The Masaai Tribe

Whenever most of us talk about Africa, we imagine bush people and half-naked people who live with wild animals. Africa isn’t like that anymore, a lot of civilization but still, some tribes seem to be stuck in the old days.The Maasai tribe are an indigenous group of semi-nomadic people that are residing in Northern Tanzania and Kenya. As a result of their distinct dress, traditions and customs and their homes near the numerous national game parks of East Africa, these people are among the first African groups that are known all over the world.This tribe dates back centuries; they originated from the north of Lake Turkana in the lower Nile Valley. In the 15th century, they started to migrate towards the south and came to a long trunk of land that stretched across Northern Tanzania and Kenya in the 17th and 18th century. The size of the tribe was at its peak in the 19th century when they covered most of the adjacent lands from Mount Marsabit and Dodoma and the Great Rift Valley.In the early days, the Maasai people raided cattle across the east at Tanga Coast in Tanzania. They used to use spears and shields and were famous for throwing Trinka which were weird kind of clubs and could be thrown from long distances (about 100 meters).The Maasai, traditionally a nomadic people, have conventionally relied on promptly accessible materials and indigenous technology to make their new and unusual housing. The traditional Maasai house was planned for people on travel, and so their homes are very impermanent. The Inkajijik (houses) are either loaf shaped or circular and are constructed by women.Their villages are enclosed in a circular Enkang (fence) constructed by the men, and that protects their cattle at night from the wild animals.The Maasai are chiefly cattle breeders, eating milk and meat that they harvest themselves. Cattle products are an essential part of the Maasai nourishment, with other farm animals for example sheep being more for special events that day to day use.Traditional Maasai culture rotates firmly about the tribe’s cattle herds. The degree of a man’s worth is calculated in the number of cattle he has and the number of children he fathers, with the second depending profoundly on the former.The Maasai society is a male-controlled (no shocker there) one in which groups of male elders classically agree on vital issues regarding the community.The warrior caste among the Maasai culture is one of the world renowned and respected. These brave men are provided many privileges such as being able to marry and to wear their hair long.The Maasai believe in one God, “Engai.” He is the God of two facets, one vengeful and the other kind. Among tribal groups, a “Laibon” (spiritual leader) supervises troubles of spirituality, though he has no spot of power when it occurs to take decisions on the matters of tribal significance.Maasai boys may have many duties, but they are also every bit as adventurous and mischievous as children around the world. They construct a new group of warriors in every 15 years or so from the boys aged between twelve and twenty-five. These boys will endure ritual circumcision and a type of exile that makes sure that all initiated boys travel afar from the village for months while they mature and heal into men.These young warriors are principally adults now irrespective of their age and are anticipated to make a more significant input to the village life and begin passing themselves as men.At the same instance, the previous group of warriors will ‘graduate’ into becoming junior elders in their community.For Maasai people living an old way of life, the end of life is practical without a formal funeral ceremony, and the dead bodies are left out on the grounds for scavengers. Burial was in the past been earmarked for high chiefs only, as the Maasai thinks that burial is damaging to the soil.Conventionally, the Maasai music encompasses of rhythms purified by a chorus of vocalists singing harmonies, during all that the olaranyani (the song leader) sings the melody. The olaranyani is generally the person who can make excellent sing that song. The olaranyani then begins singing the Namba of a song and the group retorts with one single call in a nod. The women perform lullabies, pulsate songs and sing music that is tributes to their sons.One elision to the vocal creation of Maasai music is the purpose of the horn of the Greater Kudu to call morans (initiates) for the Eunoto ritual (a coming of age ceremony). The ceremony generally lasts 10 or more days. And the dancing and singing around the manyattas involve flirting. Young men will chant and line, and the women stand in front of the men and sing in harmony with them. Contemporary Hip Hop artists from the Northern part of Tanzania are now combining traditional Maasai chants, rhythms, and beats into their music.Government policies centering on the preservation of their national reserves and parks, with the segregation of the culturally rich Maasai tribe, have now made the old-fashioned Maasai way of life progressively challenging to preserve and maintain for the upcoming generations to learn about and experience.During previous years, schemes have been executed to help Maasai tribal leaders discover a way to preserve their customs and ways of life while also trying to settle the education needs of the Maasai children for the contemporary world.Many Maasai people have moved away from their nomadic way of life to positions in government roles and business commerce. In spite of the modernized urban lifestyle they lead, many Maasai’ still cheerfully head towards home clothed in designer brands, only to appear from the common lands wearing their traditionally, cowhide sandals, colorfulshuka and with a wooden orinka in their grasp at ease with the world and themselves.If you really got interest on what you read, please share it with your friends and keep revisiting. Goodbye.

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