Six Maasai proverbs complement glimpses into the daily life of a Maasai community in a compact and fascinating portrait of this nomadic people and their changing world. he straightforward and economical text explains the construction of the huts, the use and importance of the livestock and the responsibilities, games and social traditions of girls and of boys within the group. The dozens of photographs inside and on the cover are excellent, with only two peering inside an enjaki, or hut a bit dim. An author s note discusses in a more personal voice the importance of Maasai storytelling and explains the effect that wildlife preserves where not even leopards are truly wild have on the natural order that the Maasai seek to restore. A revealing look at a vibrant and distinct culture. --Kirkus Reviews
Reynolds s compelling portrait of Maasai culture centers on the Il Ngwesi tribe in Kenya. Through straightforward descriptions ( The Maasai do not count their animals. They know each one by sight ) and large, color photographs, readers learn intimate details of the Il Ngwesi people for example, that they sleep on wooden beds covered in animal skins, and that all members of the tribe, including children, have chores to do before playing games or making brightly beaded jewelry. Reynolds discusses the Maasai s dependence upon their animals and the effects of climate change and restricted land use on their way of life. A thought-provoking look at a culture that is peaceful and industrious, and which holds onto tradition while facing the future. --Publisher's Weekly
Her text and excellent-quality photos introduce the daily lives of men, women, and children. She shows how traditional roles and ceremonies exist alongside adaptations such as growing crops, cultivating wild bees, and guiding tourists to see animals in natural habitats. Although the Maasai proverbs Reynolds includes hint at a positive outcome, the people face ongoing challenges from environmental and political forces. This thought-provoking photo essay reveals a culture in the midst of change. --School Library Journal
About the Author
JAN REYNOLDS is the author and photographer of award-winning photo-essays. Her work has been recognized by the National Council of Social Studies as Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People and American Bookseller s Pick of the Lists. She has also written travel and adventure articles for National Geographic, the New York Times, and Outside magazine. When she isn t writing or traveling the world, Reynolds enjoys visiting schools and spending time with her husband and their two sons at home in Stowe, Vermont.