The Massia Cultural Breakdown Essay

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 (http://www.peopleteams.org/maasai/culture.htm), 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-infoline.org/TheMaasaipeople.html ). Some of the physical characteristics include, but are not limited to, tall height, long pierced earlobes, and thin bodies. The Maasai have a saying for how they believe “it takes one day to destroy a house but to build a new one will take months, perhaps years. If we destroy our way of life to construct a new one, it will take thousands of years” (http://maasai-infoline.org/Maasaiceremonies.html).
The Maasai culture has been around since the latter part of the first millennium (http://www.environmentalaction.net/kenya/kenya_policy_failure.html). They generally stay in the same area, unless they need to hunt the lion. Only when they are forced out by Westeners or animals will they abondon their homeplace.
WORLD VIEW
When looking at the World View it is important to remember it is timeless and must represent a fundamental set of assumptions, thoughts and options; how they see the Universe. The World View categories are:
1.     Supreme being: Above all, beyond all, Culture. One and only one.
2.     Super natural forces: exist on spiritual plan
3.     Human beings: leader of the tribe
4.     Nature: storms, grass, moon, and stars
5.     Animals: Lions, cattle,
6.     Inanimate: nonliving objects, a special rock.

Now we will look at how the Maasai rank and define these categories based on Richard Porter’s research of their World Veiw (Samovar, Porter 2000, p. 90-98).

1.     Nature:
2.     Supreme Being:
3.     Human beings:
4.     Animals:
5.     Inanimate:
6.     Super natural forces:

NATURE:

The Maasai tribe live in the out-of-doors, literally- so the climate is extremely important. Drought, can bring about extinction. It would be more difficult to draw water. Women would be required to walk long distances-both exhausting and dangerous – to fill their gourds. It could kill their cattle resulting in no milk or blood for their sustenance.
SUPREME BEING
This tribe has one god. The Maasai view their god from two different perspectives. Engai Narok is seen through the thunder and the rains. While the other god, Engai Nonyokie, is for lightning.
HUMAN BEINGS
The elders are most respected in the tribe. They have a person that is their “king”. Every day all tribe members will...

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