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This article analyzes how a community of Samburu pastoralists in Kenya transformed their land tenure system from communal to private ownership. It demonstrates the dynamic nature of institutional change processes by examining exogenous and endogenous factors that created conditions conducive to change. Inequalities and conflicting interests among different social groups provided impetus for change as well as ammunition to attack or defend common property. Privatization emerged from conflict among social groups, predicated on the relative power positions of the parties—positions that shifted over time in response to strategic actions of individuals and groups. In turn, the adoption of private property altered social relationships, creating new norms regarding land ownership, individual rights, and authority. [Keywords: institutions, Africa, pastoralism, property rights, social norms]