Il Motiok

DSC_0737We are now working in Il Motiok, a small community of Maasai families located in Laikipia, Kenya. These families eke their existence almost exclusively through goat herding, though some work on neighboring livestock ranches.

It’s a small community of about 130 households. Most people have never been to any level of school. Times have changed. Lack of land and climate change has made their old ways impossible and families are now sending their children to school. Some are hoping to send their children to university.

The people I’ve met so far have been grounded, capable people distanced from some of the more severe social problems that plague poor communities. As the pictures show, however, they do have an incredibly large number of children.

Il Motiok just got cel service 6 months ago. Every adult has a cel phone now. Don’t ever let people tell you that illiteracy is a barrier to wide uses of technology. Not only are they communicating with one another, herders are calling one another to inform of prime grazing spots for their goats.

As part of our research efforts, I have been offering family portraits as a way of saying thanks for letting us intrude on people’s busy lives. Here are some of the pictures.

About Pete Larson

Researcher at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. Lecturer in the University of Michigan School of Public Health and at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I do epidemiology, public health, GIS, health disparities and environmental justice. I also do music and weird stuff.

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