This book owes a great deal to many individuals and groups. The inspiration to study and write about conservation, tourism investment, and Maasai livelihoods started during my junior year in college. It was then, in 1992, that I first met Maanda Ngoitiko, Daniel Ngoitiko, Dismas Metaiya and Makko Sinandei. These four people welcomed me to Loliondo and have embraced my curiosity and questions ever since. I am grateful for their candor, their humor, their friendship, as well as their tireless work on behalf of their communities. This book would not exist without their insights, encouragement, and convictions. I also want to thank Lazaro Parkipuny for giving me my first ride to Loliondo and putting up with me ever since. His passion for and commitment to Maasai rights and respect reshaped livelihoods and landscapes throughout northern Tanzania. Sadly, he passed away in 2013. Thanks to Alais Morindat and Francis Shomett for putting up with my questions and for encouraging me to ask more.
It is difficult to convey my gratitude to the residents of Loliondo and their willingness to talk with me about their lives, their history, and their aspirations. I also want to express my appreciation and thanks to numerous Tanzanians who assisted this research in various ways. The use of pseudonyms to protect people’s privacy precludes many formal acknowledgments. I want to thank the staff of so many organizations that allowed me to use their archives, conduct interviews, and observe their activities and meetings. I especially want to acknowledge the Ujamma Community Resource Trust, Pastoral Women’s Council, Pastoral Indigenous Non-Governmental Organizations Forum, Lawyers Environmental Action Team, Journalists Environmental Association of Tanzania, Legal and Human Rights Centre, and African Wildlife Foundation.
I offer profound thanks to my “family” in Arusha. Munka and Selina Killerai and their sons, Kip, Ntimama, and Killerai, have provided my family and me a home away from home and sincere friendship since I first came to Tanzania in the early 1990s. Thank you for always supporting me and for being Babu and Bibi to Stella and Maylie. Thanks also to Munka’s mom, kokoo who provided me a home in Loliondo and is as formidable today at ninety years old as she was when I first met her over twenty years ago.
This research would never have happened if Dave, Thad, and Mike Peterson had not introduced me to the issues of community tourism, land use, and conservation in northern Tanzania. Although they do not always agree with my analysis, they have always encouraged and supported me to pursue my interests in understanding the complex relationships among development and conservation in Tanzania. Their genuine caring, enthusiasm, and wisdom are infectious. I also want to thank Trude, Lisa, and Robin Peterson, and all of their children for their support to my family and me over the years.
I received permission to conduct research in Tanzania from the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology. A variety of institutions funded the various stages of this research. The National Science Foundation and the Fulbright-Hays Fellowship supported my dissertation research. The Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington provided both financial and intellectual support through my participation in the 2011–2012 society of scholars. My sincerest thanks to members of that cohort, especially to Stephanie Camp, a wonderful historian who gave me exceptionally valuable suggestions on the manuscript. Sadly, Stephanie passed away in 2014. The Land Deals Politics Initiative funded a case study on land grabbing in Tanzania. And, finally, the University of Washington Bothell provided the financial means necessary to conduct follow-up research, to create the maps, and to index this book. I’ve presented portions of this project over the years at conferences of the Association of American Geographers, the African Studies Association, and the Cultural Studies Association and at invited lectures and seminars.
When I began this work I didn’t know how I would contribute to the already rich research on the Maasai and conservation politics in Tanzania. I want to thank Dorothy Hodgson and Richard Schroeder for being so open to a junior scholar and for encouraging me to find my own voice in the field. They offered critical feedback and support from the earliest stages of this research until the end. I want to thank Rod Neumann for his advice and comments throughout this project. Both Rod and Rick read the entire manuscript with an incredibly detailed and supportive eye. James Igoe and Daniel Brockington also provided great feedback at different stages of this work.
In Tanzania I greatly benefited from my affiliation with the Department of Geography and the Institute of Resource Assessment at the University of Dar es Salaam. In particular I want to thank Hussein Sosovele, George Jambiya, N’gwanza Kamata, Festus Ndumbaro, Davis Mwamfupe, Idris Kikula, Tundu Lissu, Rugemeleza Nshala, and Issa Shivji. I also received invaluable insights from Elizabeth Garland, Mara Goldman, Fred Nelson, Andrew Williams, Elizabeth Singleton, Alan Rodgers, Katherine Homewood, and Peter Rogers.
At the University of California, Berkeley, my dissertation committee—Louise Fortmann, Gillian Hart, Donald Moore, Nathan Sayre, and Michael Watts—guided me through my initial research and helped shape me into a cultural geographer. My advisor, Michael Watts pushed me to use geographic and political economic theory to see conservation politics in Tanzania from a different perspective. His own scholarship and teaching continue to inspire and motivate my work. Donald Moore opened my eyes to the importance of cultural studies and cultural politics, and I have never seen anything the same since. Gillian Hart helped me to understand the local as a historical and geographical production. Thanks are also due to a number of faculty mentors who not only were on my committee but also have shaped my interests and this project in profound ways: John Burton, Bill Burch, Kalyanakrishnan Sivaramakrishnan, Eric Worby, Michael Burawoy, Alan Pred, and Nancy Peluso.
Writing a book can be an isolating experience, and I am grateful for having wonderful colleagues. I especially want to thank Lynn Thomas, Johanna Crane, Nora Kenworthy, Danny Hoffman, and Ron Krabill, who commented on draft chapters and otherwise substantially supported this project and me. I have benefitted greatly from conversations and collaborations with Susan Harewood, Eric Stewart, Jackie Belanger, Lauren Berliner, Diane Gillespie, Martha Groom, Christian Anderson, Julie Shayne, Jin-Kyu Jung, Alyssa Deutschler, Bruce Burgett, Colin Danby, S. Charusheela, and Tony Lucero from the University of Washington. I particularly want to recognize Ron Krabill and Crispin Thurlow for the sincere interest they both took in my project and my overall development as a scholar and professor. I could not have wished for better colleagues or friends.
I had the privilege of studying together with some remarkable students at UC Berkeley, including Brinda Sarathy, Tracey Osborne, Sapana Doshi, Rebecca Lave, and Mark Hunter. Joe Bryan and I were classmates and itinerant travelers throughout graduate school. He has shaped my thinking and understanding of theory more than anyone. I also want to thank James McCarthy, Aaron Bobrow-Strain, Wendy Wolford, Geoff Mann, Scott Prudham, Julie Guthman, Amy Ross, Sharad Chari, and Jake Kosek, all of whom have offered insights and advice at various stages of this project.
I have had the pleasure of working with some remarkable students at UW Bothell whose intellectual curiosity and engagement have immensely strengthened this project. Thanks to Joyce Mwangi, Angela Macklin, Josh Heim, Debbie Brown, Trina Ballard, Julie Hurst, and Shana Hirsch. I especially want to thank Marcus Johnson for his work as a research assistant on this project and for his contagious passion for cultural studies and social justice. Ronnie Thibault has challenged me to do my best work and has been instrumental in putting together companion digital humanities resources for this book.
I want to thank Julie Van Pelt for her assistance editing early chapters of the manuscript and to Barbara Wojhoski for copyediting the final draft. XNR productions made the maps. John Joerschke guided me through the publishing process. Beatrice Burton produced the index. Derek Krissoff went to bat for this book from the beginning and introduced me to the world of publishing. This book was greatly improved by the comments and suggestions of two anonymous reviewers. Thank you also to Julie Felner and Amy Harrison, who gave me much needed late-night help to see more clearly the poignant stories that bring this research to life.
My parents and sister deserve many thanks for providing love, confidence, and plenty of constructive criticism. To my mom, Behna Gardner, you have always made me believe that anything is possible and that creativity matters. I am grateful for your unconditional love. To my sister, Abbey Gardner, thank you for reading my dissertation over and over and for reminding me to think of an audience outside of the social sciences. To my dad, Lanny Gardner, you have supported me at every step of this project. I could not have done this without you. As a father and an editor you are beyond compare.
My deepest gratitude is to the three people who influence and inspire me most. To my daughters Stella and Maylie, you have not always known what I was writing about, but my research, as much as my life have been shaped by your warm spirits, your infectious smiles, and your unbridled optimism. Your depth of caring about people all over the world is a constant source of delight. Finally, my heartfelt thanks go to my wife and partner in all things, Jennifer Meyer. Thank you for supporting me throughout this process. We met in East Africa in 1991, and this book represents one, albeit long, chapter of our mutual relationship with the people and places of Tanzania. You are and have always been my best friend and companion in the everyday things that make life worth living, which included many dusty, bumpy, daylong drives to and from Loliondo. Without your encouragement, reassurance, and love this book would never have been written. Simple thanks are not enough. This book is for you.