Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Maasai Community

The Maasai people are the face of Kenya. They are nomadic people of nilotic origin from Sudan who settled in Tanzania and Kenya. The Maasai live communally and move from place to place in search of pastures for their cattle. Though the population of this tribe is very low as compared to other major tribes in Kenya, the Maasai are recognized the world over for their tight hold onto their traditions.

The Maasai are known for among other things, their dancing and jumping.
The Maasai are known for among other things, their dancing and jumping.
Source: By Tpsdave via pixabay.com

Everyone Knows Their Responsibility

The Maasai live in extended families. Each extended family lives in a single homestead with several huts arranged in a circular design. The homesteads are fenced with acacia thorns to keep wild animals like lions and hyenas at bay. Each member of the community has to contribute in some way, while the women and girls build the houses, gather fruits and firewood, milk the cows and cook, it is the boys who graze the cattle. The men are in charge of security; they build the fence and protect the family from raiders and wild animals.Because of the nomadic nature of the tribe, it is difficult for them to stay at one place long enough for the children to go to school. This is the reason why it has taken the group such a long time to embrace civilization. Even in families that allow children schooling, boys are given the priority while their sisters are circumcised and married off at an early age in exchange for cattle.

The Maasai people live in communities
The Maasai people live in communities
Source: By Tpsdave via pixabay

Their Food

The Maasai keep cattle. This does not mean that they always eat meat though. Their staple food is milk mixed with blood. The blood is drained into a guard from a standing cow after piercing it's vein.Due to constant famines that kill their livestock, the Maasai have had to build close relations with their agricultural neighbors like the Kikuyu. And did I tell you that yours truly happens to be a Kikuyu? ;-) I must have forgotten to mention when I wrote this post.

Beautiful Maasai African Art

The Maasai make beautiful art pieces. From bead-work to carvings, paintings to masks. Traditionally, women made and decorated the guards with beads and painting. Today however, art is one of the major economic activities of the Maasai. You will see a Masaai man and woman in different towns hawking skin belts, sandals, wallets and bangles. I will share with you the Maasai art that I like the most and then give you a chance at the end of the post to vote so you can tell me the one you like the most.

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