Six Maasai proverbs complement glimpses into the daily life of a Maasai community in a compact and fascinating portrait of this nomadic people and their changing world.
Reynolds describes in photographs and text how, in an area about the size of Oregon, the Maasai herd goats and cows as they have traditionally done and also increasingly adapt to changes in the environment and availability of grazing land and water. Farming and beekeeping are shown as examples of new Maasai ways of subsistence that may help restore health to the land that supports wild animals. The Maasai’s respect and care for wild animals—they do not hunt them for food—and for the environment comes through clearly. The straightforward and economical text explains the construction of the huts, the use and importance of the livestock and the responsibilities, games and social traditions of girls and of boys within the group. The dozens of photographs inside and on the cover are excellent, with only two—peering inside an enjaki, or hut—a bit dim. An author’s note discusses in a more personal voice the importance of Maasai storytelling and explains the effect that wildlife preserves—where not even leopards are truly wild—have on the natural order that the Maasai seek to restore.
A revealing look at a vibrant and distinct culture. (author’s note, glossary, source notes) (Nonfiction. 7-11)