This paper addresses pastoral resilience by drawing out the coping strategies and mechanisms utilized by the Maasai Pastoralists through a food system approach, based on the study findings of an anthropological study of pastoralism in Laikipia County, Rift Valley, Kenya. This paper is guided by the specific objectives aimed at establishing actors and their roles, and describing the institutional settings and changes in pastoralism. Using a new institutionalism approach, the paper focuses not only on the actors and their roles in pastoralism but also on how internal and external forces regulate access and use of common pool resources (CPRs) resulting in sustainability of the food system. We argue that this has an impact on the practice of pastoralism that continually defines and redefine the actors’ roles as well as elicit the value of pastoral economies and benefits accrued to a wide range of actors hence reinforcing pastoral resilience. The study also identified institutional settings and changes that lead to pastoral survival resulting from the country’s devolved system of governance. Data collection was through in-depth interviews, key informant interviews, focus group discussions and unstructured observations in the pastoral regions. The findings reveal that actors at the household, state, non-state, and service providers have developed varied coping strategies and mechanisms that sustain pastoralism. The study also identified institutional settings and changes that promote pastoral resilience; notably, private land ownership patterns, co-management of livestock markets, commercialization of herding, decentralization of livestock services, holistic management of pasturelands and the use of water-shed management plans. As a result, increased scholarship and advocacy in regards to the concept of co-management of livestock markets, is recommended as a means of understanding pastoral resilience that the food system exhibits.