Time, Space, and the Unknown: Maasai Configurations of Power & Providence


Uncertainty is an everyday aspect of existence for the Maasai of East Africa. They take ritual precautions against mystical misfortune in their small and dispersed villages, and place community life in the hands of elders whose collective wisdom is underpinned by a belief in a moral, supreme and unknowably provident god. This stability is, however, edged with concern for secret malcontents who might seek to create havoc through sorcery and whose elusive magic lies outside the elders' power. Time, Space and the Unknown follows on from The Maasai of Matapato and The Samburu to show how uncertainty and misfortune influence the social life of the Maasai.

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