Africa has given birth to traditional cultures since the beginning of creations. It has given birth to a noble, special, and a unique tribe which is called “Maasai”. The Maasai people of Tanzania and Kenya are regarded as one of the most well-known tribes because of their ancient rituals, their red robes attire, beliefs, spear in hand, calm, and courageous. The early British explorers describe them as fearless tribesmen. This has been manifested in their cultures and beliefs as the only way for a Maasai boy to be a true warrior he has to kill a lion by his own efforts without someone intervening with his spear.
The Maasai settle in remote areas especially in dark forests of East Africa which is known for wildlife. This areas are rich in wild animals and rivers. The Maasai can host tourist and are very friendly especially Eco-minded people because they love conservation of the Eco system. Kenya host over fifty tribes who are native Kenyans. The Maasai have been dominant in Kenya for over a century now and have been among the few tribes not in East Africa but Africa who have hold on to their traditions and lifestyles. They have lived with the wild animals and they need a lot of land to practice agriculture and they are semi-nomadic and rear cattle and goats.
The Maasai resist early Europeans settlers because the Europeans want to occupy the fertile lands that they have been cultivating for so long. Maasai couldn’t stop them till the last breath because they used the spear and the early Europeans used arms and ammunition and the Maasai have no experience in Europeans courts and therefore lost to the Europeans. This has forced them to sign the agreement and lost the fertile land to the Europeans. The Maasai don’t even like the native Kenyan to take their own land because as far as they are concern the more they take their lands they suffer.
The Maasai are no doubt extraordinary people and have a rich culture. Today they are slowly trying to adopt the city life because some of their young people are living in the towns and cities and some think their way of living is not how it should be so they go to the city in search of better life.
More than one million Maasai people
The Maasai have a good population and is increasing despite them living a traditional and very simple life. They are surviving even during this economic and political issues around East Africa. Their standard of living is simple and they adore and celebrate it. When their population was small during the early days they traveled around the Nile valley but now their size has increased so they settled in Kenya and Tanzania.
The language they speak
The Maasai speak a language called “Maa” and not a written language. Their language is oral tradition that is it is passed from one generation to another with no importance of it been written down. This is how their name emanated from the name Maasai which means “people who speak Maa”. Their language is adored by other tribes and people have started speaking the language.
Their cows are their lives as much priority is shown in cows. The Maasai show much importance to cows as they mean a lot to them. The men show passion in herding as their cows are everything. The Maasai have large areas of fertile lands therefore the grazing of their cows is easy. They have many cows so they exchange it with other goods. The amount of cows a Maasai have calculates how wealthy they are.
They hunt lions
They have a passion for hunting lions which is a dangerous practice as it can result in injuries or death. They like going on a single hunt for male lions which is a regarded as great courage and strength. In recent times the lion population have decline and the Maasai hunt less lions. The Maasai warriors have been known to be fearless as they regard this practice very significant.
The Maasai drink cow blood
They love this tradition, as the drinking of raw cow blood is regarded as an honor and blessing among the Maasai. Raw cow blood is drink during circumcision and celebration of new births as elders drink it on such occasions to avoid unpleasant relic left from prior events.
The don’t bury their dead
The Maasai don’t believe in life after death and therefore don’t bury their dead. They believed life is a journey that ends after death. They give their dead back to the earth by placing their dead in the forest for wild animals to eat.
The maasai show much emphasis in their cattle therefore in a Maasai family when the father is on his dead bed he say a will as he call all his sons around to share some portion of the wealth particularly the cattle. One uniqueness of their inheritance practices is that after the father shared the wealth with all, his sons give back some of their own to the first born son in the family. This is practice to avoid any curse that may hit them later in their lives at the expense of the first born son after the father’s death. The first born son will take the father responsibility and be head of the family.
Women build their homes
In the communities the women are responsible for to build their homes. These homes are called “inkajijik” which is made from cow dung, sticks, grass and mud. The Maasai women also are given the task to milk their livestock, cook and supply the men with water especially during community works. The women alos make Maasai beaded bracelets and other accessories.
The Maasai love their songs and dances
They love music and one special thing about their music is they create sounds using their throats which is referred to as throat singing. This music sounds like the call of a cow. They use this songs and dance during occasions to celebrate in their communities. During this event the young boys are given the opportunity to compete in jumping as high as possible as the rules of the game is to jump vertical and straight. The highest jumper has the better advantage of flirting with the girls as he is regarded muscled and energetic.
The Maasai faith and religion
They also have faith and believe in a god named “Enkai or Enga” as this is shown in two forms first the black god who is refers to as the god that do good or show love and the red god who has the tendency to seek revenge when wronged. Today some have joined other religions like Muslim and Christianity.
The Maasai food demands are meet form their cattle. As the meat, milk, blood they eat and drink is from the cows. They also slaughter from their cattle during occasions and ceremonies. The hides and skins of these slaughtered cattle is also used in making beds while cow dung is used by the women in building their huts.
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