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The Masai Tribe

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Mika Mandeville

on 6 September 2012

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Transcript of The Masai Tribe

The Masai Tribe photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli The Physical
Environment Location:
South Kenya,
North Tanzania The Human Environment Ekangs Gender Relationships Leadership and Hierarchy Languages Music Material Culture No chief

Age sets
Group of similar aged members enter maturity
Women follow their husbands
Determines rank

Warriors (Head of the community)
Selected boys become warriors
Age groups (Juniors and Seniors)
Many rituals within this process (circumcision and Lion hunting)
Never alone, work as a group

Laibon (Spiritual Leaders) Differentiates between
men and women. Family and Clan Terrain:
Flat and Dry Land Men
- The chorus provides the rhythm of the song through harmonies. The lead singer will sing the melody
- “call-and-response” style.
- The Maasai perform their songs during certain ceremonies
- The Morani dance. Mostly Dry
Rainy Seasons: March- June; Oct- Nov Women
- Rarely allowed to dance the Morani dance. The only exception is if it can be a way for the male Maasai to flirt.
- Women chant lullabies and hum songs.
- The songs have a similar style to that of the male Maasai. Nilotic languages
Spoken in Sudan and Tanzania region The Kudu horn B Great Ridge Valley:
Source of Water
Fish (Tilapia) Climate: hot and dry,
roughly around 30º Clothing
Varies by age and location.
Clothing is known as Matavuvale.
Red is a favored color among the Maasai tribe.
Traditionally, the Maasai tribe are dressed in animal skin.
Shúkà Clothing in Relation to Gender Roles Meat available:
Chicken Young boys typically wear any colors of clothing until they are 14.
After circumcision, boys wear black
When they return, boys wear feather headdresses if didn't show pain
As men, they wear red and blue Shúkà Beauty Metal hoops on stretched earlobes
Women shave their heads and remove two middle teeth on the lower jaw Crops:
Cabbage Cattle= Wealth Cattle is most prized
‘possession’ respected
and well cared for, used
as dowry. The Masai do
not eat their animals except for special occasions, they do drink
cattle blood for nutrients or
eat/drink cattle milk. Basic Masai Clan:
- Married elder families living with multiple other families (4-8)
- Village consists of about 10-50 houses

* typical village today consists of 50-80 people with 1500 animals Work
-Men and male children tend livestock and serve as warriors. Older men manage daily operations.
-Women watch over the children, collect firewood, bring water, milk animals, and cook for family. Women are also the ones who build the houses, while men are in charge of making the
thorn bush fence. Marriage
-In order for a man to have the right to marry, he must kill a lion.(officially this practice has stopped, but in more remote locations, it can still be found)
-After boys complete the ritual of becoming men, they go in search of a wife. They look for wives in other villages, to whom they pay dowry (usually 7 cows). Sex
-Both genders go through circumcision
-When boy reaches junior-adulthood, he may have sex with any of the elders or comrades. The same rules apply to the women.
-Sexual jealousy does not exist.
-A married women can still have sexual relations with anyone in the clan, including ex-boyfriends, but
all conceived children
belong to the husband. House Materials: Mud
Cow Dung
Cow Urine Settlements are surrounded
by large thorn bush Clothing: Past: Animal Skin
Present: Commercial Cotton 3 branches
Maasai people speak Maa Some Phrases: Thank You! Basic Masai unit:
- Married elder families living with multiple other families (4-8)

- Village consists of about 10-50 houses

* typical village today consists of 50-80 people with 1500 animals
Full transcript