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The Maasai Presented By: David Lee and Ellie Takeuchi.

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1 The Maasai Presented By: David Lee and Ellie Takeuchi

2 A Brief History  The Maasai are located in Kenya and Northern Tanzania.  They have a population of 453,000 people in Kenya, and 430,000 people in Northern Tanzania.  The Maasai are located in Kenya and Northern Tanzania.  They have a population of 453,000 people in Kenya, and 430,000 people in Northern Tanzania.

3 Language.  The Maasai language which is known as Maa, is a Nilotic language spoken in Southern Kenya and Northern Tanzania, numbering about 900,000.  Nilotic means ‘of the Nile’. Maasai translates as ‘one who speaks the Maa language’.  The Maasai language which is known as Maa, is a Nilotic language spoken in Southern Kenya and Northern Tanzania, numbering about 900,000.  Nilotic means ‘of the Nile’. Maasai translates as ‘one who speaks the Maa language’.

4 Economic System  Cattle are central to the Maasai Economy.  They are rarely killed, but instead are accumulated as a sign of wealth and traded or sold to settle debts.  Cattle are central to the Maasai Economy.  They are rarely killed, but instead are accumulated as a sign of wealth and traded or sold to settle debts.

5 Family Systems & Roles Roles:  Childhood for boys is mostly playtime.  During the drought season, warriors are responsible for herding livestock.  Girls are responsible for chores such as cooking and milking.  Women are responsible for making houses as well as supplying water, collecting firewood, milking cattle, and cooking for the family.  Elders are directors and advisors for day to day activities. Roles:  Childhood for boys is mostly playtime.  During the drought season, warriors are responsible for herding livestock.  Girls are responsible for chores such as cooking and milking.  Women are responsible for making houses as well as supplying water, collecting firewood, milking cattle, and cooking for the family.  Elders are directors and advisors for day to day activities.

6 …Continued Marriage Practices:  Maasai are traditionally polygamous and polyandry is also practiced.  A woman marries not just her husband, but the entire age group.  Any child which may result is husbands child and his descendant in a patrilineal order of Maasai society. Marriage Practices:  Maasai are traditionally polygamous and polyandry is also practiced.  A woman marries not just her husband, but the entire age group.  Any child which may result is husbands child and his descendant in a patrilineal order of Maasai society.

7 Social Stratification  The basic Maasai political and social structure is their rigid system of age-sets (or age grades; strictly speaking, an age-grade is a stage within the age-set.)  Groups of the same age are initiated into adult life during the same period. The age- set is formed as permanent grouping, lasts throughout the life of its memebers.  They move up through a hierarchy of grades, each lasting approximately 15 years.  The basic Maasai political and social structure is their rigid system of age-sets (or age grades; strictly speaking, an age-grade is a stage within the age-set.)  Groups of the same age are initiated into adult life during the same period. The age- set is formed as permanent grouping, lasts throughout the life of its memebers.  They move up through a hierarchy of grades, each lasting approximately 15 years.

8 …Continued  The hierarchy consists of junior warriors, senior warriors, junior elders (senior warriors), senior elders, who are the ones who make decisions affecting the whole tribe.

9 Beliefs & Rites of Passage Religious Belief:  The Maasai believe in an omnipresent God (Nkai), but they have no means of knowing their God’s form or intentions. Rites of Passage:  From boyhood to the status of junior warrior is a painful circumcision ceremony without anesthetic.  Each young man are supposed to kill a lion before they are circumcised.  Young women also undergo excision or “female circumcision”, as they come of age and become women, ready for marriage. Religious Belief:  The Maasai believe in an omnipresent God (Nkai), but they have no means of knowing their God’s form or intentions. Rites of Passage:  From boyhood to the status of junior warrior is a painful circumcision ceremony without anesthetic.  Each young man are supposed to kill a lion before they are circumcised.  Young women also undergo excision or “female circumcision”, as they come of age and become women, ready for marriage.

10 Artistic Practices Music:  Maasai music traditionally consists of rhythms provided by a group of vocalists singing  harmonies while a song leader sings the melody.  Enuto, the coming of age ceremony of the warrior, can involve ten or more days of singing, dancing, and ritual. Dance:  For the coming of age ceremony, warriors perform a kind of march-past referred as “the jumping dance.” Music:  Maasai music traditionally consists of rhythms provided by a group of vocalists singing  harmonies while a song leader sings the melody.  Enuto, the coming of age ceremony of the warrior, can involve ten or more days of singing, dancing, and ritual. Dance:  For the coming of age ceremony, warriors perform a kind of march-past referred as “the jumping dance.”

11 Effects of Globalization  Over the years, many projects started to help Maasai tribal leaders to find ways of preserving their tradition while also balancing the education needs of their children for the modern world.  Increasing poverty and migration, the traditional authority of Maasai elders appears to be lessening.  Many Maasai have moved away from their nomadic life to positions in commerce and government.  Over the years, many projects started to help Maasai tribal leaders to find ways of preserving their tradition while also balancing the education needs of their children for the modern world.  Increasing poverty and migration, the traditional authority of Maasai elders appears to be lessening.  Many Maasai have moved away from their nomadic life to positions in commerce and government.

12 Works Cited Finke, Jens Bluegecko.org. Maasai Age-Sets. 14 April Johnson,Hans Laleyio.com. Language. 14 April Kituyi, Mukhisa Becoming Kenyans: Socio-economic Transformation of the Pastoral Maasai, Acts Press, Nairobi. 14 April 2009.http://www.stpt.usf.edu/~jsokolov/211maasai.htmhttp://www.stpt.usf.edu/~jsokolov/211maasai.htm Saitoti, Telipilit Ole and Carol Beckwith. Maasai New York: Harry N. Abrams INC. 14 April Spear, Thomas & Waller, Richard (eds) Being Maasai: Ethnicity & Identity in East Africa, James Currey, London. Finke, Jens Bluegecko.org. Maasai Age-Sets. 14 April Johnson,Hans Laleyio.com. Language. 14 April Kituyi, Mukhisa Becoming Kenyans: Socio-economic Transformation of the Pastoral Maasai, Acts Press, Nairobi. 14 April 2009.http://www.stpt.usf.edu/~jsokolov/211maasai.htmhttp://www.stpt.usf.edu/~jsokolov/211maasai.htm Saitoti, Telipilit Ole and Carol Beckwith. Maasai New York: Harry N. Abrams INC. 14 April Spear, Thomas & Waller, Richard (eds) Being Maasai: Ethnicity & Identity in East Africa, James Currey, London.


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