Maasai Oral Histories Project The Explorers Club   Center for Teaching International Relations at DU


Explorers Club Flag
Flag Award # 179
The Maasai Oral Histories Project is sponsored by The Explorers Club and will carry the Explorers Club Flag. These are privileges and honors shared by past expeditions and explorers such as Theodore Roosevelt, Charles Lindbergh, Thor Heyerdahl, Sylvia Earle, Jane Goodall, Neil Armstrong, Robert Ballard, and Sir Edmund Hillary. The Flag has flown at both poles, from the highest peaks of the greatest mountain ranges, traveled to the depths of the ocean, to the lunar surface, and into outer space. On the Maasai Oral Histories Project it will travel to a small, remote schoolroom in the heart of Maasailand, Kenya, East Africa.

The Explorers Club, founded in 1904, is a multidisciplinary organization that is dedicated to the advancement of field research and scientific exploration of land, sea, and space. Sponsorship grants the project a 501(c) 3 nonprofit status and financial oversight, but does not provide financial support for expeditions. Individuals and corporate donors wishing to contribute to this project may do so through payment to The Explorers Club, restricted to The Maasai Oral Histories Project, and receive a letter of acknowledgement for tax purposes.

Center for Teaching International Relations at DU  
The University of Denver Graduate School of International Studies will use the results of the Maasai Oral Histories Project as a centerpiece on globalization. The University's Center for Teaching International Relations (CTIR) will develop a curriculum for various grade levels, k-12, to teach global awareness well beyond the trivial "food, flags, festivals, fashion, and famous people" -and by illustrating the unique place the Maasai hold in teaching American children about Africa, we would be rendering a very important service to American school children about cultural and historical change around the world.

Martha's Vineyard Cultural Council
Early development of the project was supported in part by a grant from the Martha's Vineyard Cultural Council, a local agency that in turn is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

African Portfolio
All travel arrangements for team members and volunteers are being graciously handled by Diane Ebzery at African Portfolio, 146 Sound Beach Avenue, Old Greenwich, CT 06870. 800-700-3677. Email

CC Africa
CC Africa
CCAfrica has provided major assistance to the project by providing camp facilities at Kichwa Tembo for interviewing elders at Mara Rianta, Lemek and Aitong.

Ever Together
Unique bandoleer bracelets made from rare earth magnets have been provided by artist/designer Terrence Kelleman as gifts to the Maasai senior elders.

RadTech designs, manufactures and OEM's innovative, high-tech accessories for the digitally aware. RadTech solutions are practical, durable, ruggedly built, functional at environmental extremes and lightweight. RadTech has donated a rugged MacTruck notebook enclosure to protect the project laptop computer. designed & developed the Maasai Oral History Project web site in collaboration with the project's principal team members.

We would like to thank the many individuals who have already contributed to The Maasai Oral Histories Project. This, combined with the contributions from Team Members, has allowed us to begin the first phase of this project in December 2004 and January 2005.

However, we still need a significant amount of support in the field for base-camp equipment and transport. And recording the stories is only the beginning. Transmitting the data and images via satellite to our web site is very expensive. Upon returning to the States, the post-production work requires many hours of professional translations from Maa into English and Swahili; then editing the stories for comprehension and, finally, re-recording the text along with video and photographic images that are indexed and navigable. Additional recording sessions in Kenya may even be necessary.

So there is much more help needed to bring this Project to fruition. And there are many ways you can help, as detailed on the you can help page. Thank you.


And special thanks to those who are staying behind but helped us move forward:

Rich Rose, technology consultant from MJM Creative, New York.
Mike Rose, for donating analog recording equipment.
Ashley Pearlman, TheUsability Group, for her expertise on website usability.
Nicole Young, Executive Director of The Explorers Club, for facilitating the process.
Trader Fred, for donating hats to keep our heads cool in the equatorial sun.