OLBALBAL by Barbara A. Margolies


A Day in Maasailand
Age Range: 6 - 9
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 The traditional semi-nomadic life of the Masai of Tanzania. Notes by both Margolies and the Tanzanian Ambassador to the U.N. point out the dilemma of a people who fear encroaching change and cling to the old while recognizing the benefits of the new. Cattle are the focus of Masai existence; when grass is depleted, they move on. Children don't attend school; they live with parasites, trachoma, malaria, flies, and predators and without modern medical care. As more Masai settle on farms or in cities, traditions become more difficult to maintain. The author's portrait of an exotic culture where roles are strictly defined by sex and age is straightforward and nonjudgmental in showing various group members at work and play and the ceremony for boys entering manhood. Unfortunately, her photography is technically and artistically inferior to that in her book about New Guinea (Warriors, Wigmen, and the Crocodile People, 1993); it suffers from poor resolution, reflections, bad composition and lighting, and unfortunate framing and cropping. Still, an adequate additional purchase where demand is high and Kroll's Masai and I (1992) needs supplementing. (Nonfiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-02-762284-3
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Four Winds/MacMillan
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1994