By Dorothy L. Hodgson
What occurs to marginalized teams from Africa once they best friend with the indigenous peoples' circulate? Who claims to be indigenous and why? Dorothy L. Hodgson explores how indigenous id, either in idea and in perform, performs out within the context of financial liberalization, transnational capitalism, nation restructuring, and political democratization. Hodgson brings her lengthy adventure with Maasai to her realizing of the transferring contours in their modern struggles for reputation, illustration, rights, and assets. Being Maasai, turning into Indigenous is a deep and delicate mirrored image at the chances and bounds of transnational advocacy and the dilemmas of political motion, civil society, and alter in Maasai groups.
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Additional resources for Being Maasai, Becoming Indigenous: Postcolonial Politics in a Neoliberal World
These demands hinge on the right to self-determination and include the right to determine their own development and to control and protect their cultural knowledge and performances, material remains, languages, indigenous knowledge, and biogenetic material. Development, as much recent scholarship makes clear, is an ambiguous term used to justify an array of interventions and agendas (Hodgson 2001a; Escobar 1995; Ferguson 1990). 10 Moreover, the pursuit of their ideals and goals is predicated not just on protecting their territories and resource base, but on controlling the education and socialization of their children, improving their health and social welfare, ensuring the continuity of their languages, and protecting and maintaining their cultural knowledge and institutions.
As a result, “our cultures and way of life are viewed as outmoded, inimical to national pride and a hindrance to progress. What is more, access to education and other basic services are minimal relative to the mainstream of the population of the countries to which we are citizens in common with other people” (Parkipuny 1989). As Parkipuny claimed, this speech did indeed mark a historic moment in local, national, and international affairs; it was the first public assertion by a Maasai leader that Maasai, and indeed, certain other historically marginalized groups in Africa, were part of the transnational community of indigenous peoples.
Moreover, at the end of my research year, I organized a workshop for the leaders of the umbrella organizations and a few other NGOs in which I presented my preliminary conclusions and critiques as both an effort at transparency and a catalyst for their own reflection on their political and personal projects and practices. A few anthropologists caution even more distance, given the implication of anthropological ideas of “culture” and “indigenous” in promoting, through reterritorialization efforts, not just “hierarchies of belonging” but also ethnic cleansing: Ethnic cleansing describes the process through which people who consider themselves indigenous or (ab)original violently reclaim territories taken from them by people they consider outsiders.