Yaaku people

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The Yaaku (often Mukogodo-Maasai) are a people living in the Mukogodo forest west of Mount Kenya, a division of the Laikipia District of Rift Valley Province, Kenya. Former hunter-gatherers and bee-keepers, the Yaaku assimilated to the pastoralist culture of the Maasai in the first half of the twentieth century, although some still keep bees. The reason for this transition is mostly one of social prestige. The Maasai look down upon hunter-gatherer peoples, calling them Dorobo ('the ones without cattle'), and many Yaaku consider the Maasai culture superior to their own. As a result of this decision the Yaaku almost completely gave up their Cushitic language Yaaku for the Eastern Nilotic Maasai language between 1925 and 1936.

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References[edit]

  • Brenzinger, Matthias (1992) 'Lexical retention in language shift', in Brenzinger, Matthias (ed.) Language Death: Factual and Theoretical Explorations with Special Reference to East Africa. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 213–254.
  • Cronk, Lee (2002) 'From true Dorobo to Mukogodo-Maasai: contested ethnicity in Kenya', Ethnology, 41(1), 27–49.
  • Heine, Bernd (1974/75) 'Notes on the Yaaku language (Kenya)', Afrika und Übersee, 58(1), 27–61; 58(2), 119–138.
  • Heine, Bernd & Brenzinger, Matthias (1988) 'Notes on the Mukogodo dialect of Maasai', Afrikanistische Arbeitspapiere, 14, 97–131.
  • Mous, Maarten & Stoks, Hans & Blonk, Matthijs (2005) 'De laatste sprekers' [the last speakers], in Indigo, tijdschrift over inheemse volken [journal on indigenous peoples], pp. 9–13.See article The last speakers
  • Sommer, Gabriele (1992) 'A survey on language death in Africa', in Brenzinger, Matthias (ed.) Language Death: Factual and Theoretical Explorations with Special Reference to East Africa. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 301–417.

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