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The Maasai Tribe - Research Paper Example

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Evolution and its Survival Mechanisms Maasai Tribe Name Institution Date The Maasai Introduction From the beginning, the Maasai tribe has been identified with its nomadic lifestyle living in the wilderness (Spearand Waller, 1993). The homestead surrounded by bushes and wild animals provides good ground for the maasai people to go about their businesses and preserve their culture…
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Download file to see previous pages While in European culture, a house is spacious and is furnished with a whole range of furniture including wall units, tables, sofa sets, entertainment systems and modern utensils, the Maasai hut is small and scantily furnished (Spearand Waller, 1993). Lemalian’s hut has animal skins and hides that serve as the sitting mats. Furniture do not matter much to the Maasai, all they care about is their livestock. The Maasai believe that Ngai handed over the livestock to the Maasai ancestors. Wealth is measured based on the size of the herds of cattle that an individual owns in the Maasai culture. The Maasai believe that it is okay to invade and take away cattle from their neighbors (Spearand Waller, 1993), something that is unacceptable in European culture. This is because they believe that cattle are given to them by their god. Measurement of wealth in European culture quite much differs from the Maasai’s perception. Europeans measure wealth in terms of money and a wide range of assets. In stead of stealing from other communities, Europeans believe in hard work and entrepreneurship. Carola, a Swiss woman no wonder values her car and tries to create more wealth by establishing shop in the village. Female Circumcision There is a great contrast between the Maasai and Swedish culture in respect of the fact that the latter do not practice female circumcision even as the former embraces it without question. Women are forced, against their wishes, to undergo circumcision as is presented in Rohrbach’s (2005) The White Maasai. The age-old cultural practice greatly frustrates Carola who hates to be involved in it. Every woman in the Maasai community is expected to undergo circumcision. The ritual is conducted as an initiation to adulthood, the uncircumcised being considered children irrespective of their age and unfit for marriage (Spearand Waller, 1993). The practice is done using crude tools and is most painful an experience. Carola being a Swiss woman and already married without being circumcised is viewed as weak and unfit for praise in the community in spite of her hard work. Appreciating the women’s suffering during circumcision, she tries to make the community understand that subjecting women to such suffering is completely unwarranted. Her please land on deaf years, as circumcision roots back to prehistoric times according to the communities’ elders. Women’s and Men’s Duties Women and girls in Maasai community have a number of duties. Some of the duties include constructing the manyattas and huts, milking, fetching water and firewood, and harvesting calabashes and gourds according to (Spearand Waller, 1993). They also clean the gourds and decorate them using beads and leather. Men on the other hand have the main responsibility of herding livestock. Men are nurtured by women and greatly revered (Spencer, 2003). The girls and women are expected to remain submissive to their male counterparts and in fact have no say in the community’s activities. Women are expected to serve their husbands and other males even when it hurts in the Maasai community (Spencer, 2003). In fact, men are preferred to women in the Maasai community, not like in the Swedish culture where boys and girls are equally appreciated. This can be seen when Carola is forced to employ the chief’s lazy nephew in her shop. The uneducated boy has to be ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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