The Ogiek of the Mau forest are a hunter-gatherer group speaking a Kalenjin language very close to Nandi. Aim of this paper is to describe their extreme flexibility as a conscious choice to avoid a total fusion with neighbouring, more prestigious people (Maasai and Nandi). In this perspective, flexibility must be intend- ed as the key characteristic of the Ogiek’s linguistic, ethnic and cultural identity. In the era of globalisation and under the pressure of thousands of new immigrants attracted in the region by fertile lands, the histori- cal Ogiek strategy of adaptation appears insufficient to avoid a final dissolution in what Baumann () defined a fluid society. The only strategy for them to survive as a distinct ethnic group, seems to be a claim for indigenousness, which, however, bears the risk of crystalizing the Ogiek original flexibility in an improb- able mythological uniqueness.

The Ogiek of the Mau Forest: reasoning between identity and survival

MICHELI, ILARIA
2014

Abstract

The Ogiek of the Mau forest are a hunter-gatherer group speaking a Kalenjin language very close to Nandi. Aim of this paper is to describe their extreme flexibility as a conscious choice to avoid a total fusion with neighbouring, more prestigious people (Maasai and Nandi). In this perspective, flexibility must be intend- ed as the key characteristic of the Ogiek’s linguistic, ethnic and cultural identity. In the era of globalisation and under the pressure of thousands of new immigrants attracted in the region by fertile lands, the histori- cal Ogiek strategy of adaptation appears insufficient to avoid a final dissolution in what Baumann () defined a fluid society. The only strategy for them to survive as a distinct ethnic group, seems to be a claim for indigenousness, which, however, bears the risk of crystalizing the Ogiek original flexibility in an improb- able mythological uniqueness.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2846737
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