Presentation on theme: "Zaharia Roxana Madalina clasa a IXa A. In order to do this we have to find some information about how we can get there what are the MAASAI tribe, which."— Presentation transcript:
The Maasai are a proud warrior tribe who has scarcely changed their ways and dress over the centuries. The Maasai are said to have had such a fearsome reputation even the slave traders and European missionaries were deterred from trying to enslave or preach to them. The first stories that Europeans at the coast heard of the Maasai was of a fierce and warmongering people. The warriors of the Maasai, the moran, were the most feared in East Africa
Maasai Warriors wearing hats made from the mane of a lion that they have each killed. When the warrior becomes a Junior elder he must throw the lion mane head gear away through a sacrificial event to keep off bad spirits…
There are many ceremonies in Maasai society including : Enkipaata (senior boy ceremony) Emuratta (circumcision) Enkiama (marriage) Eunoto (warrior-shaving ceremony) Eokoto e-kule (milk-drinking ceremony) Enkang oo-nkiri (meat-eating ceremony) Orngesherr (junior elder ceremony) etc. Also, there are ceremonies for boys and girls minor including, Eudoto/Enkigerunoto oo-inkiyiaa (earlobe) and Ilkipirat (leg fire marks).
Traditionally, boys and girls must undergo through these initiations for minors prior to circumcision. However, many of these initiations concern men while women’s initiations focus on circumcision and marriage. Men will form age-sets moving them closer to adulthood. The movement of a person from one age-grade to the next marks the most important transitions in the life of an individual and in the wider life of the community. The Maasai age set system gives their society its structure.
Women do not have their own age-set but are recognized by that of their husbands. Ceremonies are an expression of Maasai culture and self-determination. Every ceremony is a new life. They are rites of passage, and every Maasai child is eager to go through these vital stages of life.
Maasai most valuable possession is their cattle. The Masai believe that all cattle in the world belong to them, even though some may have temporarily found themselves in the possession of others. Thus, the Masai are always justified in raiding their non- Masai neighbours in order to “return” the cattle to the rightful owners. Cattle plays an integral role in the socio- cultural fabric of the maasai community. Furthermore living in the plains culture is dominated by cattle, as are their social relationships, their ritual and ceremonial life, their symbolism, and even the idioms of their language. At the heart of their respect for cattle lie strong economic and ecological truths On the dry grasslands of Eastern Africa cattle offer security where agriculture alone cannot. The Maasai pastoralist lifestyle is well adapted to the environment of the plains. The rainfall of the plains is too little and too irregular for sustainable cultivation of cereals.
The first boys initiation is Enkipaata (pre-circumcision ceremony), and is organized by the fathers of the new-age set. Each twelve to fifteen years a new age-set is initiated together. Boys travel throughout their region for about four months announcing the new age- set. The day before the ceremony, boys must sleep outside in the forest. As dawn approaches, the young warriors run to the homestead. During the ceremony, boys dress in loose clothing and dance non-stop throughout the day. This ceremony is the transition into a new age-set. After this, boys are ready to be circumcised and to take charge of warriorhood. Every boy wants to be initiated as early as possible and before anyone else. ENKIPAATAENKIPAATA
EMURATTAEMURATTA The second and most important initiation is Emuratare, the circumcision. Such initiation elevates an individual from childhood to the status of adulthood. A boy will prove himself to the community that he is ready to be initiated by exhibiting signs of a grown man, such as carrying a heavy spear, herding large herd of livestock, bringing cattle back home at dusk, traveling by himself at night to visit his friends, etc
A few days before the operation, a boy must herd cattle for seven full days. On the eighth day, he is circumcised. Before the operation, boys must stand outside in the cold weather and receive a cold shower to cleanse themselves of past sins. As he moves towards the location of the operation, his friends, age mates and male members of the family shout encouragement along with nasty looks and sometimes threats.
After circumcision, the next step is to form the Emanyatta (warriors' camp) which consists of between twenty and forty houses which are selected at random by warriors. A special pole is used as a flagpole and planted in the middle of the camp. The Maasai nation's flag, a white and blue colored cloth, is tied to the pole before planting, and remains there as long as the Morrans (warriors) are still in the camp. Two Morran chiefs are chosen to lead, guide and represent their camp. These camps keep men of the same age-set together where they act as a military force. They will spend up to ten years in the Emanyatta before the Eunoto ceremony (senior's warrior initiation).
The Eunoto ceremony (senior warrior's initiation) is performed by members of the age-set after ten years of warriorhood. This initiation also allows senior warriors to marry, which then prepares them to become future fathers. This ceremony takes place in a specially chosen camp which includes forty-nine houses. Each graduating warrior must then have his head shaved by his mother
During the ceremony, warriors cannot carry any weapons. It is also at this ceremony that an animal horn is set on fire and warriors are forced to take a piece out before it is completely burned. He who removes the horn from the fire, it is believed, will suffer misfortunate throughout his entire life. If warriors refuse to take the horn from the fire, it is believed that the entire age-set will then be cursed. It is more favorable for one person to be cursed than many.
A few months after the Eunoto, warriors form a small camp for Enkang E-Kule, the milk ceremony. Before the Eunoto ceremony, warriors are not allowed to eat unless they are accompanied by others. Drinking outside the camp is allowed but only if women are not there. This prepares warriors for harsh conditions like famine. The milk ceremony also requires the entire age-set to have their heads shaved by their mothers.
The next initiation is Enkang oo-nkiri (meat ceremony/initiation camp). This is performed in a chosen camp that consists of between ten and twenty houses. The meat ceremony allows warriors to eat meat that has been prepared by women of the homestead and they are permitted to eat alone. A specially chosen bull is slaughtered for the ceremony. At the end of the meat ceremony, men and women fight each other for specially roasted meat. Warriors who violated their age-set taboos and laws are punished before this event takes place.
The last age-set's initiation is Orngesherr (junior's elder initiation) and marks the status of a junior elder. It is performed in a selected camp that contains twenty or more houses. Early in the morning, he will be shaved by his oldest wife (it is common for warriors to have more than one wife). After this ceremony, a man becomes an elder and gains full responsibility of his own family. He is now allowed to move away from his father's homestead and form his own homestead. His father remains his advisor in decision making
Maasai women and girls have many chores. The Maasai females are responsible for building and taking care of their family's home. They also take care of the children, milk the cows, collect firewood, and get water (average distance to travel for water is around 30 kilometers). Women are responsible for picking and cleaning gourds to make containers which they decorate with leather and beads. These containers are used to store milk, blood, water, honey and cornmeal.
Until their circumcision around the age of fifteen, Maasai girls have the freedom to enjoy sexual relations with junior warriors. The only restriction is that they are not permitted to become pregnant. After their circumcision, which is performed by the elder women, they are considered to be adult women (Esiankiki), and are immediately married (sometimes that day) to a man much older than themselves.
Maasai women are respected as mothers, and will be members of the same age-sets as their husbands. Often women will maintain close ties, both social and sexual, with their former boyfriends, even after they are married (this is known as wife- lending), just so long as their relations are with a man belonging to the same age-set as their husband. If a Maasai woman has a child by a man other than her husband, the child is considered by the husband to be his own, and is not treated any differently than his biological children.
Older women enjoy the same status as male elders.
Traditionally, the Maasai diet consisted of meat, milk, and blood from cattle. Animal fats or butter are used in cooking, primarily of porridge, maize, and beans. Butter is also an important infant food. Blood is rarely drunk.” The Maasai herd goats and sheep, including the Red Maasai sheep, as well as the more prized cattle. Electrocardiogram tests applied to 400 young adult male Maasai found no evidence whatsoever of heart disease, abnormalities or malfunction. Further study with carbon-14 tracers showed that the average cholesterol level was about 50 percent of that of an average American. These findings were ascribed to the amazing fitness of morans, which was evaluated as "Olympic standard".
A Maasai traditional dance, Adumu. The Maasai are traditionally polygamous; this is thought to be a long standing and practical adaptation to high infant and warrior mortality rates. Polyandry is also practiced. A woman marries not just her husband, but the entire age group. Men are expected to give up their bed to a visiting age- mate guest. The woman decides strictly on her own if she will join the visiting male. Any child who may result is the husband's child and his descendant in the patrilineal order of Maasai society.