The Maasai Tribe and the Wanniyala-Aetto People

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“Change is never easy. You fight to hold on. You fight to let go.” ~Daniel Stern. So goes the story of our changing world. A world that is constantly fighting to move forward, yet stay the same. Changes like globalization and modernization have greatly influenced the historical state of many societies, and there continues to be significant change happening today within traditional cultures around the world in response to globalization and modernization. The Maasai tribe of northern Tanzania and the Wanniyala-Aetto people of Sri Lanka are two examples of cultures fighting to stay the same in a world that is forever changing around them. The Maasai people of northern Tanzania have been fighting against the changes being pressed into the fabric of their society for many years. At first look it seems as though the Maasai have been resistant to change and consistent in retaining their cultural traditions, when in reality, the inevitable truth is that the Maasai people are becoming extinct. As successful pastoralists, the Maasai have been characterized by their nomadic movement in search of grazing lands for their cattle. Cattle are the preferred form of currency and every aspect of the Maasai life is focused around them from marriages to migration. (Hayes, 2003. )The Maasai have occupied over 200,000 square kilometers of northern Tanzania for centuries, living a simple life and depending on the land for what they need. (Tore, 2007) They dress in their traditional red with men carrying a spear and a knife to use for self-defense making them known as fierce warriors. A medicine man has commonly been the source of healing for the Maasai, using plants and herbs to make healing concoctions. (Tore, 2007) An influx of foreign investor... ... middle of paper ... ...n. . Retrieved from “Maasai: A Living Legend.”: Igoe, J. (2006). Becoming Indigenous Peoples: Difference, Inequality, and the Globalization of East African Identity Politics. African Affairs, 399-420. Stegeborn, W. (2004). The Disappearing Wanniyala-Aetto of Sri Lanka: A case Study. Nomadic People, 43-63. The African Roots Foundation. (2008). The Life History of Maasai. Retrieved Jan 13, 2014, from Tore, C. D. (2007). Endangered Humans: The Effects of Globalization and Westernization on Small Scale Societies and Indigenous Populations. Retrieved Jan 09, 2014, from

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