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Maasai ("Masai") Tribe
Transcript of Maasai ("Masai") Tribe
-The Maasais have always been a monotheistic tribe, but traditionally they believed that their god (Enkai/Engai) had two manifestations: the black god, who was benevolent; and the red god, who was vengeful.
-Currently, the Maasai tribe consists of just Christians and Muslims, with Muslims being the minority. However, unlike others that practice these religions, the Maasai believe that they are God's chosen people.
-The traditional Maasai calender has no holidays. It is divided into to 12 months belonging to three seasons: Nkokua (the long rains), Oliorurujuruj (the drizzling seasons) and Ultumuret (the short rains)
-Ceremonial celebrations include, women's circumcision, marriage, and some non-religious holidays including Labor Day, Union Day, Independence Day, and some other Kenyan government holidays.
-Although Maasai living conditions may be seen as primitive by western standards, they generally take pride in their more simplistic lifestyle. And they are not seeking to replace it with modern living.Maasai with often take buses or taxis to travel far distances.
-Traditionally, animal hides were worn almost exclusively by the Maasai. Today, Maasai dress will typically consist of a red sheet called a "shuka" which is wrapped around their body and loads of beads placed around the neck and arms. these are worn by men and women and vary in color depending on the occasion.
-Being a patriarchal society, male elders make the majority of community decisions in the Maasai tribe. The elders are respected the most .
-Men typically speak for the women and make decisions in the family.
-Maasai recreational sports include tag, basketball, volleyball, and soccer. However, they posses no organized sporting teams.
-The Maasai people are
ethnic group of semi-nomadic people located in Kenya and northern Tanzania.
- In the mid-nineteenth century, their territory covered almost all of the Great Rift Valley and some other adjacent lands.
-It is thought that the Maasai's ancestors derived from North Africa, migrating south
along the Nile River Valley
and arriving in northern Kenya in the Middle of the 15th century. They continued southward, conquering all of the tribes in their path. They then arrived in Tanzania in at the end of the nineteenth century.
-Unfortunately, at the turn of the century, a massive epidemic of deadly diseases (including rinderpest) killed a detrimental amount of Maasai livestock. This was immediately followed by a drought that lasted years. Over 50% of the Maasai and Maasai livestock population was wiped out. And over two thirds of their land was claimed by the Biritish and the Kenyan Government.
-Unlike other African ethnicities and tribes, the Maasai have remained virtually unchanged culturally. However, they make up only about 0.7% of Kenya's population with a similar number living in Tanzania.
-They are also one of East Africa's internationally famous tourist attractions.
Maasai in relation to other tribes/cultures
The Maasai tribe is a very unique and popular culture due to its long, preserved culture. Despite education, civilization, and western cultural influences, the Maasai have held on to their traditional way of life, making them a symbol of Kenyan culture
The Maasai have a very distinctive culture, dress style, and strategic territory along the game parks of Kenya and Tanzania, that assist in their popularity.
-Permanent and semi-permanent
homes were igloos made out of mud and sticks with cowhide or dung roofs. Now, tin and other modern materials are used for housing.
-For beauty and attraction, men and women will use metal hoops to stretch their earlobes. Women will shave their heads and remove two middle teeth from the lower jaw.
Men will also paint their hair red.
-The Maasai eat two meals a day; morning and night.
-Meals consist of meat, blood, fat, milk, honey, and tree bark. Chicken, fish, and salt are prohibited. Young children and elders may eat corn mush, tea and sugar.
-Until age seven, sons and daughters are raised together. Mothers take special care of their sons throughout their lifetime. Once circumcised, sons will usually move away from the father's village and daughters are taught to fear their fathers and never watch them eat.
-Ceremonies such as "eunoto", when warriors return to their villages as men,
offer occasions for parites and merriment.
These parties include drinking and dancing.
The Maasai live in a fairly basic society, as
they have very little governing connection
with the Kenyan government.
-The warriors reside in the middle of the respective hierarchy, as they protect the villages.
-Women are at the bottom of the respective hierarchy, despite their vitality to the village. Women take care of the children, cook, and take care of the livestock.
-Most of the time the fathers
(warriors) will reside in a
different village than the rest
of their family.