THE MASAI CULTURE IN KENYA, EAST AFRICA
We are from Kenya, Africa. Our school is located in Western Kenya. We are next to Lake Victoria. We have been using our XO laptops to research about tribes in Kenya. Using the Wikipedia activity and the browse activity we were able to find out about a tribe in our Country called the Masai Tribe.
We want you to meet The Masai of Kenya.
According the Wikipedia which is on our xo laptop, The Maasai tribe (or Masai) is a unique and popular tribe due to their long preserved culture. Despite education, civilization and western cultural influences, the Maasai people have clung to their traditional way of life, making them a symbol of Kenyan culture. The Maasai people of East Africa live in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania along the Great Rift Valley on semi-arid and arid lands.
We have also read in a newspaper that the Masai People have a reputation of being fierce warriors.
Warrior hood prepares the young males to be responsible people both for themselves and for their community. Known for their bravery and courage, typically the Masai warriors are never seen without their sharply honed spears. They protect the homestead, maintain water sources for the community, and protect the livestock from wild animals and theft. It is true that when they surrounded a marauding lion, they crossed on it and speared it to death. The Maasai tribe is the most authentic ethnic tribe of Kenya. The Maasai’s distinctive culture, dress and strategic territory along the game parks of Kenya and Tanzania have made them one of East Africa’s most internationally famous tourist attractions. The Manyatta, (maasai word for a house) are loaf-shaped and made of mud, sticks, grass, cow dung and cow’s urine. Women are responsible for making the houses as well as supplying water, collecting firewood, milking cattle and cooking for the family. Warriors are in charge security while boys are responsible for herding livestock. During the drought season, both warriors and boys assume the responsibility for herding livestock. The elders are directors and advisors for day-to-day activities. Every morning before livestock leave to graze, an elder who is the head of the inkang sits on his chair and announces the schedule for everyone to follow.
Since the Maasai lead a semi-nomadic life, their houses are loosely constructed and semi-permanent. They are usually small, circular houses built by the women using mud, grass, wood and cow-dung.
Maasai and Their Love of Cattle
The Maasai tribe has a deep, almost sacred, relationship with cattle. They are guided by a strong belief that God created cattle especially for them and that they are the sole custodians of all the cattle on earth. This bond has led them into a nomadic way of life following patterns of rainfall over vast land in search of food and water for their large herds of cattle.
Maasai dress consists of red sheets, (shuka), wrapped around the body and loads of beaded jewelry placed around the neck and arms. These are worn by both men and women and may vary in color depending on the occasion.
Ear piercing and the stretching of earlobes are also part of Maasai beauty, and both men and women wear metal hoops on their stretched earlobes.
Women shave their heads and remove two middle teeth on the lower jaw (for oral delivery of traditional medicine). The Maasai often walk barefooted or wear simple sandals made of cow hide.
This has been prepared by Eshibinga Primary Students in Western Kenya.