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Anthropolgy and the Maasai Tribe
Transcript of Anthropolgy and the Maasai Tribe
The Maasai, is a tribe located in Kenya. For the Maasai, spitting is tradition. When they greet, when they get married and even when a baby is born they spit on each other.
In the image above, a father is spitting on his daughter on her wedding day.
People in America may think this tradition of spitting is gross or rude, because spitting is unacceptable in our culture. To anthropologist's examining another culture from your cultures perspective is called ethnocentrism.
"Is the belief that one's own group's ways are superior to those of another group" (Olson).
If you could step away from the ethnocentric view of the Maasai, and look at the spitting from their point of you can understand the Maasai culture better.
To look from a cultures point of view and to understand their traditions is called Cultural Relativism.
When looking at the Maasai tribe using cultural relativism we learn that;
They spit when they greet to show respect.
They spit on a newborn to ensure the baby will not be cursed in its live time.
They spit on a bride to bring good luck and fortune to the marriage.
Using cultural relativism we gain knowledge, and the Maasai spitting is a kind gesture. Where as in American culture spitting is an insult.
Cultural relativism is very important if we want to be understanding and accepting of other cultures.
Frater, J. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://listverse.com/2009/05/05/another-10-bizarre-traditions/
Olson, T. http://www.examiner.com/article/cultural-terms-101-what-is-ethnocentrism. Retrieved from http://www.examiner.com/article/cultural-terms-101-what-is-ethnocentrism
Popovic, M. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://traditionscustoms.com/wedding-traditions/african-wedding-traditions
Rosado, C. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.cultural-relativism.com/