This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Ethnography Of The Maasai Essay

1168 words - 5 pages

Within the Maasai culture there are several political decision makers. One decision maker is the father in a family unit. The father can decide where his children live within the kraal, which is an enclosed settlement. Another part of the decision making process in the Maasai culture are the elders of the clan. Another group that participates in the Maasai’s process of making decisions are the warriors. Warriors are the young men of a tribe; boys become warriors after they are circumcised. Thus decisions are made by elders, the head of the kraal, and by fathers in a tribe.
Politically, prior to 1961 the British ruled over Tanganyika. Many of the Maasai people were not completely aware of British government because they maintained rule over themselves. Tepilit depicts a political scene where his father had no idea that the British ruled over Tanganyika. The Maasai were unaware because of the subtle way that the British used the chiefs to create and carry out the policies that the British wanted. This method of government, constructed in such a way led Tepilit’s father to be ignorant of the leadership until it ended in 1961. Tepilit’s father, however, was correct on a smaller scale because Maasailand was not under direct influence of the British rule. Tepilit even states that one Maasai rule infers that if direct interference occurs then “Rebellion would be inevitable” (Saitoti 41).
Tepilit’s father, as the head of the kraal participates in all decision of the clan. A kraal is a village of huts that are surrounded by bushes of thorns that are used to keep predators away. Whenever an important decision needs to made the head of the kraal will gather the warriors and youth in order to consult with them on the matter. One example from Tepilit’s life is when, in 1966, Mount Lengai erupted. The eruption caused “Poisonous volcanic ash” (Saitoti 57) to spew into the sky and onto the land. Cattle, as they grazed, consumed much of the ash and became sick. The sick cattle were then unable to awaken without support from a human. When Tepilit’s father called together the people of the kraal, he informed them that they had to move, lest their people start dying like the cattle. As head of the kraal, Tepilit’s father encouraged the group as they traveled to ensure that not only the people, but the cattle made it safely away. Cattle, to the Maasai, are very important and it is seen as a sacred task to take care of the animals. Therefore when some of the livestock would fall over Tepilit’s father would plead for the creatures to be helped. As head of the clan, Menye Tepilit, berated those that grew tired of having to travel with the sick cattle because of how important cattle are to the Maasai people. Another job that the head of the kraal conducts would be choosing which cattle to sell or give away as gifts. This is an important job because the head is also choosing whose cattle to send away. The elders of the Maasai Tribe use the moon the help...

Find Another Essay On Ethnography of the Maasai

Ethnography of Fans: The Typical Fans of the Nashville Sounds

1653 words - 7 pages In order to determine the current success of the Nashville Sounds I surveyed fans of the game. I used the “snowball effect” to get responses from fans I knew and then had them refer me to fans they knew for responses to my questionnaire. I also submitted my questionnaire to a local blogger who discusses Nashville Sounds baseball. Garnering 38 responses, I feel I have gained knowledge of the typical fan as well as differences in

The Maasai Culture And Ecological Adaptations

3471 words - 14 pages Introduction The Rift Valley in East Africa has been the home of pastoralists for over three thousand years. A number of different tribes migrated to Kenya, grouped by language they include the Cushites derived from Southern Ethiopia, the Nilotes, which include the Maasai, from Southern Sudan, and the Bantu. The Maa speaking people are the group from which the Maasai originated; their expansion southward into the Great Rift Valley began about

The Massia Cultural Breakdown

1788 words - 7 pages The Maasai Cultural Breakdown Paper “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” Proverbs 14:34. This is a quote from a web site (, that defines parallels to the culture of the Maasai. The Maasai Culture is from Southern Kenya. The culture is very family based, with many families being quite large. The Maasai own a total land area of 160,000 kilometers ( http://maasai

My Dad Is Gay

1337 words - 5 pages Maasai In the shadow of the famous Mt. Kilimanjaro, among the golden plains of the Great Rift Valley, live a fascinating people. These people are known as the Maasai, a nomadic tribe of cattle herders located in Northern Tanzania and Southern Kenya. Though their tribal life would seem strange to most modern people, perhaps the lives of the Maasai women are the strangest. The life of a Maasai woman is one of degradation and hardship. She has

The Maasai Tribe

1824 words - 7 pages The Maasai are one of the many southern-most tribes located in Kenya. They are physically related, and also in many other forms related to the Samburu and Turkana. The Maasai have a relatively complex culture and traditions. In fact, for many years they were unheard of. By the late 1800’s we soon discovered more about the Maasai, mostly from their oral histories.      It is presumed that the Maasai came from the north

Comparing Culltures

2230 words - 9 pages There are many differences in the decision making processes of both the Maasai and Trobriand cultures. From yams to circumcision both culture have different ways of marking the change from childhood to adulthood. Although the Maasai and the Trobriand Islanders are separated by almost the whole of the Indian Ocean many similarities can be drawn about the structure of decisions that are made. Even though the approach by which a decision can be

The Case for the Redistribution of Ecotourism Gains in Kenya

3655 words - 15 pages in the country’s economic development. In order to assess the equity implications of ecotourism in Kenya, this paper will attempt to assess the distributional impacts of the policies local authorities have undertaken in Kenya to foster ecotourism and to propose suggested reforms and recommendations to help groups, who have traditionally been marginalized such as the Maasai. Background Kenya was a protectorate and a British colony from the

The Impact of Globalization on Culture

1886 words - 8 pages . "Globalization has existed for many centuries as a process by which cultures influence one another and become more alike through trade, immigration, and the exchange of information and ideas." (Arnett, 2002, p. 774) The biggest impact of globalization on a culture is seen more so among indigenous or non-western cultures. Some examples of these are the Iranian cultures, Inuit cultures, and the Maasai cultures. The impact of globalization on these

TRIBAL BODY TECHNIQUES, In relation to one or two instances of clothing styles or body decoration, show how the choice of certain body techniques and modes of conduct construct specific identities

2139 words - 9 pages with their guests before heading off on their honeymoon, to begin their married life together. Some of these traditions have faded a little and each culture adds it's own customs to the ceremony.The numerous tribes located across Africa celebrate in a very contrary manner. This essay aims to examine the Maasai tribe and it's surrounding neighbour tribes, by looking at their various methods of body decoration and body techniques, which are

The Hidden Power of the Laibon

1803 words - 8 pages live in isolated areas (3). Ironically, he did what he had set out not to do, but in doing so, formed relationships that molded him into the man he is today. Elliot mentions in the preface that “the book is both a memoir of [his] own experiences as an anthropologist and an ethnography, an anthropological description, of laibons, who are a special family of diviners, prophets, medicine men, and sorcerers among Samburu and Maasai people of East

Collaborative Ethnography

1662 words - 7 pages Introduction Postmodern anthropology can be described as a method to write about cultures in a certain way, by scrutinizing and interpreting the information gathered. Postmodern ethnographers believe that it is the way we interpret information that must be studied and that the voice of societies should be advocated through an informant. They also believe that to do this the use of collaborative ethnography is of vital importance. Collaborative

Similar Essays

Ethnography Of The Yanomamo Essay

540 words - 2 pages This ethnography is about the Yanomamö. Most people will think of these people as 'primitive'. But we do not consider the fact that these people look at us and call us 'primitive' and 'subhuman'. This is why it is important to judge these people with an unbiased mind.The Yanomamö are Indians that live widely scattered in southern Venezuela and northern Brazil. They usually live in villages of 75 to 80 people. But there are villages in

The Role Of Reflexivity In Ethnography

1385 words - 6 pages The Role of Reflexivity in Ethnography Reflexivity, as I understand it, is very well named.It is the practice of reflecting upon oneself and one’s work, of being self-aware and self-critical. In anthropology, it is well exemplified by the work of Renato Rosaldo, Ruth Behar, and Dorinne Kondo, among others. In its most obvious form (or at least the form most obvious to me), reflexivity is manifest in the practice of an ethnographer including

Ethnography On The People Of Lau

508 words - 2 pages Mini-Ethnography on the People of Lau Lau consists of 100 small islands and reefs spread over 1400 square kilometers in the South Pacific. There are three main divisions: the islands of southern and central Lau including Lakemba, Oneata, Mothe, the Kambara group, the Fulanga group, and the Ono group; the Exploring Islands; and the Moala group. Volcano's are located in the high islands which are well watered with rich soil and support intensive

Ethnography Of The American Flag Essay

1003 words - 5 pages In America there is a religious totem held above all else. It is a piece of square cloth with thirteen red and white lines and 50 stars that they place on a pole over their heads. They honor their flag in almost every aspect of their lives. They are placed at national shrines, cathedrals, outside homes and inside of every classroom. Every the morning in schools all across the nation children are required to pray to the flag and pledge their