Talk:Maasai people

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Mixing Nomiclatures[edit]

"A Y chromosome study by Wood et al. (2005) tested various Sub-Saharan populations, including 26 Maasai males from Kenya, for paternal lineages. The authors observed haplogroup E1b1b in 50% of the studied Maasai,[27] which is indicative of substantial gene flow from more northerly Cushitic males, who possess the haplogroup at high frequencies.[28] The second most frequent paternal lineage among the Maasai was Haplogroup A3b2, which is commonly found in Nilotic populations, such as the Alur;[27][29] it was observed in 27% of Maasai males. The third most frequently observed paternal DNA marker in the Maasai was haplogroup E-V38 (E-P1), which is very common in the Sub-Saharan region; it was found in 12% of the Maasai samples. Haplogroup B-M60 was also observed in 8% of the studied Maasai,[27] which is also found in 30% (16/53) of Southern Sudanese Nilotes.[29]". So there is mention of haplogroups: E1b1b, A3b2, E-V38/E-P1, B-M60. So is this E-V38/E-P1 the same as E1b1a? It isn't clear from the text at all. 83.84.100.133 (talk) 23:12, 24 September 2018 (UTC)

Point, Counterpoint?[edit]

These statements appear in the "Culture" section in the order shown here: "The Maasai people stood against slavery and lived alongside most wild animals with an aversion to eating game and birds. Maasai land now has East Africa's finest game areas. Maasai society never condoned traffic of human beings, and outsiders looking for people to enslave avoided the Maasai.[21]"

"Though the Maasai people stood against slavery and the traffic of humans beings, they were able to conquer such large areas of land by displacing the people who had previously lived in the area. And those who were looking for people to enslave avoided the Maasai because the Maasai weren't too friendly."

It seems to me that the the first is a little bit too utopian, while the second one is a slightly snarky response to the first. Consider merging or re-phrasing the whole thing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.142.165.24 (talk) 12:24, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

Maa vs Maasai[edit]

I removed the following:

Contrary to popular belief, the language is Maasai and the people are Maa, not the other way round.

I'm not sure what is meant by this, but the people are certainly referred to as "Maasai". — Matt 17:43, 17 Oct 2004 (UTC)

We need a clean up, and a possible block.

According to my information the words Maasai means speakes of the language Maa207.99.90.253 15:29, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

I know Masaai is the people, but don't know anything about the language. Bluepaladin 02:40, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Here are some references to the Maa language, which is sometimes refered to as Maasai. The prodominant term for this language is Maa, not Maasai. The Maasai speak Maa, a Nilotic language that originates from the Nile region. Nilotic simply means ‘of the Nile’. Maasai translates as ‘one who speaks the Maa language.’ Few other peoples speak or incorporate Maa in their own tongue including the Ndorobo, Njemps, Mukugodo, Rendille, Samburu, Arusha, Baraguyu, Parakuyu, Sonjo and those Elmolo who live on the eastern shore of Lake Turkana. However it is the Maasai who originally spoke Maa. [1] [2] The languge of the MAASAI, SAMBURU, and CAMUS peoples is often referred to as Maa. [3] [4] [5] Maa, A Dictionary of the Maasai Language and Folklore. Title Maa, A Dictionary of the Maasai Language and Folklore. Type Dictionaries Author Mol, Frans Year of Publication 1978 Variety Maasai Info Nairobi: Marketing and Publishing. Pp. 190. Steve Pastor (talk) 20:38, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Pulled out pending verification[edit]

The following paragraph was appended to the bottom of the article. I've pulled it out because it seems inherently confused and therefore can only cause confusion in the article.

According to Fr. Frans Mol, author "Maasai: Language & Culture Dictionary (Diocese of Meru, Kolbe Press Kenya) the spelling for the Maa (The language of the Maasai) word for warrior in the singular would be "ol - murrani" and in the plural would be "il - murran". The "ol" and "il" are Maa prefixes corresponding to the articles "a" or " the". Moron seems to be a phonetic spelling of the plural, and an unfortunate one. The common spelling is "moran" as it appears in writing in Kenya. Mol admits in his preface that the spelling of the language has not been officially determined.

I don't have the time to check this statements, but 'Maasai/Masai' is the most common term anyway. — mark 18:42, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

Yeah, it's pretty confusing. I think it was discussing the Maasai term for "warrior" (moran(i)) rather than a term for the Maasai themselves, but regardless, I don't really think the problems of transliteration for a single Maasai word is of sufficient importance to earn a paragraph in the article. — Matt Crypto 20:00, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
I concur. — mark 20:15, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

Maasai vs. Masai[edit]

Why is this article at "Maasai"? The spelling "Masai" is far more common, and the other usage of it - for a suburb of some Malaysian city we don't have an article on, is sufficiently more obscure that that should not be a problem. john k 16:19, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

A quick Google test gives about 1,500,000 million for "Masai", and 850,000 for "Maasai". I don't know if it really matters much, though? — Matt Crypto 18:15, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
A google search probably overstates the prevalance of "Maasai," I suspect. In terms of how much it matters, it's obviously not a matter of life and death, but that's true of most questions like this. At any rate, I tend to find it irritating when people try to replace a familiar older spelling with a new spelling which has no apparent advantage over it. What advantage of comprehension does the extra "a" give? It certainly gives most English-speakers no additional guide to pronunciation. And, given that the Masai were not a people with a written language, I can't see how this could possibly be a "more accurate transliteration" issue. So on what basis do we have it at this location, besides the fact that this is where Ethnologue puts it? john k 06:08, 16 July 2005 (UTC)
Sure, well I've also Googled and found the Encarta encyclopedia article. They say (and they sometimes get it wrong) that, "The word Maasai is the preferred spelling by the people" [6]. There's also a Ma?sai website that says, "Maasai is the correct spelling not Masai. Masai with one 'A' is incorect. In the future please spell Maasai with two AAs. We prefer Maasai, not Masai. The title Maasai derives from the word Maa. Maa-sai means my people" [7]. Now, normally I think we should go with whatever spelling is most prevalent, but the Google search gives some evidence that there is no clearly dominant spelling in usage, so I would suggest we go with the spelling that the people prefer and leave this page at Maasai — unless there's some compelling reason to do otherwise. — Matt Crypto 09:07, 16 July 2005 (UTC)
To Kenyans, the proper spelling is Masaai. I think google wouldn't help in this case. See, most of the on line content is generated by the west (Rich countries), who also tend to favour masai. Of course google is then going to generate more result for the later name. But insisting that is the proper spelling would be like telling someone called Jane, 'Hey, Your name is Mary and I don't want to hear about that Jane crap again, understand?
Well, the general rule on the English Wikipedia is to use the predominant form used when writing English. If there's no predominant form, it's probably best at "Maasai", in-line with the wishes of the people themselves (I presume you meant that the proper spelling is "Maasai", not "Masaai"?). — Matt Crypto 16:34, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
On the Official Maasai website, it says the correct spelling is "Maasai", and that the people don't like it spelled any other way, so I think the title "Maasai" for this article should be kept. Rhino131 00:18, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Feeding on cow blood is not considered a ritual. They do it like the way most western do with crappy Bugger King. A day to day thing that have no meaning

Female "Circumcision"[edit]

Does anyone know the details of what sort of "circumcision" the Maasai practice on girls? There are an awful lot of different practices that are often described as "female circumcision." 68.226.239.73

I know the Maasaias remove the clitoris during circumcision. Pyramide 10:22, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

Don't click on circumsision....You WILL regret it!

I know how. The citoris is removed by tying the girls legs to seperate posts, and... jabbing it out with anything from a piece of glass to a knife... Today, some people are against it, but very few refuse, as far as I've heard. The reason is that if she doesn't feel pleasure, she'd have no need to cheat on a husband.

Also, the lips are sowed together, leaving only a tiny hole for secretion and periods. This is to prevent wetlocks. At marriage, the husband rips it open. I truly feel sorry for these women. Bluepaladin 02:44, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

I feel sorry for their boys, too. I doubt having a piece of glass taken to one's penis feels good.
What Bluepaladin describes is female infibulation, but no evidence is offered that infibulation is a Maasai practice. Malangali 12:44, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, what's with this article's bias? Only female circumcision is refered to as "mutilation," while male circumcision is praised as a "rite of passage." So it's a "right of passage" for boys, but it's "mutilation" for girls? Absolute poppycock. Mutilation is mutilation. Don't try to defend it based on "sex" or "severity." And do not edit what I have to say. I hereby sign my comment and own it on this "discussion." Kogejoe 01:08, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

The article goes into great detail outlining the severity of "female mutilation," while it just grazes over "circumcision" when it refers to males. So they spread a girl's legs and jab her clitoris out with a glass shard? So what do they do to males? I'm sure it entails much more than just a quick jab. I'm sure the foreskin of an adolecent male is much greater in size than that of the clitoral hood, and/or the clitoris combined. As stated in an earlier comment, mutilation is varies in severity in both males and females. For females, in the simplest form it involves the pricking of the clitoral hood and/or the clitoris itself. More advanced circumcision involves the cutting out of the clitoral hood, and sometimes the minor labia. Even further than that is the actual removal of the clitoris, and even further than that is infibulation, in which the wounds of the labium are held shut to heal together to leave just a hole for the passage of menstruation. In some cultures, this serves to insure a bloody first night, which is held in high importance. For men, the most minor form of circumcision involves just the removal of the tip of the foreskin, in earlier biblical times done with a sharpened stone. Actual foreskin removal varies from culture to culture and through time. Jews, for example did not remove all of the foreskin until Rabbis of the 6th century saw it necessary to remove any trace of it to prevent foreskin restoration performed by renegade Jews. The procedure performed on infants, preferably with sharpened nails is refered to as "peri-ah," and this ensures that there is absolutely no fold of skin left on the shaft of the penis. People go to great pains to minimize male circumcision, while comparing it to the worst possible case of female mutilation which is infibulation. If you were to compare just circumcision, or the removal of the foreskin of either sex, it would be quite objectively obvious that foreskin removal is much more severe in males than it is in females. It is a disservice to humanity to condemn the genital mutilation of one sex, while marginally minimizing the genital mutilation of another. Both sexes are human and are therefore deprived of their rights to their own bodies when forcefully mutilated for traditional, or "prophylactic" reasons. Even in female circumcision, the same rationale used to endorse male circumcision is used; it's "cleaner," conformity (to look like all of us)," and disease prevention. (see: http://www.ias-2005.org/planner/Abstracts.aspx?AID=3138 ) Yes, I'm quite biased myself, but so is this article, and thus far, so is any information regarding the subject. There can't be a "fair and balanced" discussion about it because the facts are against the practice of forceful genital mutilation of either sex. For good reading of the history of the medicalization of male circumcision in America, and in most of the English-speaking industrialized world, read the book "Marked in Your Flesh" by Leonard Glick. Yes I am against the practice of male genital mutilation, as I am against the practice of female genital mutilation, whatever the reasons "prophylactic" or "cultural" as they may be. Sue me for standing up for human rights. Kogejoe 01:30, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

God, get a life. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.23.105.146 (talk) 08:23, 1 December 2012 (UTC)

why does this article have links to circumcision when referring to boys but links to female circumcision and female genital mutilation when discussing girls? there's some gender disparity here — Preceding unsigned comment added by 208.103.255.42 (talk) 09:22, 24 May 2018 (UTC)

Did you know that biological males and biological females have different sets of genitalia? Ian.thomson (talk) 13:33, 24 May 2018 (UTC)

Maasai[edit]

Aren't the Maasai known to be very large people? There is no information having to do with their stature.

No, they are not ! Omoo 23:42, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
See below, under height tobuscus

Ngai[edit]

I was oce told that Ngai was the only Maasai god but have been unable to verify the statement. 207.99.90.253 15:32, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

This essay agrees with what you were told: "To the Maasai there is only one God (Ngai)." — Matt Crypto 15:35, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

Height?[edit]

I read somewhere that the average Masai male is something around 6ft tall as an average. I know they are very much famed for their height but nothing of this is mentioned in the article.

I lived in Nairobi for two years, in the 1980s. I was led to believe that the Masaii were a slightly different racial stock than the predominant Bantu in the region, possibly originating in northern africa (Egypt?) and migrating southward. The Masaii I saw tended to average about 6 feet, were thin (not much body fat), and had closely spaced nostrils. The Bantu living in Nairobi proper tended to be shorter, stockier, and have widely spaced nostrils.
It would be best to cite a published source before adding this to the article. — Matt Crypto 07:03, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
From personal experience in the Arusha region in Tanzania, I can safely say that the Maasai I spoke to attributed their height to a combination of genetics and their diet, which is heavy in calcium and dairy products. The Maasai are taller than agrarian peoples in the region because milk is consumed on a less freuqent basis, resulting in a stunted growth among many. -Wy

Colonial terminology?[edit]

Please consider...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Tribe#Usage_of_the_term_varies.2C_sometimes_unfairly.3F — The preceding unsigned comment was added by 137.158.128.106 (talkcontribs) 19:39, 26 May 2006 UTC.

Maasai flag[edit]

A Maasai flag might look more like the logo here that the current FOTW pic. -- Himasaram 22:14, 17 August 2006 (UTC) No such flag exists. if so please cite source as the flag looks more logoish — Preceding unsigned comment added by Shadychiri (talkcontribs) 00:04, 2 November 2016 (UTC)

Removed Maasai Flag until proper citation of its source is offered. Shadychiri (talk) 20:31, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

Maasai are a bit more complicated than this article leads you to believe.[edit]

Maasai Farmers
  1. They are traditionally pastoralists, but I visited Maasai farmers just last month. The current Tanzanian Prime Minister is a Maasi. But I'm sure that he isn't a pastoralist either.
  2. Female Circumcision is illegal in both Kenya and Tanzania. It may still be practiced in isolated traditionalist groups, but mostly has been abandoned by the Maasai.
  3. The Maasai are integrated into the larger economy. They sell livestock for cash to buy foodstuffs and cloth. You'll see them walking to town or riding bicycles.
  4. They are of normal height and of slight build.
  5. Bantu is a tribal language group, not a racial group. The Maasai are not Bantu. Their history and origins are obscure.

--DJay 15:11, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

I'm largely ignorant about the above, but this article currently has very few references. If you can correct the article citing reliable sources, that would be ideal. One thought is that we should distinguish between traditional Maasai culture, and the lives of a typical modern Maasai. — Matt Crypto 16:45, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

The Masai have always been predominantly resistive to any type of change. They are extremely more complicated than this article begins to describe. There is absolutely nothing about "oporor," the core value of their culture. They are believed to be Hamitic in origin but I couldn't begin to source that. It needs much more before it can be anything but start class. btw, if you visited the Masai recently, then you should know that the Masai are not "farmers"--their word for farmer ("olmeg") is an opprobrium to them! --131.238.92.62 11:39, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

A google search for "oporor maasai" yields very few hits. Oporor is not listed in the darkwing.uoregon.edu Maa dictionary. If oporor is "the core value of their culture", it appears to be a very well kept secret. Steve Pastor 16:47, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

What about the jumping dance?[edit]

Aren't the Maasai warriors famous for their extraordinary jumping dance ceremonies? — The preceding unsigned comment was added by 124.62.212.69 (talk) 11:02, 19 December 2006 (UTC).

Recently added content[edit]

Recently, a paragraph on 'the commercial aspect' was added:

Unlike many other tribes, the Maasai are very warm and welcoming to travellers and visitors. For a fee of approximately $15 per person, you will get a guided tour of the Boma, which will nearly always be given by the camp leader. The camp leader will almost certainly speak very good English. There will be traditional dancing to start with, and after the tour of the buildings and school etc, you will be invited to buy some of the products they make themselves, including bracelets, jewellery, shields, clubs, pendants etc.
If you do purchase, you must bargain; it is expected and would be met with surprise if you offer the asking price. A good rule of thumb when bargaining, not necessarily with Maasai but with anyone in the country is to offer half of what they are asking, and work towards a happy medium. Again you must not feel bad about bargaining; it is simply part of their culture, and most importantly, they expect you to bargain, and adjust their prices accordingly, so that there is a margin that can be haggled away.

This is more in place at WikiTravel. And the 'unlike many other tribes' is quite a platitude. — mark 12:02, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

religion?[edit]

the infobox says their religion is "Christianity", but the text states "The laibon or spiritual leader acts as the liason between the Maasai and their one god, "Enkai" ". Additionally the page Masai mythology is written in the present tense, suggesting the native religion is still practiced. So are the Maasai still Pagan/Animist, or are they Christian? Maybe a mixture? --Krsont 14:15, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

after some digging in the history, I've discovered it originally read "Animist", then "Monotheist", then was changed to "Christianity". Presumably whoever changed it to "Monotheist" wanted to make clear that the Maasai worship a one God rather than the polytheism that is implied by "animist", and then another editor mistakenly thought this referred to Christianity. I'm going to change it to "monotheist animist" as this seems to be the most correct. --Krsont 14:24, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Don't presume--the Masai have converted to Christianity in communities, not as individuals. One of the leading experts on the Masai was Father Vincent Donovan (see Christianity Rediscovered) who is the 1970s and 1980s converted many whole communities based on Masai culture and values, not on remaking them in a western image or "Western church." They also weren't animists--God to them was distant, remote, and not a part of this earth, but a sky dweller who looked with favor only on the Masai--enabling them to keep their culture.--131.238.92.62 11:46, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Boma[edit]

As best as I can determine, boma is a swahili word meaning variously: stable (for cattle), fort, fortress, mound, pile of earth, pile of stones, government administrative office, castle, framework (of a house) [[8]] Much of what is covered in this section is covered under the culture section. I have edited appropriately. Steve Pastor 21:36, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

It is definitively nonsese to call Maasai houses "boma". This is tourist Swahili, maybe from colonial British Swahili usage. Maasai have their own language. Boma in Swahili is a fortified place, can be used for a cattle fencing (to protect against theft and lions, hyenas at night), and has been used for administrative buildings because in the early times of conquest colonial staff built themselves fortified buildings. Kipala (talk) 21:22, 24 February 2019 (UTC)

Romans?[edit]

What's this tidbit about the Maasai being descended from Roman soldiers? That sounds like complete garbage. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.5.136.64 (talk) 22:58, August 24, 2007 (UTC)

I agree.Shadychiri (talk) 20:32, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

Merge proposal[edit]

I am tagging Maasai with a proposal to Mergefrom Maasai Music and Culture because:

  • it partly duplicates the sections Culture, Body modification and Clothing
  • it contains more information on the various tribes
  • it contains section Music that is mising from this Maasai article

Maasai Music and Culture was written by just one editor and has an empty talk page and so moving the content in accordance with the GFDL should be straightforward. However, while it has sources and external links, none of the sentences are referenced and this needs to be done during any merge. Responses? -Wikianon 14:52, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Looks like a fair amount of work would be required. It seems well written, but some material is bascially the same as in Maasai, and, as you point out, there are no internal references. I've seen a list of regional groups, but haven't found it again. The list in Culture may be correct, but there is no ref. So, merge, but give the referenced material in Maasai preference, I'd say. If you are up to it, I'd say go ahead. Hope you don't mind someone looking over your shoulder. Steve Pastor 22:03, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Nevertheless, I just found a reference for the "12 sectors" bit, and have added it to Maasai. So you could say that the merge has started. Steve Pastor 19:37, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

The Zulu article looks like a good model to follow. Steve Pastor (talk) 23:06, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

I am continuing to add referenced material to the Maasai article. This one will become redundant. Steve Pastor 20:50, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

I have now moved all text that hasn't been properly referenced from the Culture article, along with external links and sources. I will be nominating the culture article for deletion. Steve Pastor (talk) 19:48, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

unga wa manhindi[edit]

See this site for further justification of the undo of recent edit. I would put it int the article itself, but it seems like a Maasai site should be a good enough reference as it is. This one is from an Kiswahili lexicon site. [9] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Steve Pastor (talkcontribs) 15:47, 13 September 2007 (UTC) "When used without a modifier, en-kurmá is understood to mean 'maize flour', particularly with reference to the cooked form, i.e. ugali. enkurmá ɛ́ nkánò wheat flour." [10] So, ugali is the Maa word for cooked maize meal. But unga wa mahindi is Kiswahili. Let's stick to English. Steve Pastor 18:56, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

regarding The Maasai in Ruvu, Tanzania undo[edit]

There was no stated reason for this edit, and it wasn't mine, but I agree with it and would have done it eventually. This is based on several things that Wikipedia is not: a blog, a news site, etc etc. Events, people, etc, most also be "notable". Steve Pastor 18:45, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

lingustically most related to[edit]

The language spoken by the Turkana is "Turkana." It is similar to the Maasai language and is considered to be Nilotic in origin (from the Nile region). http://www.ejoka.com/culture The language of the Turkana, an Eastern Nilotic language - Wikipedia

Turkana language From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Turkana Language family: Nilo-Saharan - Eastern Sudanic - Eastern Nilotic - Lotuxo-Teso - Teso-Turkana - Turkana - Turkana

It is one of the Eastern Nilotic languages, and is closely related to Karamojong, Jie and Teso of Uganda, to Toposa spoken in the extreme southeast of Sudan, and to Nyangatom in the Sudan/Ethiopia Omo valley borderland; these languages together form the cluster of Teso-Turkana languages. [11] Language: Turkana (Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Nilotic, Eastern, Teso-Turkana). Similar to Karamajong and Teso. Related to Toposa. [12] See Figure 2 and discussion at this url. [13] There is nothing in the Kalenjin article to indicate that Maa is most closely related to Kalenjin. For all of the above reasons, I am deleting this phrase.Steve Pastor 19:39, 21 September 2007 (UTC) Maasai are related to the samburu and the turkana. they are classified as plain nilotes. they are distant relatives of the kalenjin who have abandoned the pastoral way of lifeShadychiri (talk) 18:31, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

Finnish?[edit]

Since very few of use speak or read Finnish, how is that supposed to work? Steve Pastor (talk) 21:56, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Material from Maasai Music and Culture not yet in this one, sort of[edit]

This is begin copied here so it won't be lost. I will be nominating the other article for deletion.

The Maasai diet comprises primarily of meat and milk, however it is forbidden to mix the two. The Maasai create a drink made from milk and blood which is created by puncturing the loose flesh on the cow's neck with an arrow. The wound is closed after the correct amount of blood is obtained. This monthly operation does not have hazardous effects on the cow. A variety of corn, sorghum, and other grains are also incorporated into the Maasai lifestyle. The Maasai will not eat wild animals because it is seen as barbaric, and they also choose not to farm.

red is a special color to them because the tribe traditionally created the color for their shields by mixing the clay with the red sap of the solanum campylae fruit or cattle blood.

The men color their hair red with clay and red ochre which is a pigment found in natural form in volcanic regions. Morani. They are not allowed to travel or eat alone in hope to teach them to work as a group. These warriors are recognized by their painted faces as well as their headdresses which are made out of feathers and wood. In order to increase their braveness the warriors drink a special narcotic made from the bark of the thorny olkiloriti tree. Within the Morani are two groups, seniors and juniors. Junior warriors are called Ilkiliyani. They are recognized by the handles on their wooden handled spears and by their short hair. Their hair is short because warriors will have their heads ceremoniously shaved following the circumcision ceremony into manhood. Following the ceremony the warriors let their hair grow long. Many hours are spent by warriors braiding each others’ hair. The long hair style is designated only for warriors in the tribe. Senior warriors are called Ilingeetiani. They are recognized by their ebony handled spears and long braided hair.Warriors that spear a lion early in their training are the most respected. They then wear the lion’s mane as a head piece in some ceremonies to exhibit their bravery.

Everyone involved has a part that has allowance for ornamentation. Members of the group may raise the pitch of their voices based on the height of the jump.

Young men cover their bodies in ocher to enhance their appearance. Also warriors spend ample time completing ornate hairstyles. Young men can also be seen scaring their bodies with heated spears in order to show bravery. Beadwork is often important in Maasai body ornamentation. Complex bead patterns cover discs that hang around their necks. The patterns may be used to determine an age set or hierarchy in the tribe. Typically woman and young girls partake in the beadwork.

External links

1. BlueGecko.org [14] 2. Laleyio.com [15] 3. Art and Life in Africa Online [16]

Sources

1. Craats, Rennay, Maasai. New York: Weigl Publishers, 2005. 2. Diary of a Maasai Village. Director, Melissa Llewelyn-Davies; series producers, Chris Curling, Melissa Llewelyn-Davies. Videocassette. British Broadcasting Company, 1984. 3. Finke, Jens. Maasai – Music and Dance. Tradition Music and Cultures of Kenya, 2003. BlueGecko.org. 23 Jan 2007 4. Galaty, John. Being "Maasai"; Being "People-of-Cattle": Ethnic Shifters in East Africa. American Ethnologist. Feb 1982: pp 1-20. 23 abstract and page 1 only, January 2007 5. Groom, Debra. Maasai Make Tully School Aid Effort Come Alive; Kenyans Highlight Their Culture and Problems Their Community Face. The Post Standard. Nov 2, 2006: Pg. 13. 23 January 2007 6. Hodgson, Dorothy. Once Intrepid Warriors: Gender, Ethnicity, and the Cultural Politics of Maasai development. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001. 7. Johnson, Hans. Culture. Copyright 2004. Laleylio.com. 23 January 2007 8. “Maasai Informantion.” Art and Life in Africa Online. November 3, 1998. March 27, 2007 9. Spencer, Paul. The Maasai of Matapato: a study of rituals of rebellion. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988. Steve Pastor (talk) 19:34, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

to be merged when sources found?[edit]

I have checked the Maasai music and culture article for information that could be merged into Maasai or put here. See this revision in case anyone wants to merge more text to the main article as I am too lazy to do it all now. I have just changed it to a redirect to Maasai's culture section.

Most of it was already in the main article in one form or another, except for the following:

  • dwellings called krall - but sources define it as the inner enclosure for the livestock

This is incorrect/correct. See refs in article. But still no direct mention of krall as being for livstock currently in article. Steve Pastor (talk) 22:08, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Kraal, krall, does not appear to be a Maa word. It shows up repeatedly in the definitions of other words in the animal husbandry section at this Maa dictionary site [17] Steve Pastor (talk) 19:40, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

See also [18], the word is not Maa, nor derived from it. Nor is it Swahili. Steve Pastor (talk) 19:51, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

  • "a drink made from milk and blood" - there are several web sources for this

currently in article "The mixing of cattle blood, obtained by nicking the jugular vein, and milk is done to prepare a ritual drink for special celebrations and as nourishment for the sick" There's a reference, too Steve Pastor (talk) 21:59, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

  • "corn sorghum" - a source is here
  • "Maasai will not eat wild animals" - no sources found

See text and reference in Serengeti. Steve Pastor (talk) 22:29, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

  • claims without cite percentages for religious belief

Current article doesn't give percents, which is good. Steve Pastor (talk) 22:20, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

  • "Laibons are the religious leaders" - uncited and not quite matching what this says
  • chiefs hold political power, elders resolve disputes

Now in article Laibons..."central human figure in the Maasai religious system is the laibon who may be involved in: shamanistic healing, divination and phophecy, insuring success in war or adequate rainfall. Whatever power an individual laibon had was a function of personality rather than position." reference, too

  • uncited: "red is a special color to them... solanum campylae fruit"

Pretty good source [19] Steve Pastor (talk) 19:31, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

  • "Maasai have had trouble maintaining their pastoral lifestyle"

There is an excellent national Geographic article (use Google Earth at Ngorongoro Crater to find it) that I can use to flesh this out. Steve Pastor (talk) 22:15, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

  • "Morani are the great protectors of the Maasai" - Maasai word meaning warrior

This is a bit of hyperbole, but morani, meaning both young man and warrior is covered, I believe. Steve Pastor (talk) 22:06, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

  • "warriors are recognized by their painted faces as well as their headdresses..."
  • "drink a special narcotic made from the bark of the thorny olkiloriti tree" - uncited, and olkiloriti is Acacia nilotica, the opposite of a narcotic

See Diet paragraph in article. Steve Pastor (talk) 22:12, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

  • "Junior warriors are called Ilkiliyani" - no sources found, only as name of camp

Try this source, first sentence. Steve Pastor (talk) 22:15, 26 December 2007 (UTC) Can also be found at the English Maa dictionary.[20] Steve Pastor (talk) 19:27, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

  • how junior warriors are recognised: spear handles, hair; "Senior warriors are called Ilingeetiani" - almost word for word copy from this source, hard to tell which is the original source
  • Music section partly sourced from http://www.bluegecko.org/kenya/tribes/maasai/eunoto.htm
  • Music structure section looks already merged in the main article
  • Body art is not in the main so I include it below for later inclusion.-Wikianon (talk) 06:40, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Body art section[edit]

Young men cover their bodies in ocher to enhance their appearance. Also warriors spend ample time completing ornate hairstyles. Young men can also be seen scaring their bodies with heated spears in order to show bravery. Beadwork is often important in Maasai body ornamentation. Complex bead patterns cover discs that hang around their necks. The patterns may be used to determine an age set or hierarchy in the tribe. Typically woman and young girls partake in the beadwork.

  • Most of this is similar to what I saw in "Maasai", which is now back in the library and a very popular book, I might add. I think the basic concepts can be merged into current article without further references. See for instance photo of ruffs/collars. Steve Pastor (talk) 22:19, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Burial rites in music and dance section[edit]

This paragraph is found in the music and dance section and seems quite out of place: "A high infant mortality rate among the Maasai has led to babies not truly being recognized until they reach an age of 3 moons.[33] The end of life is virtually without ceremony, and the dead are left out for scavengers. [34] Burial has been reserved for great chiefs, since it is believed to be harmful to the soil.[35]" Maybe it's a leftover from when this was a Music and Culture section? Should this be moved to the Social Organization or the Culture section? Rsdoss (talk) 04:06, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

I moved it to the culture section following a paragraph on religion. Rsdoss (talk) 04:09, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Typo?[edit]

The first paragraph of the Social organization section speaks of "Morons." That seems like either a very unfortunate typo or a prank, but before I change the second o to a, I'd like to double-check. Troiscoins (talk) 03:47, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing this out. I'd label it "undetected vandalism". Don't know if we get more than average rate, but it can be difficult to keep up. One tactic is to check previous versions of the article. Course, I've worked on this one a lot, and trust my own work. Thanks again.Steve Pastor (talk) 15:11, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

interwiki[edit]

Please ad interwiki link to Turkish:

[[tr:Masailer]] (drag an drop)

or

tr:Masailer (source text)

Thanks

91.86.251.174 (talk) 04:08, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Music and Dance (Advertisement)[edit]

The final line in the Music and Dance section appears to be nothing more than an advertisement:

Contemporary Hip Hop musicians X Plastaz from northern Tanzania are incorporating traditional Maasai rhythms, beats and chants into their music.

The X Plasatz article is cited for not being neutral, and this comment may be an extension of that problem. It appears to add nothing to the "Maasai" article and is simply confusing at best. ETomeny (talk) 16:21, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Seeing no disagreement, I am removing the line. I don't believe it reveals anything about the Maasai, and serves no purpose other than to be an advertisement for a musical group; not something that belongs in an Encyclopedia article. ETomeny (talk) 13:54, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

EDIT: Nevermind, the page appears to be locked. Could someone with editing rights please remove this advertisement? ETomeny (talk) 13:56, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

I wrote something a while ago, but for some technical reason it wasn't posted and I was too busy to retype. That sentence is a very shortened version of a previous paragraph. I pretty much agree with you, but left it there because at least one of their videos highlights local culture in Tanzania, and I try not to be too dogmatic in my edits. Still, I will remove that material as requested. Steve Pastor (talk) 15:36, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Uoali vs Ugali[edit]

I believe "uoali" in the diet section should be spelt "ugali" —Preceding unsigned comment added by Liam walls (talkcontribs) 06:40, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps. Im' pretty sure I've been down this road before, and I'm trying to pin this down. Meanwhile, the text in the article can be be found here. [21] Steve Pastor (talk) 17:08, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

I found an on line article that has the text as quoted from Nestel. Also, I HAD gone through this before. see History 14:51, 29 September 2008 Steve Pastor (talk | contribs) (40,562 bytes) (uoali appears to be a name, rather than the spelling previously in the artcle and is dictionary of Maa words). There IS in fact another Maa word for porridge, that isn't either of the ones we are discussing. Although it's possible that the quote was mistyped, given the number of alternate pronunciations and spellings, and the fact that this is a verifiable source for the current word, I would like to leave it as is. Also added link to on line resource in the article. Steve Pastor (talk) 17:35, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Am considering adding (aka ugali? sic), but, without something to definitively link the two words, I'm reluctant to do that. Steve Pastor (talk) 17:40, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

porridge ol-oshoró. Maa (Maasai) Dictionary. Doris L. Payne & Leonard Ole-Kotikash. [22] And there you have the Maa word for porridge. Steve Pastor (talk) 18:06, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Warriors? Please![edit]

There are only about 2000 lions left in Kenya and at the rate the Maasai warriors kill them, the lions in Kenya will be gone within two years.

Replacing 'warriors' with 'hunters'. Maasai are not professional 'warriors', nor are they at war with any other people. Those Maasai finding and killing lions, are hunters. Centrepull (talk) 06:20, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Before you make any such edits, you might want to consult the Maa/English dictionary. Steve Pastor (talk) 20:14, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

i watched the source for the "two years" info, it relates that the Maasai/lion animosity is mostly due to recent drought-related scarcity. I don't believe the maasai regularly kill lions at this rate, but the entry seems to suggest that. thoughts? Theinterior (talk) 05:30, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

From my experience in rural Kenya, including lengthy talks with some Maasai warriors, the practice of killing a lion by oneself is a traditional and essential part of the process to become an official warrior. The sentence in question does come across as extremely subjective though, perhaps it could be reworded? Aidanpaige (talk) 13:51, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

Recently returned from living & filming with Maasai community in the Olepolos (Ngong) region. Lions are vary rarely hunted by Maasai today - they are very aware of their falling numbers.- However lions were rarely hunted by an individual. The hunter (warrior) accredited with killing the lion is the warrior who first spears the creature (and ritualistically then touches it's tail whilst still alive). This Moran then earns the right to wear the lions maine around his neck at ceremonies.Alexgater (talk) 15:55, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Religion (part2)[edit]

Surely there should be a section in the main article entitled "Maasai Religion" (as there is on many of the pages devoted to other ethnic groups)? There is a great need here for much more factual information (eg what proportion practice Christianity and of what kinds? What proportion are Muslims and of what kinds?). There are also glaring omissions (eg the Loonkidongi, 'Nenaunir). Who says that because Enkai (a sky god/creator) is the chief god, the Maasai are therefore "monotheist" (what about Olapa, 'Nenaunir and Neiterkob in that case?) The Lesser Merlin (talk) 12:47, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

If you have good sources for such information, and are willing to do the work (including making the citations), I'd say go ahead and put it in the article. As the amount of material devoted to the subject grows, it will justify it being in a section. Sound like a plan? Steve Pastor (talk) 16:25, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
I only wish I could - willing to do the work. There are plenty of mentions elsewhere of the Loonkidongi, 'Nenaunir, Olapa, and Neiterkob - but I am too much of a generalist to have good sources or to recognise one when I see it! The Lesser Merlin (talk) 10:15, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

I'm planning another trip to the Serengeti, maybe I'll get motivated. Steve Pastor (talk) 17:19, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

Mark Anthony's Lost Legion[edit]

I was intrigued to read about this theory on page 98 of Charles Miller's book 'the Lunatic Express'. Quote: "Even today a small but respectable body of opinion holds that the Masai are directly descended from Mark Anthony's lost legion, citing not only physical similarities but Masai battle formations and the striking resemblence of the spears and simis to the weapons of centurions."

Does anyone else have further data on this theory? All that detailed stuff about chromosones is a little baffling to the average reader - could it be an answer to this theory? Thanks ixo (talk) 15:31, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Does Charles Miller list any references for his assertion about who this "small but respectable body of opinion" belongs to? I'm only a biologist, but my reading of the genetic information reveals no links to whatever genetic make up (which is wholely undefined!) the "lost legion" might have had. Steve Pastor (talk) 19:01, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

I'd be curious to know what "battle formations" the Maasai might be famous for using? Kortoso (talk) 18:17, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Copyright problem removed[edit]

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A map would be useful. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.129.245.97 (talk) 10:54, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Autosomal DNA[edit]

"Many Nilo-Saharan-speaking populations in East Africa, such as the Maasai, show multiple cluster assignments from the Nilo-Saharan (red) and Cushitic (dark purple) AACs..."

These colors ("red", "dark purple") are apparently in reference to a graphic that we don't have access to directly. I suggest that this be elided. Kortoso (talk) 17:17, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

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