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Miami University: Oxford Campus

Publication Date

Fall 2010

Program Name

Tanzania: Wildlife Conservation and Political Ecology


The purpose of this study is to document the changing space of the esoto dance of the Maasai through descriptive analysis. I will consider how performance, relationships, and life after esoto have changed generationally. I will also analyze why these changes are occurring with a discussion on women’s opinions of the esoto. I chose the study site of Engare Sero as it has recently commenced a new age of development with a primary school, tourism, and the mixing of other Tanzanians. I interviewed exactly 105 women in the village within a 5km radius from the village center. I spoke mostly with older women and only briefly chatted with girls in the town market. Through analysis I have found the three factors that I believe are causing the changing space and perceptions of esoto to be western education, Christianity, and Swahili culture. While all women agreed that the esoto has changed in some ways since they were young, they had differing opinions on the relevance of the dance today. The western principles that are applied through these three factors have come to modify Maasai values, concepts of morality, and priorities in their developing world.


African Languages and Societies | Dance | Social and Cultural Anthropology



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