Samburu perspectives on disaster, identity and landscape
The paper “Dust people: Samburu perspectives on disaster, identity and landscape” published in the Journal of Eastern African Studies 10 (1): 168–188 (2016) discusses the Samburu term ntoror, meaning a place that attracts division and fighting. This term brings together ideas about pastoralist landscapes that inherently attract conflict and place-based identities derived from environmental and human-created disaster. The paper grows out of a project that sought to integrate ethnographic self-scrutiny with bio-archaeological excavation, with the aim of encouraging the shared generation of knowledge. The inspiration for exploring ntoror and expanding its symbolic meaning came from the Samburu co-author, who responded to the challenges the excavation posed by drawing on the concept of ntoror, which made sense to him. It is discussed how understanding this concept can lay a basis for negotiation and peace building. The paper is the result of cross-cultural collaboration by North Americans and Samburu.