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University of Michigan (2011)

Pastoral Movements and Movements in Pastoralism : Shifting Traditions and Institutions of Modern Management Strategies in Laikipia Kenya

Yurco, Kayla

Titre : Pastoral Movements and Movements in Pastoralism : Shifting Traditions and Institutions of Modern Management Strategies in Laikipia Kenya

Auteur : Yurco, Kayla

Université de soutenance : University of Michigan

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2011

Résumé partiel
This collection of papers explores the emergence of, implications for, and justice issues surrounding a new tradition of pastoralism in central Kenya : conservation-driven privatization and commercialization of traditional knowledge and environmental labor. It draws on fieldwork completed for my master’s thesis during May to August 2010 among pastoralists in Laikipia, Kenya, at the Mpala Ranch and Research Centre and the nearby Maasai communities of Ilmotiok and Tiemamut. Through semi-structured interviews and household surveys, I found that conservation and development agendas in this region are contributing to a new wave of livelihood shifts for local pastoralists in which individuals are transitioning from being animal owners to animal ‘caretakers’ employed by powerful conservation groups. At large, my thesis focuses on the social outcomes of these livelihood shifts, including shifts in the sharing of traditional knowledge, decision-making strategies, and associated environmental justice complexities of a new kind of labor-based rather than landscape-based mobility. Using interdisciplinary means and different focal points, these papers explore that theme closely, including issues surrounding resource dependency, insider/outsider knowledge and resource control, shifts in economic norms on individual and landscape scales, and associated questions of cultural transition and justice. The overarching research question in these discussions is what are the tradeoffs of various outcomes of contemporary coupled pastoral management and conservation strategies in an integrated natural-human system ? More specifically, what carries over from traditional herding patterns and processes, and what is gained and/or lost when there are attempts by conservation efforts to transform this system ? For example, to what extent have conservation strategies such as the Mpala model done away with the socio-spatial mobility and use of ecological heterogeneity by implementing fixed boundaries on the landscape, or have they instead increased flexibility by altering the natural landscape (i.e. through infrastructural development) ? The introduction in this series serves as a broad introduction to this landscape, its ecology and its society, its history and its present challenges, as well as a more focused introduction to framing my study sites for further discussion. Beyond this introduction, the three following papers attempt to capture the holistic “identity” of this complex multi-part, multi-person, multilandscape, multi-national endeavor. My intent is to capture the experiential identity of all of these efforts as one that is not static, drawing from oral histories, present experiences, and theory in relevant literature to understand the institutional and cross-continental complexities of conservation and development attempts in this landscape

Mots clés : pastoralism — Laikipia, Kenya — Mpala Ranch and Research Centre — Maasai

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Page publiée le 18 mai 2012, mise à jour le 25 septembre 2019