The Masaai Cultural Beliefs

The Masaai Cultural Beliefs

The Masaai are monotheistic and they believe in Enkai, God who lived on the mountain of God, Ol Doinyo Lengai. A religious leader the Laibon was the mediator between the people and Enkai. Many Masai have since become Christians and a few Muslims. Disputes in the community would be sorted out of court by a clan of elders who would decide on the judgment and compensation depending on the issue. The judgment would never be questioned and these elders were highly esteemed by the society. The man is the power figure in every home and the decision maker. He was also the protector of the family.

Due to there nomadic lifestyle, temporary shelters would be built on the way. These shelters known as enkaji were built by able bodied women in the community. Women were also charged with milking and cooking for the family. The enkaji served as a small room where the family used to cook, sleep, pass time, store house hold items and eat. Livestock such as lambs, goats and calves would also spend the night in the enkaji. The enkaji was normally 3×5 m in measurement and standing only 1.5 m high.

The dead were never buried as they believed that the corpse can pollute the land. It was left to be eaten by scavengers such as hyenas and jackals. It was a disgrace for a corpse not to be eaten by the scavengers therefore they would be adorned in animal blood and fat to entice the hyenas and jackals. The babies were not recognized for the first 3 months. This was because of the high infant mortality rate. After this period, the child would be shaved, named and accepted into the community.

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