Maize Maze

Maize Maze by Alison NichollsThis painting shows a Maasai herder and his cattle surrounded by maize, much of it eaten by animals or dying through lack of water. The painting covers a topic discussed by the community of Loibor Siret during a Rangelands Management Seminar at the headquarters of the African People & Wildlife Fund in Tanzania.

Pastoralists like the Maasai move their livestock seasonally to find better pasture, even though their family and some animals may remain behind at the main homestead or engang. Many are finding their seasonal movements restricted by the proliferation of agriculture, which often leads to their livestock overgrazing the areas still remaining to them. In addition, many of the new farms are unproductive, thanks to erratic & unevenly distributed rainfall, and the destruction of unguarded crops by wildlife.

Maize Maze by Alison Nicholls

Maize Maze, acrylic on canvas 28×28″ by Alison Nicholls.

The International Institute for Environment and Development estimates that 40% of Africa’s population lives in drylands, that the traditional livestock sector in Tanzania produces 70% of the country’s milk, and that 50 million livestock producers support their families with livestock fed solely on drylands pastures across East and West Africa. In ‘Modern and Mobile: the Future of Livestock Production in Africa’s Drylands’, IIED points out that pastoralism is vital for millions of people across Africa and could prove even more vital in the future as pastoralists, unlike farmers, can adapt to a changing climate.

The original acrylic painting of Maize Maze was sold with 30% of the purchase price donated to the African People & Wildlife Fund in Tanzania. Limited edition giclées are also available, with a 20% donation to APW from each sale. See Purchase Options.