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The Masai of East Africa. Ear piercing for adornment and elongation.

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Presentation on theme: "The Masai of East Africa. Ear piercing for adornment and elongation."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Masai of East Africa

2 Ear piercing for adornment and elongation

3 Clothing & Beauty Though they traditionally dressed in animal skins, today, typical 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.

4 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.

5 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.

6 Body modification The piercing and stretching of earlobes is common among the Maasai. Various materials have been used to both pierce and stretch the lobes, including thorns for piercing, twigs, bundles of twigs, stones, the cross section of elephant tusks and empty film canisters.

7 Fewer and fewer Maasai, particularly boys, follow this custom.Women wear various forms of beaded ornaments in both the ear lobe, and smaller piercings at the top of the ear.

8 The removal of deciduous canine tooth buds in early childhood is a practice that has been documented in the Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania.

9 There exists a strong belief among the Maasai that diarrhoea, vomiting and other febrile illnesses of early childhood are caused by the gingival swelling over the canine region, which is thought to contain 'worms' or 'nylon' teeth. This belief and practice is not unique to the Maasai. In rural Kenya a group of 95 children aged between six months and two years were examined in 1991/92. 87% were found to have undergone the removal of one or more deciduous canine tooth buds.

10 In an older age group (3–7 years of age), 72% of the 111 children examined exhibited missing mandibular or maxillary deciduous canines.

11 The Maasai tribe is the most authentic ethnic tribe of Kenya. 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.

12 Maasai people reside in both Kenya and Tanzania, living along the border of the two countries. They are a smaller tribe, accounting for only about 0.7 percent of Kenya's population, with a similar number living in Tanzania. Maasais speak Maa, a Nilotic ethnic language from their origin in the Nile region of North Africa

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