Dancing for the Tourist
The rains have failed in Northern Kenya and Tanzania for the past four years resulting in severe hardship for pastoralist such as the Masai Tribe. A life lived with the land, and from the land is now under severe threat. The natural ecological rhythm so carefully worked by the pastoralist is breaking down under the rising influence of global climate change. A way of life depended on the cow, not only for food, but also for cultural expression struggles to survive. Some member of the tribe move to local towns and cities to irk out a meagre existence in already overcrowded slums. Others remain on the land and entertain the increasing number of tourist who visits Africa on the ‘holiday of a lifetime’.
The Masai people deeply resent having their photographed taken. Culturally they interpret the act as ‘stealing part of their soul’ However, their lives are changing, the leader of the tribe negotiate pricing terms with the tourist; they pose and dance for a price.
One is left with the impression many still resent this act.