DER Documentary

Boran Herdsmen


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From the Kenya series in the Faces of Change collection
by David MacDougall, James Blue, and Paul Baxter
color, 18 min, 1974
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This film demonstrates the time-honored solutions to the problems associated with the Boran's dependence on cattle for living. Direct government intervention and the indirect impact of modernization are forcing the old patterns to change. The film depicts herding practices, movement patterns, watering strategies, and the lifestyle of the herdsmen.

The film has special currency for issues in rural development and agricultural, environmental, and human adaption. Courses that emphasize Third World problems, cross-cultural techniques of adaptation, the role of the environment in questions of human survival, and the role of government in rural development will find the film useful.

Major Concepts: Pastoralism, nomadic-sedentary interaction, environmental adaptation, role segregation of men and women in economic and ritual affairs, ritual and the role of the supernatural.


About the Faces of Change collection
This revolutionary series of 26 - 16mm films and videos, funded by the National Science Foundation, produced by Norman Miller and documented by some of the finest ethnographic filmmakers of our time is now available through D.E.R. The films examine 5 cultures selected for the diversity of their geographic location: starting with the China Coast at sea level and moving up to Taiwan, then to Afghanistan, Kenya and finally to the mountains of Bolivia. Each location is examined through 5 themes: Rural Society, Education, Rural Economy, Women, and Beliefs. Detailed instructors notes are available for an additional $10.00.


films in the Kenya series:
Boran Women
Harambee: Pull Together
Kenya Boran I
Kenya Boran II



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