"The Land Is Ours"

SAYYID AZIM/AP

PROTEST: In Nairobi, Masai walk through clouds of tear gas which police fired at them in order to break up an August demonstration

On one side of the fence line, the farmed grass grows thick and trembles in the wind. On the other side, the ground is nearly bare, chewed down in places to the rocky topsoil. In between are splintered fence poles and scattered strands of electric wire that, until last month, closed off a 20,000-hectare central Kenyan commercial ranch from the communal grazing lands of Masai herdsmen.

To the Masai, most of whom make their living raising cows, sheep and goats, the landscape's stark divide is testimony to their need for grazing lands. With a population of about half...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!