The Maasai are an East African Tribe with a History traceably to the Stone Age. They currently live in southern Africa, in Kenya and Tanzania, where they are known for their nomadic ways.
They were historically farmers, using both wild and cultivated plants in their diets. Many parts of Africa still retain this type of nutrition, called traditional dieting.
This is more prevalent in places with long-standing people or governments, as well as communities that have had little to no contact with each other for a long time. This is what gives traditional health care a sense of history behind it.
This piece will discuss the beginning of the Maasai, what they ate, and how it affected their health today. Although this piece is about the beginning of the tribe, it is important to note that they have been eating what we know as modern nutrition for centuries after them.
They were originally known as the Maasai
The Maasai are one of the four major tribes or families of Plains Africa. They inhabit southern and eastern Kenya and northern Tanzania.
As nomadic cattle herders, Maasai lived by trading livestock for food and shelter, and marital rights and political alliances. Since the mid-20th century, they have been established as a community with a government.
Their yearly national gathering is held in late July or early August at an official camp near Mount Levue. This is the first time members meet other members and learn about government policies and programs.
At this meeting, new leaders are chosen to govern their community for one year. This gives all members an opportunity to show their skills as rulers before the next meeting in August.
They now occupy a large territory in Kenya
The Maasai now occupy a large territory in Kenya, making them the second-largest community after the Kibashas. They are currently split into several different tribes with no clear leader.
This is a problem as leadership is important for maintaining peace and harmony in their territory.
But this can also be a blessing as there is no leadership structure established. This allows members to develop stronger bonds of solidarity and becomes an asset when faced with threats or challenges.
There are many threats facing the Maasai, including agricultural change, urbanization, roads and infrastructure development, and waste disposal. All of these threaten the health and culture of the tribe.
Their society is matriarchal
As the beginning of “The Beginning of the Maasai” description bullet point explains, in the beginning, women controlled the family finances and were responsible for child rearing and marriage negotiations.
Men took care of hunting and war tactics, while women cared for the children and housework. This is still true in most Maasai households, where men are present but women are also involved in domestic tasks.
This begins to change as men take over more household duties and men marry into families with less manual labor requirements. This also continues as women take over more housework, since they do not need to worry about male demands for attention will take away from their time to do it.
The Maasai are pastoralists
Maasai are considered to be one of the most pastoralist societies on the planet. This is due to the large amount of land they own and the resources they use to live in.
They are known for owning many cattle, goats, and sheep. They also build houses with mud and use that as their main construction material. They also hunt elephants and other large animals, so their society is very well organized.
They typically organize themselves into clans, where there is a leader and members who help rule. These groups gather together often, especially during ceremonial events such as weddings or funerals.
Clans are important because they can control how members show membership in society. If members do not feel like they must belong to a clan, then it will not be as organized.
Cattle are very important to them
Maasai are very proud of their cattle. They would not let anyone else have any of theirs!
They would protect them with their life, even if they weren’t always nice about letting others have them. Cattle were also important for worship and sacrificial rituals.
As you can guess by the name, cattle are the main source of food for the Maasai. They typically eat cows, but sometimes calves and bulls are too. Calf production has dropped lately due to pollution concerns, but there is still a calf program at the University of Nairobi!
The Maasai did not get cattle until several hundred years ago, when they first arrived in Kenya.
The Maasai religion has many similarities with the religions of the surrounding regions
One of the most prominent religions in Maasai society is the Christian-based Maasai religion. Others include traditional beliefs in a deity and in respect to natural phenomena such as mountains, rivers, and wildlife.
This religion is the one most people describe as “Maasai” because it is the one most people know about. It is the one most people join, because it involves sharing stories about past lives and rebirth into this one new life now.
It sounds weird, but when someone else talks about this life-changing experience, it can sound like they are preaching a religion. Because of this similarity between this religion and other ones, some call it the “Christianized Maasai”.
Early writings about them describe them as fierce warriors
Early writings about the Maasai describe them as fierce warriors whose culture is steeped in tradition.
They are known for wearing large leather rings around their wrists and ankles, which are places of honor in their community. These rings mark them as a member of the clan, and signify their authority.
These clans gather regularly to discuss community matters, and when they do meet, it is very powerful. They wear this symbol on their chests as a sign of belonging and leadership.
Clans hold important rituals together, including ritual killing, so when a member dies in a battle-related way, others join them to commemorate them. This tradition continues after death, since no one can take away what they did for the clan.
The Maasai have been influenced by many other cultures
Although they are mostly based in Africa, the Maasai people have been introduced to other cultures. Several of their neighbors in Africa were influenced by these other groups and tribes.
These neighboring tribes had trading posts and alliances, which influenced the shape of their culture. For example, the Nubians who lived in the east contributed to their dress styles and customs.
The Kongo people who lived in the west played an important role in Maasai society as traders and chiefs.
As a result of this influence, many customs and traditions are borrowed from other groups. For example, a Kongo man married a Maasai woman, and they had several children.