Decolonizing Knowledge

To decolonize knowledge is to liberate ourselves from the idea that Western ways of knowing are superior to all others and to reclaim and recover our own epistemology: our history, sciences, systems of justice and culture, in our own language. Decolonizing knowledge also involves producing new knowledge needed to navigate our future, and this we undertake through partnerships with colleagues from Western contexts with whom we collaborate.


Decolonizing Maasai History

Decolonizing our history has been a critical intervention, and our approach and findings will be available through: Dapash and Poole, Decolonizing History in Maasailand (forthcoming 2021).

Maasai ilmoran of Italala, c.1895, the time of Emutai.

Much of Maasai history has either not been written, or has been written through a colonized lens. Our project turns to archival sources to glean information to inform the community’s oral history. Our approach is to reconstruct history through Collaboration.

Maasai History Conference presentation, Seasons Hotel, Narok, 2019.

We research history informed by questions originating in the community, and hold yearly history conferences to present what we are finding in the archives.

Map plotting occupied Mau Narok and river damming. Original map, 1975.

Much of our work has focused on land occupation, and has informed activism, as is the case with the Mau Narok land rights movement.


Donkol Ole Keiwa created a Maa-English Dictionary to further our  collaboration. Contact MERC to support this important project.