Maasai|Masai Culture|Masai Traditions|Masai Village
The History Of The Maasai

The Maasai (usually misspelled as Masai) consists of all those people that speak the language of Ol-maa. Unbeknown to many, the Maasai community is divided into different groups, each with a different name. Due to their history, the Maasai have come to be regarded by many scholars as one of the ‘Lost Tribe of Israel.’

The Maasai are described as a pastoral people that belong to the Nilotic ethnic group. They are semi-nomadic-meaning they do not settle in one place all the time. This is largely due to lack of water and pasture for their cattle.

Their God is called is known as Enkai and is believed to have gifted the community with cattle, that descended from above. From this belief, the Maasai people lay claim to all the cattle in the world

Originating from the Nile valley in Sudan (at around 1700),the Maasai made their trek southwards before finally settling in the Kenya and Tanzania(East of Africa).Well known for their military prowess, the Maasai displaced many tribes that lay in their path during their migration.

The start of the 1900 saw the arrival of Westerners during the “Scramble for Africa”. Although the Maasai did put up a brave fight, they were no match for the British army. The Maasai were displaced from the rich highlands of Kenya to reservations that were less fertile. Another big blow to the Maasai community was the outbreak of cattle diseases such as Rider pest that greatly reduced the wealth of the community.

Currently, the Maasai still occupy a significant percentage of the national population in both Kenya and Tanzania. But still, this is only a mere fraction of the presence they once had.

 

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University of Nairobi