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The Masaai Way of Life

The Masaai Way of Life

The Masaai community was a nomadic pastoralist. They would move from place to place looking for grazing fields and water for there livestock. On the way, they would make temporal shelters known as enkaji. Traditionally, the Masaai people’s diet consisted of meat, milk and cow’s blood. Today a lot has changed and there diet has been affected. Most do not take cow’s blood anymore. They eat cooked liquid maize flour mixed with milk called uji or solid maize flour mixed with water known as ugali. Intermarriage between the Masai and other communities has also made them embrace other communities’ cultures such as cultivating and trade.

Over population and limited grazing land has forced some of them to abandon pastrollism and embrace trading and cultivation. Conflicts with other communities as they graze in there lands has also limited the Masai a lot. They also do have conflicts with wildlife conservatism and most have been driven away from wildlife conservation zones such as the Masai Mara and Amboseli national parks. The community believed in one God Enkai who lived on the mountain of God Ol Doinyo Lengai located in northern Tanzania. Today most have embraced Christianity and a few Islam.

The Masai never used to bury there dead. They would leave the corpses lying around and the hyenas and jackals would eat them up. They believed that the dead polluted the land if buried. Only the dignitaries such as the Laibon (religious leader) and the chiefs were buried. A corpse is adorned in fat and animal blood to attract the scavengers as it is a disgrace to the community for a corpse not to be eaten up by the animals. The infants when born were not recognized due to high mortality rate until they were 3 moons (months) old.