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While looking for information for this site, it became apparent that there is substantial conflict over the revenues from these village visits. It appears that drivers (based in Nairobi, and usually not Maasai) often have to be bribed to bring tourists to the villages, and sometimes the drivers kept $19 out of the $20. As a result, the Maasai tried to sell as many handicrafts as possible to get income from these visits.


We paid our money directly to the Maasai guide, but even this may not be a sure way of getting the money to the Maasai, as apparently it may still be necessary for the Maasai to bribe drivers after the fact.


In the Maasai Mara Triangle, a section of the Maasai Mara in the west, a system has been set up where tickets for visits are purchased at the lodges, and this money is directly taken by Maasai organisations. It is to be hoped that these systems work.


In the 1980s and 1990s, as well as being cheated out of their land by other Kenyans and Tanzanians, sometimes land was allotted to Maasai groups, to be organised by committees of Maasai elders, only for the elders to privatise the land and take it for themselves.

The Maasai 11/11: Issues

Here is some information about the economics of Maasai village tourism. Another article on the same issue is here.

Here is the homepage of the Maasai Triangle Villages Association.

The Maasai organise themselves according to age groups. This system is changing as more and more Maasai interact with the modern world. Since we did not encounter this system directly - for example, the men that we met in the Maasai village didn't wear long hair with ochre in it, pretending to be old-style Maasai warriors - we will not talk more about it here.

There is a good Wikipedia article about the Maasai for those who wish to learn more. Wikipedi articles on topics covered in this website are of very variable quality, and users should be warned that some of the information is of dubious quality.