The social dynamics of non-market cattle transactions among the Tanzanian Maasai

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University of Warsaw
The Research mainly focused on the issue of traditional cattle exchange in pastoral society and property rights in cattle. Within this broad spectrum of problems I devoted special attention to the institution of redistribution of stock among the impoverished clansmen in the Maasai society, the core of mutual assistance social network. This is intended to be the main contribution of this report to the existing literature. Local concepts of poverty was also studied. In order to understand the causes and nature of the institution of redistribution of stock, I also collected information on local ecological conditions, pastoral economy and the role of alternative survival strategies such as agriculture or trade. The importance of research on the property rights in cattle and traditional mutual assistance mechanisms lies in their direct utility for development planning. Development projects in the pastoral sector should be focused not only on rising pastoral productivity but also on effective strengthening of these traditional mutual assistance mechanisms which create a safety net for the loosers in the society, directly saving people’s lives and recreating their productive base. In order to build my knowledge on the property relationships among the Maasai I also studied local concepts of property rights to water and pastures as well as practical rules of access to these resources.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, (EAF FOS P67)
Maasai, Non-market, Dynamics
Potkanski, Tomasz(1991). The social dynamics of non-market cattle transactions among the Tanzanian Maasai