Gudrun Dahl (Gudrun.Dahl@TELE.SU.SE)
Wed, 4 Oct 1995 15:15:30 +0100

In relation to Ray Scupin=B4s letter:
A couple of years ago I visited Tepotzlan during the time of the Mexico City
ICAES Congress. There was a small workshop on East African Pastoralism in a
nice resort on top of one of the Tepotzlan hills. An interesting experience
in the transcultural (pomo?) genre. Among the other participants there were
anthropologists and range specialists, among them some Maasai guys, e.g. Ole
Parkipuny who is one of the few African intellectuals who have discovered
the international advantages of claiming aboriginal status, making the
Maasai an almost unique case of an African group being constructed as
"Fourth World.". There was also our colleague Dr Fekadu Gedamu from Addis,
at least then a minister in the ruling cabinet of Ethiopia. As we strolled
down the hill, excited to be in a classic anthropological site, we noted the
very visible impact of other people having felt the same excitement.
Tepotzlan=B4s main road is a market place for the "hippie" (do they still
exist) and/or anthropologist tourist and other people with leanings towards
consuming exotism. There is a very nice and artistically decorated pub. But
there are also curio shops. One of them was full of /Asian/ Indian
handicrafts, but also batiques featuring stereotype Maasai warriors, a kind
of textiles which has little to do with Maasai traditions but which is
widely marketed in the streets of Nairobi (I do not know who manufactures
them, presumably not Maasai people.)=20

So, looking for the traces of the Little and the Great Tradition, what we
met was perhaps the Even Larger Tradition of globalization. And that, of
course, is also something for the anthropologist to deal with.

Gudrun Dahl