Cattle and Kings
The United Nations World Court has asked you to submit a report on a potentially volatile situation in Loliondo district, northern Tanzania. In this district, the government of Tanzania plans to sell 600 square miles of Maasai traditional lands to Ortello Business Corporation (OBC), a big-game hunting firm based in United Arab Emirates. Many Maasai are peacefully protesting while others have threatened to give their lives fighting for the contested lands. The differing narratives produced by local, national, and international actors have made the resolution of this issue difficult.
Your task is to identify the actors involved in the dispute. As it is used here, “actors” are not individuals (e.g., a Maasai headman or tourism minister) but more homogenous groups (e.g., a population, a business, a government office). While there are many actors connected to the dispute, you should locate 3-4 primary actors. For each actor, state their arguments for or against selling the land. Given your research into the issue, as well as your new found knowledge of anthropology, provide your best assessment of the truth of these arguments. Using your assessment, write a final paragraph on whether you will be recommending, (1) that the land be sold to OBC, or, (2) that the land remain in Maasai hands. Finally, briefly discuss if any additional information would strengthen your recommendation or even make you change your stance (e.g., how the sale of the land will benefit the local Maasai).