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The Maasai and the ancient Israelites : an early 20th century interpretation of the Maasai in German East Africa

dc.contributor.authorHolter, Knuten_ZA
dc.date.accessioned2019-03-01T12:39:45Z
dc.date.available2019-03-01T12:39:45Z
dc.date.issued2017
dc.identifier.citationHolter, K. 2017. The Maasai and the ancient Israelites : an early 20th century interpretation of the Maasai in German East Africa. Scriptura, 116(2):66-74, doi:10.7833/116-2-1314
dc.identifier.issn2305-445X (online)
dc.identifier.issn0254-1807 (print)
dc.identifier.otherdoi:10.7833/116-2-1314
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/105501
dc.descriptionCITATION: Holter, K. 2017. The Maasai and the ancient Israelites : an early 20th century interpretation of the Maasai in German East Africa. Scriptura, 116(2):66-74, doi:10.7833/116-2-1314.
dc.descriptionThe original publication is available at http://scriptura.journals.ac.za
dc.description.abstractThe idea that a certain ethnic or social group is historically related to the ancient Israelites is a widespread phenomenon in Africa. In some cases the identification is made from a ‘we’-perspective about ‘our’ group, such as the Lembas in Zimbabwe and South Africa. In other cases it is made from a ‘they’-perspective about ‘their’ group, such as Moritz Merker’s claim about the Maasai of East Africa. Merker served as a colonial officer in German East Africa, and his Die Masai: Ethno-graphische Monographie eines ostafrikanischen Semitenvolkes (1904, 19102) is generally seen as the first ethnographic study of the Maasai, and as such it continues to receive attention. However, the ethnographic focus of the book is framed by a discussion about the past of the Maasai, arguing – with reference to contemporary German Assyriology and Biblical Studies – that they are a Semitic people originating in Arabia and sharing roots with the ancient Israelites. The article discusses Merker’s claim and argues that its central idea of a non-African background of the Maasai reflects Merker’s colonial, interpretive context.en_ZA
dc.description.urihttp://scriptura.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/1314
dc.format.extent9 pages
dc.language.isoen_ZAen_ZA
dc.publisherStellenbosch University, Faculty of Theology
dc.subjectMaasai (African people) -- Ethnic identityen_ZA
dc.titleThe Maasai and the ancient Israelites : an early 20th century interpretation of the Maasai in German East Africaen_ZA
dc.typeArticleen_ZA
dc.description.versionPublisher's version
dc.rights.holderAuthor retains copyright


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