Essay on Massai Culture

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Massai Culture I have chosen my paper on the African Cattle People, specifically the Massai Culture. The Massai culture seemed to have more than meets the eye when we studied them in class, so I had to venture on to a website to see what else I could find out about them. In general, the Massai have several practices: circumcision and clitoridectomy, an age group system, shaving of the heads of women, extraction of two lower front teeth, the one-legged stance of the heron, and the use of spit in greeting and benediction. The Massai’s religion, laibons, circumcisions, cattle, warriors, elders and cattle raiding were just a few characteristics of their culture, making themselves unique of all the rest of the world.

Speaking first of
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Engai had three children, and he gave each a gift. The first child received and arrow to make his living by hunting, the second a hoe to dig the land and grow crops, and the third a stick to use in herding cattle. And the third son, whose name was Natero Kop, was the father of the Massai. I just find it crazy how these certain cultures can come up with stories, theories or whatever it is they are coming up with. And to believe that they entrusted all their faith and never were led astray from their religion, makes me develop a strong respect for their culture.

In studying the Massai in class I became aware of the strong representation that cattle made in the Massai culture. The people would go as far as naming the cattle as if they were their own pets. The believed that cattle were the next best things to God, cattle were everything. Since the Massai were semi-nomadic pastoralists, this meant they would travel searching for new grazing pastures. Going back to their Gods; Massai believe that the Rain God Engai granted all cattle to them for safe keeping when the earth and sky split. The bond between the Massai and the cattle was inseparable. The Massai knew each cattle by voice, color and eye. The Massai would slice the ears of the cattle in a certain way so they can recognize that it belongs to a certain clan. The cattle would provide the following for the Massai: milk; blood; a simple

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