Endoinyo Ormoruwak (“Small Hill of the Elders”)

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Location: Between Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru in Tanzania

Who Considers it Sacred? The Native African Maasai Tribe

Significance: The site of the Olng’eherr ritual, marking passage of young men to the rank of elder. British colonial occupation during the 19th and 20th centuries allowed farming land grants to undercut traditional Maasai stewardship of the land. The Maasai are now denied access to many sites long held sacred by them.

The Threat: Industrial Development

Preservation Status: Endoinyo Ormoruwak has been threatened by farming that endangers the vegetation used in the rituals there. The Maasai have founded the Ilaigwenaak Trust, which would keep land for future Maasai generations. British based Survival International has funded Maasai visits to the Tanzanian capital of Dar-es-Salaam, where they lobbied the government for ownership of the site, and provided the Maasai a legal consultant.

For More Information: Site Saver Newsletter, Volume XI, Number 1, Fall 2000; http://www.survivalinternational.org/tribes/maasai

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