The Masai are the most famous tribe in East Africa. They live in North of Tanzania and in Kenya and move around traditionally with their herds. It’s a hard life in the savanna in search of food for their livestock. The Masai are pastorals, they measure a man’s wealth in terms of cattle and children rather than money; a herd of 100 cows is respectable, the more children the better, and the man who has plenty of one but none of the other, is regarded as poor. At night they bring the animals in a safe “boma”, a large circle of thick acacia branches to keep predators like lions, hyena’s and leopards away. These friendly people are no hunters; they eat beef, goat and eland. Zebra and antelope have absolutely no fear for the easy to recognize men, they live in peace together! The Masai elder or the man of the family is the decision maker for almost everything, like marriages for his sons and daughters. He is the one who decides from which family his children can get a partner. He arranges and organizes the wedding with the other parents.
Traditional Man Known As ( Oloiboni )
The Masai have a Medicinal Man who acts as the local doctor in the society; he is a spiritual person who can predict your future and that of your family. He uses herbs for healing.
OLAIG’UANANI OROK OLKUMA- INDIGENIOUS EMBLEM OF POWER
Olaig’uanani is the highest office of justice administration in the land of the Masai, together with his chosen Aides/Assistant – ‘Inkopir’ who are also Ilaig’uanak parse, have the upper hand in any decision passed by the Masai highest court of the land Enkig’uana..
Enkiguana consist of three types of hearing
1. Olchani – open court
2. Olkiu – Business/Disputes court
a) Entonata – family or close members hearing
b) Enkitashoto – quick hearing
c) Enkilepata/enchom bata – private hearing
‘Ilaig’uanak loo Ilporori’ Age group leaders have powers to adjourn the court proceeding, convern meetings at any given time and pass any judgment to anyone found guilty, with the help of elders and other leaders they can consfigate, forfeit, seize or impose fines or penalties or negotiate on willing personal contribution according to each and every community member wealth capacity.
The most INSTRUMENT of power used by OLAIG’UANANI to pass his decision is a wooden black club from most of the blessed and hard aromatic exotic trees of the land ‘Ilkeek oorropil oogol pukunoto, Oloirien’, Oiti, Oltiasika, Olmelelek, etc.
Olkuma is a hand crafted shaped like an extended arm with a round tiped head like a dick of a Donkey which symbolizes manhood, strength, power, might and potency and it acts as blessing tool, thou it can be used for cursing anyone who dares to disobey orders given out by ‘Olaig’uanani’ the most highest office of the land. A choosen chief gives directives that must be respected by all members of the community without doubt or questioning his decisions or Authority.
How To Become A Man In Masai Society;
How to became a man in Masai society, when the Masai boy grow up to 5years old he will start to learn the cultures of his ancestors, he will start to look after young domestic animal around home and later when he is around ten, he will join the older boys or a father to look after animal far away from home, after 12 or 14 year old he will pass tradition ritual to became a Man.
Marriages in Masai Society;
The Masai are very different to the other society around the world regarding marriages, marriage is arranged with both side parents.The boy or a girl have no choice to choose the wife or the husband, parents will arrange everything for them, the marriage of the Masai will not include money as gifts, but will include domestic animals, also honey beer and blankets for the girl family, this gifts will be provided by a husband family.
Traditional wedding will be prepared by the husband family, there will be a slater of the big bull and few goats to make a food for the invited and none invited people, there is also special honey local brew made by Masai and traditional dance .
African Wildcats Expeditions can bring you to villages, communities, markets, schools and so on, off the beaten track. You can join the original local people, herding the cattle, fetching water cooking with the women and your own safari cook. You can also cooperate in a Masai home for a longer time. Because our guides are Masai themselves, borne in this region, we can offer you the best original cultural experience. For example we offer a nice 3-days walking safari in the Great Rift Valley, the cradle of mankind.
You will learn this entire story from your local guide or from an elder Masai man around the village or around the camp fire.