cow, you go to jail. Clement is a traditional Maasai, and he speaks English with an American accent. He spent some time assisting an American researcher studying baboons in the crater, and now he is Rian's advisor on traditions and practices here. He is 50 years old, and he explains to me that when he was 13 and the Maasai were living inside the crater, they used to play a children's game. One child would place something on a sleeping rhino, then the next child would have to take it off. The Maasai are fearless in the field; they have no problem with walking from here to Serengeti with just a blanket, even at night, and this is learned at an early age. Each day about 70 Maasai are permitted down into the crater with up to 1,000 cattle. They must have a permit to go down, and they must be out at night. There are 3 water holes down there, and it looks good to see the Maasai living as they must have for so very long - surrounded by wildlife. Time are changing though. In September 1992, the Maasai were allowed to cultivate inside the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This was an emergency measure due to the drought, but the Maasai are now demanding cultivation so that they can continue to grow their corn and potatoes to sell outside.
Africa News Online
Extract Author: Morice Maunya
Extract Date: 1999 November 14
Panafrican News Agency
Police and officials rushed Saturday to quell a fresh outbreak of fighting between the Maasai and Warangi ethnic of groups in northern Tanzania.
At least 30 dwellings belonging to the Maasai were burnt and an undisclosed number of their cattle and goats went missing during a recent attack by the Warangi, officials said.
District Commissioner Moses Sanga of Kondoa, a predominantly Warangi area, has confirmed the incident. He said the Warangi burnt Maasai huts to avenge the beating of Warangi women by a group of young Maasai warriors on 4 November.
In retaliation, the Maasai re-grouped and attacked again last week. The Maasai in question live in Kiteto district of Arusha region, which which is next to Kondoa district.
The extend of casualties was not immediately known.
Alarmed that the situation might get nastier, the police and administration officials rushed to the scene over the weekend to sort out the problem.
The officials included the chief government administrator of Dodoma region, Isidori Shirima and his Arusha counterpart, Daniel Ole Njoolay.
The government was trying to bring together Warangi and Maasai elders to pacify their followers, Shirima said after a tour of the area Friday.
However, sources told PANA that the real cause of bad blood between the Maasai and their neighbours is a scramble for scare land and water resources.
While the Warangi are mainly subsistence farmers, the Maasai are nomad pastoralists who want their extended livestock to be given free access to grazing land and water resources.
Kondoa-Kiteto area lies on a dry belt with scarce arable land and water resources. The Warangi accuse the Maasai of encroaching their little farmland with impunity.
Africa News Online
Extract Date: 2000 January 7
Copyright (c) 2000 TOMRIC Agency.
Maasai elders of Mererani mining area in Simanjiro district in Arusha region, are terribly annoyed following reports that some eight young men in their neighborhood had rapped a donkey. Arusha is in Northern part of Tanzania and is a major tours city not only in East Africa, but in Africa too. Being the pastoralists, Maasai is a people lives in this region.
Donkeys mean a lot to the Maasai that what one can imagine. The animal is not only a domestic beast but also Olaisiayani, meaning faithful servant that should never be assaulted.
Presently, a number of Olmoruo-Maasai elders in the area where an act of unperceived shame took place are gripped with fear. The event is considered an abomonation that threatens prosperity of community life which might bring all kinds of misfortunes.
'Rapping a donkey? oh! no please.
These guys must be crazy. They should never be allowed to come back here. They have invited mishaps for our community,' bitterly complained Oltinga Olkimbei, 67, a resident of Mererani.
In May 25 last year it was reported to the surprise of many that eight young men at Block 'B' Mererani area in Arusha spent hours raping a donkey.
A the press visited the area to assess the after math of the incident. It (the press) encountered various groups of people and the minors.
It was learnt that a public condemnation of the deed has unanimously been given out all interview people irrespective of their age, faith or occupation have come to a common stand: All the involved boys are regarded as outcasts.
Although the alleged diddle were in remand prison pending hearing of their case, they would to serve another agreed sociable verdict-isolation.
The boys are alleged to have defamed both the minors and the Maasai community who consider themselves as the legitimate owners of all donkeys and cows in the world.
History books show that donkeys, mules and horses have been domesticated and have been on human service as early as 4,000 BC.
Olomoni Gahamedi and Naftari Ole Mondaine, chairman and secretary respectively of the commissioned local ant-scandal committee, told this reporter that the incident might have passed unnoticed had the committee no been formed two weeks earlier.
The ten member Maasai group popularly known as ngerine told the press that they were licensed when they discovered the culprits were not only engaged in fooling around with the 'servant' but injured her to make the animal succumb to their strange desires.
They brutally slashed ligaments of the near limbs of the animal and keep it immobile, complained Kunyae Melan, a vigilante.
Naramati Loilangishu, 56, said she was terribly worried that the strange occurrence in their land might lead to adversities such as leprosy, child mortality and blindness.
'We don't want to see these people in our midst, they have humiliated the whole of wana Apollo (the miners) community. Was it not possible for them to seek any of these women around here?,' complained Ndeso Mushi, a miner.
Anxiety that gripped the Maasai community as well as the minors was not baseless. Medical experts disclosed that mating with a donkey might have caused an infection that starts with itching in private parts and in most cases is resistant to ordinary antibiotics.
A medical expert told in Arusha that the boys faced a danger of contracting the devastating Brucellosis Bang's a STD common in donkeys, mules and horses, which becomes Malta fever when passed on to human beings through sexual contact.
According to the officer, at maturity stage, the disease causes all the sorts of complications in the reproductive system resulting in miscarriages, said Elisaria Mbise, a veterinary officer in Mererani.
The vet officer who examined the donkey and found human sperms mixed with the fluid (edema) said the chances of contriving the disease were double because the animal was at the height of the heat period when disaster struck.
He said during heat, the animal's genitals get a kind of blisters and sores and an accumulation of a fluid called adema which carries dangerous bacteria such as Brucella abortus, B. Melitensi or B. suis.
This development, said Mbise, is normally accompanied with loss of blood.
He said the condition is safe as far as other animals are concerned, but quite dangerous when a human being gets involved.
Report from the nearest police posts at 'Zaire' a village about 2 kilometers west of the mining site explained that the boys were charged with having sex the donkey and caused serious injury that caused death to the anima.
Africa News Online
Extract Date: 2000 April 19
Efforts by Tanzania and Kenya to strengthen security around their boarders following the murderous organized killings by Somali Bandits with high calibre weapons, appear to be completely helpless.
Somali Bandits continue to threaten lives of Maasai people in northern Tanzania and it has been reported that Digodigo village in Loliando in Arusha region was attached on Sunday. Two villagers were killed in the attack and several others were injured. According to the Arusha Regional Police Commander (RPC), Juma Ng'wanang'waka, the incident occurred at Maloni area where the mob attacked a car which was going to the auction.
For more than three years, the Somali Bandits have been launching attacks on villages in northern Tanzania, especially areas cross to the border of Kenya and Tanzania. In last week, the policemen from the two countries signed a pact to intensify the joint security operations along their common boarders.
Tanzanian police officers meet with their counterparts in Nairobi and had signed a security pact. The pact comprised negotiation on how they could work together to crack down on drug traffickers, bandits and other criminals, mobs who drive stolen vehicles across the boarders, among others.
They agreed to strengthen security operations along the south western boarder of the two countries.
Early last month a team of the Field Force Unit (FFU) was dispatched by air and road in Ngorongoro district in Arusha to hunt for several armed Somali Bandits who killed a pastor. The Pastor, Mr. John Majoel of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT) was shot to death on his back after he allegedly refused to get out of his car, Toyota Land Cruiser. The Pastor was traveling with four European Missionaries to Ngorongoro, one of the famous Tanzania's National Park, on routine pastoral work. According to information reached the media in Dar Es Salaam, after killing the pastor, the armed Somali drove away with the Europeans and abandoned them and the car in the bush some 20 kilometers from the scene area. Authorities in Arusha Region had suggested the deployment of an army unit in Ngorongoro District to curb constant attacks mounted by the Somali Bandits.
Arusha Regional Commissioner Daniel ole Njoolay convened an emergency meeting of the regional defense and security committee where he suggested the option of military intervention against the attacks.
He said the endless attacks by the Somali cattle rustlers since 1998 who have killed at least a dozen people and robbed millions of shillings from residents of the region. Two years ago, Somali Bandits murdered the Ngorongoro District Commanding Officer, SSP Issaya Kong'oa, and about 10 Maasai tribesmen.
Odhiambo, Nicodemus Maasai Up Against Arabs Destroying Their Environment
Extract Author: Nicodemus Odhiambo
Extract Date: 2000 April 24
Panafrican News Agency
A land dispute at the heart of which are environmental concerns is brewing in the northern Tanzanian region of Arusha.
Maasai Pastoralists who inhabit the region are up in arms against an Arab company licensed by the government to carry out hunting activities in the area.
Thirteen elders of the Maasai people have been in Dar es Salaam to press the government for action against Ortello Business Company of the United Arab Emirates.
They accuse the company of environmental degradation and plundering natural resources in the range land where their herds of cattle graze.
However, Arusha regional commissioner Daniel ole Njoolay has denied the furore raised by residents of three villages of Sambu, Oloosoito-Maaloni and Arash against the Arab firm. He says their claims of environment degradation may be politically-motivated. But the Maasai insist that they will not accept anything less than government intervention, according to Sandet ole Reya, spokesperson of the elders group.
Should the government fail to intervene, the Maasai will institute litigation against the state and the company, ole Reya said. The Tanzanian association of environmental journalists, JET, has strongly condemned the company and appealed to other national and international environmentalists to intervene in the dispute.
'JET is informed that there is haphazard killing of wild animals in the area by using remote sensing techniques at night,' JET chair Balinangwe Mwambungu has said in a statement.
Accusations raised by the Maasai, Mwambungu said, should be treated with authenticity because the group 'is not affiliated to any political party and, therefore, had no reason to lie to the world.'
Ortello was licensed in 1993 to carry out hunting activities and allocated hunting blocks in the Loliondo Game Controlled Area by the government of former president Ali Hassan Mwinyi.
At that time it was widely believed that corruption oiled the wheels of government to get the licence. The Maasai Pastoralists expressed their concern at that time, saying the land, being their common property, was allocated to the Arab company without their consent.
The company has over the years tried to placate the villagers by giving them what the Maasai elders have described as empty promises to improve local infrastructure.
Part of the unfulfilled promises include construction of schools and installation of other social amenities.
A more recent pledge the villagers anxiously await is the promise by Ortello's general manager, Ahmed Saaed, to sink 32 boreholes in order to alleviate water shortage in the semi-arid range land.
The company has built mosques in the area and had embarked on a campaign to convert the Maasai into Moslems, a move the villagers considered as despicable.
Standing their ground, the Maasai Pastoralists who usually move from place to place in search of pasture for their cattle herds, say they will not be placated easily this time.
'We cannot just sit and watch the Arabs take our land. If necessary, we will wipe out all animals in the area to keep the Arabs out of our land,' said ole Reya, explaining retaliatory actions his people were likely to take in case the government does not respond to their demands.
He also said that they could even migrate en masse across the border into neighbouring Kenya where the same people live on a pastoral economy.
According to the Maasai elders, the Arab company was constructing a three- kilometre airstrip in the game controlled area. They said the project would disturb wild animals during seasonal migration.
Ole Reya said that military cargo planes from the United Arab Emirates frequently landed at the unfinished airstrip without following international aviation rules.
In addition, ole Reya said, Ortello company was completing a mansion within the game area and a warehouse at the source of River Olosai to facilitate the carting off of massive amounts of trophy.
'This is truly land alienation and we are prepared not to let it pass,' ole Reya said, recalling the arrest of scores of villagers when 20,000 of them marched on the site to block construction of the mansion.
Ole Reya also alleges that an unnamed Arab prince, notoriously referred to as 'brigadier,' could be seen carting off live wild animals from the area to his country.
'This is despicable and shameful not only to Tanzanians but also to people all over the world who care for wildlife and the environment,' JET said.
The journalists' association has questioned the motive behind the construction of an airstrip in Loliondo and wondered why the government was not monitoring flights in and out of the area.
'We are concerned with the issue because Loliondo is an important wildlife dispersal area for migratory species from the Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya to the great Serengeti plains in Arusha region,' Mwambungu added.
Tanzania's minister for natural resources and tourism, Zakia Meghji, has said that the government would send experts to the area to determine the allegations.
She said the experts would conduct an environmental audit to ascertain whether the activities of Ortello company were jeorpadising wildlife.
Professional hunting in Tanzania has been on the rise since the country adopted liberal economic policies in the early 1990s.
Hunting blocks were set aside, rising from 47 in 1965 to 140 by 1997.
The Ortello saga is only the latest hoopla in a series of allegations concerning flaws in the granting of hunting licences and hunting blocks in Tanzania.
According to an environmental lawyers association here, issuance of presidential hunting licences had been constantly abused through corruption and nepotism in a manner likely to jeorpadise wildlife conservation in Tanzania.
Extract Author: Emmanuel Ole Mollel and Yunus Rafiq, SMA Arusha
Extract Date: 2000 April 29
Migil enkaputi te nkupes (Do not break a relationship without good cause)
According to a Maasai legend, Engai the most highest in the sky took milk and spread it in the sky; when the milk reached the sky it turned into stars.
The celestial bodies like stars, moon and sun are of great significance to the Maasai. Stars tell about the different seasons, beginning and end of a season, and the forecasts of a certain year in terms of climate, economic conditions, navigation etc.
The irmoruak lorkine - which means 'the elder of goat and sheep', which is the cow. These are three stars, one shining brighter than the rest depicting the authority and superiority of the cow over the goat and sheep.
These stars tell the Maasai people about the beginning of the rainy season. When it is seen the people prepare themselves for the coming rain: If the cattle were taken to the mountains, they are slowly brought back to the plains.
Some traditions say the three stars in parallel are a convoy of a father, an elder and a warrior on their way to ask the hand of some one's daughter and the single tiny star directly opposite them is a goat taken to the future father-in-law as a gift.
Kilekin 'the one of the morning' is a star which appears around 4:00 in the morning: it helps travellers to know what time it is and when to take the cattle out for herding.
Ormukala olor labha 'the brother-in-law of the moon' is always sighted near the moon, it's a big bright star that helps the moon to shine brighter. The radiance and brightness produced by the joint efforts of the moon and his brother-in-law help travellers who venture in the night to see things easily hence making their journey a lot more safer.
Engakwa - These are collections of stars appearing on the east side where the sun rises and slowly climbs up, nearly reaching the moon. When Engakwa rises and visits the moon, this phenomena denotes a time for plenty of rain. When the Engakwa refuses to rise, that year will bring great famine and lots of cattle will die.
Olonyokie - This star is used to set dates for marriage ceremony. It appears on the both side then it's bad luck to choose a date for marriage.
Esopiaen - When the moon is full, the esopiaen should not be directly to the moon; that is bad luck. If it's overhead then it's good luck to arrange marriages or any other ceremony.
These are some of the other omens which the Maasai believe in:
Orndilo - A red beaded bird. It's believed that if it cries at the end of the boma then you should postpone your travel plan and set another day for your journey.
Embuliyah - Is frequent dust carried by wind that blows before the coming of the rains, they cite the forecast the coming rain.
Engabwo ebaba - Arch of father - Rainbow tell about the end of rain and if not sighted the cattle man won't go herding his cattle because he knows the rain has not stopped pouring its contents.
Africa News Online
Extract Date: 2000 June 5
Panafrican News Agency
Frequent acrimony, currently depicting the relationship between game Hunting companies and rural communities in Tanzania, will be a thing of the past after the government adopts a new wildlife policy.
Designated as wildlife management areas, the communities will benefit from the spoils of game Hunting, presently paid to local authorities by companies operating in those areas.
The proposed policy seeks to amend Tanzania's obsolete Wildlife Act of 1975, and, according to the natural resources and tourism minister, Zakia Meghji, 'it is of utmost priority and should be tabled before parliament for debate soon'.
She said the government would repossess all Hunting blocks allocated to professional hunters and hand them over to respective local authorities.
In turn local governments, together with the communities, would be empowered to allocate the Hunting blocks to whichever company they prefer to do business with.
'Guidelines of the policy are ready and are just being fine-tuned,' she said.
Communities set to benefit from this policy are chiefly those bordering rich game controlled areas and parks. They include the Maasai, Ndorobo, Hadzabe, Bahi, Sianzu and Kimbu in northeastern Tanzania.
Members of these communities are often arrested by game wardens and fined for trespassing on game conservation areas. As a result, they have been extremely bitter about being denied access to wildlife resources, which they believe, naturally, belong to them.
Under the new policy, Meghji said, the government will ensure that people undertake increased wildlife management responsibilities and get benefits to motivate them in the conservation of wildlife resources.
Extract Author: Mohamedi Isimbula, Babati
Page Number: No.00153
Extract Date: 2001 Jan 13
The Maasai community in Ngorongoro has vowed to take legal action against the Ngorongoro Chief Conservator, Emmanuel Cheusi, for protecting Asataeli Melita, a park warden who is accused of having whipped naked Maasai tribesmen.
This is according to reports of Maasai people living within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
When the Maasai were informed that the accused was not in Ngorongoro, they said that those are measures devised by the Chief Conservator, to protect the accused from not being taken to task. It is claimed that the warden is outside of the country.
They further alleged that the Conservator, Emmanuel Cheusi, being fully aware of the inhuman actions of the park warden to the Maasai community, yet he is avoiding them for a dialogue. They further claimed that after Melita had whipped the naked community members, the Conservator promised to look into the issue, but instead he allowed the culprit to leave the country without informing them. This implies that the conservator had not all along intended to resolve the issue.
Meanwhile one of the leaders of the 10 representatives of the community has said that their efforts to contact the district top officials including the district commissioner and their member of parliament, and their plea for legal resolution of the matter seems to have been ignored so far. As a result, their next move is to contact the Arusha Regional Commissioner, Daniel ole Njoolay, on the issue.
Map and Guide to Tanzania
Page Number: 09e
The Masai: with their bodies painted in ochre and their blue or red clothing, these Nilotic fully nomadic Pastoralists originated from the southern part of Sudan, descending towards Tanzania during the 17th century. Their life style is well publicized but it is maybe lesser known that they obey strict dietary habits forbidding them for instance to consume milk and meat within the same day and that they observe the cushitic taboo against eating fish.
ole Ndaskoi, Navaya Maasai Struggle for Home Rights
Extract Date: 04/12/2002
Please click on the link to load the complete MS Word document
Re: Request for support to the Maasai community.
Through your website I leant that you are An Information Resource for Northern Tanzania and that you might have come across anything I am looking for.
I am an undergraduate of the University of Dar Es Salaam doing a BA in Physical Resources i.e. majoring Geography and options in Economics and Development Studies.
On my private time, I do write articles to the local press mainly on environmental issues, development and donor aid (cuttings available on demand). Under the same spirit I am the Co-coordinator of an informal group called Indigenous Rights for Survival International (IRSI).
The group is a loose network of young people with an interest in public policy issues. We mainly discuss policy issues through emails communications and ultimately write articles in the local press. IRSI as an entity takes no position on any of the discussed issues instead it simply stimulates, steers, and co-ordinates discussions and debates on public policy issues of members’ interest.
Between June and September 2002, I did a self-sponsored research (though some friends and relatives support it in later stages) in Maasailand: Ngorongoro, Munduli, Simanjiro, Kiteto and Babati Districts of Arusha Region, Tanzania. These (see attachment) are the findings.
I have two requests. One, Perhaps you can give me a platform to present my findings in America (USA and Canada) and Western Europe (all or any of the following countries; Netherlands, Germany, UK and France). Two, if you can help to publish the findings of the said paper or at least help to find the willing publisher. I am saying this with an understanding of the power of the media, both print and electronic.
I understand that, tourism in Tanzania, and the whole policy of preservation in East Africa, could not be sustained, and therefore would not have brought harm to the indigenous people of east Africa, without the involvement of these countries. Because there are many international wildlife conservation organizations based in this part of the world, which are active in supporting and propping up the anti-people preservation strategies, which are pursued in Africa, Tanzania in particular.
These include organizations like the World Bank, African Wildlife Foundation, World Wildlife Fund, Friends of Animals, Green Peace, New York Zoological Society, USAID, Frankfurt Zoological Society, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, DfID, GTZ and many others.
They are all based in the Western World. These organizations have not come to recognize the link, the historical link, between indigenous culture and the survival of the wildlife heritage and other biological resources in the developing countries. They have in the other regions, but at least in our area, in east Africa, they still pursue the old approach, the colonial approach, which sets aside nature from people.
The preface and acknowledgement are at the end of the manuscript, after references.
I am at your disposal in case of comments and further details.
Navaya ole Ndaskoi
Dar Es Salaam.
Extract Author: Indigenous Rights for Survival International
Page Number: c
Extract Date: 2/1/03
Internet Web Pages
Extract Author: PST Correspondent, Arusha
Extract Date: January 24, 2003
Several people have been seriously injured following clashes between Masai and Rangi tribes over land at Katikati Village, Kiteto District in Manyara region.
The Arusha Regional Police Commander, James Kombe, said yesterday that the incident occurred on Wednesday when a group of Rangi tribesmen from Isolwa Village in Kondoa district, Dodoma Region armed with clubs, machetes and other traditional weapons attacked four households of the Masai and burned their houses.
The affected Masai cried for help from their colleagues who gathered together within no time clashes ensued that left several people injured.
Police from Kiteto heard about the clashes and rushed to scene to bring the situation to normal.
Kombe said the Masai wanted to use the area for grazing their animals whereas the Rangi want it for crop cultivation, hence the fight.
He said the loss resulting from the burnt out households was estimated to be 4.9m/- and police are holding four persons in connection with the incident.
As a result of the incident, district commissioners of Kiteto and Kondoa would meet to discuss the situation with residents of the area in order to get a solution.
It is the second time that clashes have erupted between pastoralists and farmers in the area. Two years ago, two people were killed in similar clashes.
Mears, Ray Ray Mears' Bushcraft
Extract Author: Director Cassie Farrell
Page Number: 5
Extract Date: 7 Oct 2004
Shown in the UK BBC2 Thu 7th October, 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Safari is the Swahili word for a journey. As far as Ray Mears is concerned, the best type of Safari is on foot - it's the only way to get a true feeling for the world around you.
It's a style of journey that Bushcraft makes possible, so Ray teams up with a Maasai warrior in Tanzania and walks through a beautiful valley surrounded by wild animals.
He sleeps out under the stars and explores some of the uses of the plants he finds.
Extract Author: Matilda Kirenga
Page Number: 341
Extract Date: 9 Oct 2004
Maasai warriors are usually known for their bravery in hunting and killing Lions that attack their cattle, but recently tables turned against them in Ngorongoro area, when a a Lion attacked three Maasai morans, hurting them badly.
The incident occurred last week within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area where three Maasai youths identified as Moinga ole Kumbashi aged 25, Momboi ole Kisai (20) and Olenayeiyo aged (18) were grazing their cattle.
According to police reports, when the youths were taking care of their livestock, a ferocious animal jumped from a nearby bush and knocked the three onto the ground, ready to kill them.
Realizing that the animal was actually a Lion the youths decided to fight for their lives by unleashing counter attacks.
By the time the Lion was defeated and left the area, the three Morans were in bad condition, with Ole Kumbashi sustaining deep wounds on the chest, left arm and right leg.
Olenaneiyo suffered bad gushes on his right arm and both lower limbs, especially thighs, while the other warrior, Momboi Kisai had both his buttocks bitten off and right hand injured badly.
Regional Police commander, James Kombe said the three survivors of the Lion attack were taken to a Hospital in Loliondo where they were still being admitted by the time we went to press.
This one is a rare occurrence to happen in the local game parks as wild animals hardly attack human beings residing within or near the reserves.
IPP Media - including the Guardian
Extract Author: Adam Ihucha, Arusha
Extract Date: 30 Oct 2004
A fresh round of fighting between Maasai and Sonjo tribesmen in Ngorongoro District has left two people dead.
Arusha Regional Police Commander James Kombe confirmed yesterday that clashes had erupted afresh in Sale Village where a number of houses had also been set ablaze.
He said the fighting broke out after the Sonjo accused the Maasai of stealing six head of cattle from Sonjo herdsmen.
People believed to be Maasai morans (warriors) allegedly drove the cattle off when they raided the homesteads of Sonjo tribesmen identified as Kadir Gandisi and Surambaya Sayembe.
Sonjo tribesmen followed the animals’ tracks and traced them to a boma belonging to Patareto Kikonya in Arash Village.
The irate Sonjo men allegedly shot Kikonya to death with arrows before torching five houses in the village.
Having accomplished their mission in Arash Village, the Sonjo tribesmen went to Maloni Village where they attacked villagers and torched some houses, Kombe said.
A Maasai elder, identified as Olekungu ole Onyokite, was reportedly burnt to death in one of the houses.
Kombe said hundreds of people had been left homeless as a result of the violence which was quelled by a unit of regular and riot police sent to the area.
Two people were arrested in connection with the clashes. They are Makandoma Simon, 23, and Barannobi Charles, 27, both residents of Sale Village.
Kombe said more police officers had been sent to the area to ensure that the violence did not recur.
The latest violence erupted just four weeks after the two ethnic groups clashed in Loliondo, Ngorongoro District, leaving scores of people seriously wounded and tens more homeless.
The first serious confrontation between the Maasai and Sonjo this year took place in July in Kisangiro Village, Ngorongoro District.
One person was killed in the clashes.
Extract Author: By Our Correspondents
Page Number: 353
Extract Date: 22 Jan 2005
The Maasai and Sonjo tribes have agreed to bury their ages-old hostilities after the recent violent clashes that claimed human lives and destruction of property worth millions of shillings.
A meeting convened by the Arusha regional leadership last week in Loliondo, which involved traditional leaders of both communities, resolved that tribal clashes between the two groups should now come to an end.
An accord to end hostility and violent clashes between them was signed by 25 elders from each side in the presence of the Regional Commissioner Mohamed Babu, Ngorongoro District Commissioner Captain Asseri Msangi, District Executive Director Nicholas Kileka, village leaders and conflict resolution experts from the Irish embassy in Dar es Salaam.
Violent clashes between the two neighbouring groups erupted last June over grazing land and livestock theft. Accounts by villagers interviewed by journalists who visited the area recently indicated that some individuals were killed, scores injured, many families uprooted after their houses were torched and livestock forcibly driven away.
Many people have been killed since 1880s in violent clashes pitting the Maasai, a cattle herding tribe which constitutes 80 per cent of Ngorongoro district's population of 140,000 and a tiny but fierce Sonjo tribe whose population is estimated to be 14,000.
It was agreed at a two-day meeting that the boundaries of all 37 villages in the district be re-drawn in order to avoid further clashes on grazing and farming areas for the two tribes.
The meeting resolved that livestock theft one of the main sources of the age-old conflict, should come to an end forthwith and that the police and other security organs should intensify security in Salle and Loliondo divisions to ensure there was no recurrence of bloody fighting.
The Regional Commissioner said the government would assist people rebuild their houses and cattle bomas which were torched during the clashes but insisted that there would be no compensation for property lost or destroyed and for people injured or killed.
Extract Author: Arusha Times Reporter
Page Number: 367
Extract Date: 30 April 2005
Fresh outbreaks of the notorious tribal clashes between Maasai and Sonjo tribes in Loliondo location of Ngorongoro district erupted again last week despite two peace agreements that were signed by leaders of both factions in a period of just six months.
The Arusha Acting Regional Police Commander, Godfrey Nzowa, said one person has been killed in the clashes. The fights razed the Oldonyosambu village where hundreds were injured and over 30 houses reduced to ashes.
Nzowa, who is also the Regional Crime Officer, named the deceased person as Kanusha Tungasi a 20-year old man from Jema village. Two seriously injured persons, who have been admitted at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medial Centre (KCMC) are: Kanyodori Kasunga (50) and William Samawa (25) all from the Sonjo ethnic group.
"When police arrived at the scene, the fighters from both sides escaped into the forest," Said Nzowa , adding that the situation in the village was somewhat calm at the moment.
Reports from Loliondo indicate that fresh clashes had erupted after the Maasai moranis from the Loita clan, allegedly invaded the Sonjo territory and stole therein, herds of cattle. The cattle have been recovered during the fight.
Clashes between the Loita clan of the Maasai and the Butime minority ethnic group popularly known as Sonjo, date back to the 18th century, but has erupted twice last year, claiming lives of five people, injuring others and reducing about 400 houses to ashes.
The rival ethnic groups, tried to end their cattle rustling and land disputes when 25 leaders from each faction signed a peace accord brokered by the Arusha Regional Commissioner, Mohamed Babu, in collaboration with the Ngorongoro District Commissioner, Mr Assery Msangi, the District Executive Director (DED), Mr Nicholaus Kileka, traditional leaders and experts from the Irish Embassy.
The agreement followed a two-day meeting held at the Ngorongoro District Council hall during which the two sides agreed to bury the hatchet, conduct a seminar on the new Land Act and to appoint a committee to supervise land demarcation for 37 villages involved in the conflict.
Both sides also agreed during the meeting that the two ethnic groups would have equal representation in the decision making machinery of the area, improving infrastructure of the area and improving security of the area so as to find a lasting solution for cattle rustling between the two ethnic groups.
No compensation was to be paid to lives or property lost as a result of the conflict and the government had been asked to put in place pipe water infrastructure in all affected areas.
A goodwill committee comprising members from both sides was to be appointed to educate the Loliondo residents on the peace deal and to convene regular meetings aimed at cultivating good neighbourhood relations among the Masai and Wasonjo.
The ethnic groups had in February this year signed their latest agreement to end the conflicts, which since 1880 are believed to have claimed about 5,000 lives.
The first agreement was reached mid September last year when 20 leaders from each faction converged for four days at the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) Arusha campus in Ngaramtoni.
Representatives stormed out in disagreement at certain times during the SUA reconciliation talks, compelling the mediators, RC Babu, the Minister for Water and Livestock Development, Edward Lowasa, the Member of Parliament for Loliondo constituency, Mr Matthew Ole Timany, and other district leaders to split them into two working groups to tackle sensitive issues.
Fosbrooke, Henry Ngorongoro: The Eighth Wonder
Page Number: 016
Extract Date: 1972
In the past the spelling of Masai place names has caused some confusion and controversy. Even the spelling of the name Masai is in doubt, some preferring Maasai. This is not a problem confined to this one area - it is a world-wide one which cartographers and geographers have as yet failed to solve. Frenchmen will continue to call London Londres, and Englishmen will refer to Wien as Vienna. Luckily, however, the present Conservator Mr Saibull is a Masai-speaker by birth, who has paid considerable attention to this problem. He has drawn up a list of spellings for place names throughout the area which I hope will become standard and eventually find their way into all publications and maps.
The early cartographers very frequently recorded the Masai name in full, for example Ol doinyo l’ol Kisale, Meaning 'the hill of the Kisale', five words in Masai (for the Masai language has an article, not a prefix, as has Swahili) and five words in English. But why laboriously spell this out at length every time? Mr Saibull has dropped the article in many cases, but retained it in some: as he sensibly says: 'For some words the article seems to enhance the Meaning and is indispensable: one has simply to try to decide which is correct.' Thus we have
Oldeani for Ol doinyo l’ol tiani (the hill of the bamboos) but
Sirua, not Esuria or Losirua for Ol doinyo l’ol Sirua (the hill of the Eland).
Cartwright, Justin Masai Dreaming
Page Number: Introduction
The vowel sound ‘aai’ pronounced ‘eye’ is very popular with the Masai. Masai has a long ‘a’. Researchers and academics now spell Masai ‘Maasai’. Long a’s are more authentic and less touristy. There is no correct spelling of a Masai word, because Masai is not a written Language.