In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: The Similarities of Difference: Wood Introduction This article grew out of the Oxford seminar on interethnic relations in southern Ethiopia. One aim of that meeting was to discuss regional similarities among different societies on the periphery of the Ethiopian state.
Because of population growth, development strategies, and the resulting shortage of land, cattle raising is in decline. However, cattle still represent "the breath of life" for many Maasai. When given the chance, they choose herding above all other livelihoods.
The maasai culture and ecological adaptations essay smeared red with ochre a pigmentthey either carry spears or stand on one foot tending cattle.
These depictions oversimplify Maasai life during the twentieth century. Today, Maasai cattle herders may also be growing maize corn or wheat, rearing Guinea fowl, raising ostriches, or may be hired by ecologists to take pictures of the countryside.
Prior to British colonization, Africans, Arabs, and European explorers considered the Maasai formidable warriors for their conquests of neighboring peoples and their resistance to slavery. Caravan traders traveling from the coast to Uganda crossed Maasailand with trepidation.
However, in —81, when the British unintentionally introduced rinderpest a cattle diseasethe Maasai lost 80 percent of their stock. The British colonizers further disrupted Maasai life by moving them to a reserve in southern Kenya. While the British encouraged them to adopt European ways, they also advised them to retain their traditions.
These contradictions resulted, for the most part, in leaving the Maasai alone and allowed them to develop almost on their own. However, drought, famine, cattle diseases, and intratribal warfare warfare among themselves in the nineteenth century greatly weakened the Maasai and nearly destrtoyed certain tribes.
Since Kenyan and Tanzanian independence from Britain in the s, land ownership has changed dramatically. Modern ranching, wheat cultivation techiques, and setting of grazing boundaries in the Maasai district are becoming common.
A wage and cash economy is replacing the barter trade system. Consequently, the Maasai have begun to integrate themselves into the modern economies and mainstream societies of Kenya and Tanzania, albeit with considerable reluctance. Their myths speak about climbing up from a broad and deep crater bounded on all sides by a steep, long cliff.
By the s they had begun migrating with their herds into the vast arid, savanna-like grassland region of East Africa straddling the Kenya-Tanzania border. Today, their homeland is bounded by Lake Victoria to the west and Mount Kilimanjaro to the east.
Maasailand extends some miles kilometers from north to south and about miles kilometers at its widest east-west point. Estimates of the Maasai population include more thanin Tanzania, and close toin Kenya. The origins of Maa have been traced to the east of present-day Juba in southern Sudan.
More than twenty variants of Maa exist. The Maasai refer to their language as Olmaa. These stories include their ascent from a crater, the emergence of the first Maasai prophet-magician Laibonthe killing of an evil giant Oltatuani who raided Maasai herds, and the deception by Olonana of his father to obtain the blessing reserved for his older brother, Senteu a legend similar to the Biblical story of Jacob and Esau.
One origin myth reveals much about present-day Maasai relations between the sexes. It holds that the Maasai are descended from two equal and complementary tribes, one consisting strictly of females, and the other of males. Instead of cattle, sheep, and goats, the women had herds of gazelles. Zebras transported their goods during migrations, and elephants were their devoted friends, tearing down branches and bringing them to the women who used them to build homes and corrals.
The elephants also swept the antelope corrals clean. However, while the women bickered and quarreled, their herds escaped. Even the elephants left them because they could not satisfy the women with their work.
The men occasionally met women in the forest. The children from these unions would live with their mothers, but the boys would join their fathers when they grew up.
When the women lost their herds, they went to live with the men, and, in doing so, gave up their freedom and their equal status. From that time, they depended on men, had to work for them, and were subject to their authority.
Like other African religions, the Maasai believe that one high god Enkai created the world, forming three groups of people. The first were the Torrobo Okiek pygmiesa hunting and gathering people of small stature to whom God gave honey and wild animals as a food source.
The second were the neighboring Kikuyu, farmers to whom God gave seed and grain.Maasai Culture V. American Culture Essay Contrast- Rough Draft March 22, Maasai Culture v.
American Culture In the tribal villages of eastern Africa the Maasai marriages are arranged by the elders without ever first consulting the . Africa, the second-largest continent, is bounded by the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the Atlantic leslutinsduphoenix.com is divided in half almost equally by the leslutinsduphoenix.com continent includes the islands of Cape Verde, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Comoros.
The Maasai Culture And Ecological Adaptations Essay - Introduction The Rift Valley in East Africa has been the home of pastoralists for over three thousand years. The maasai culture had the tools to accommodate local and historical contingencies and thus reshape itself without thereby becoming a culture of change, It is a culture of homogeneity which spells constant harmony.
In the past, the Maasai and the wildlife simply lived together, in balance. If this could be re-established, by showing to the Maasai the economic value of the presence of wildlife in their land, the future of the land, of the wildlife and of the Maasai people will be assured.
This is exactly what Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust does. 14 • CULTURAL HERITAGE The Maasai have a rich collection of oral literature that includes myths, legends, folktales, riddles, and proverbs. These are passed down through the generations. The Maasai also compose many songs.