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Posts Tagged ‘Tanzania’

Can a Tribe Sue for Copyright? The Maasai Want Royalties for Use of Their Name

“According to Ron Layton, a New Zealander who specializes in advising developing world organizations on copyrights, patents, and trademarks, about 10,000 companies around the world use the Maasai name, selling everything from auto parts to hats to legal services.

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Most of the value of the Maasai brand is not in the handicrafts the tribe produces,” Layton says. “It’s in the cultural value of an iconic brand.

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And yet, as a people, they have benefited little from the visitors. They see their images on billboards and their beadwork in gift shops, but they are underrepresented in the industry’s craft markets and other trades. They see tourists take their pictures and imagine them sold for riches abroad.”

Read the Bloomberg Businessweek: Global Economics article in its entirety.

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I don’t want a little girl in Ghana, or Sri Lanka, or Indonesia to think of me when she wakes up each morning. I don’t want her to thank me for her education or medical care or new clothes. Even if I am providing the funds to get the ball rolling, I want her to think about her teacher, community leader, or mother. I want her to have a hero who she can relate to — who looks like her, is part of her culture, speaks her language, and who she might bump into on the way to school one morning.

From “The Problem With Little White Girls (and Boys): Why I Stopped Being A Voluntourist” by Pippa Biddle (also published on PippaBiddle.com), an interesting coming of age reflection essay on outgrowing the white savior complex.

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