Facts


Name:
Maasai

Location:
Great Rift Valley in Kenya and Tanzania, East Africa.
The area they inhabit, roughly 100,000 square miles, is sometimes referred to as Maasailand.

Population:
Kenya: 350,000 - 500,000.
Tanzania: Unknown

Language:
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.’

Ancestry:
Nilotes and Hamites.
Nilotes originate in the sub-Saharan northeast. Hamites originate in Egypt.

Sustainability:
Livestock and Agriculture.
Traditionally semi-nomadic pastoralists, the Maasai have relied exclusively upon cattle for the majority of their diet. Modern day restrictions on grazing lands have forced some to take up farming on the side, if not entirely.

Religion:
75% traditional worship of Enkai or god.
25% Christianity.

Authority (large scale):
Chiefs hold political control.
Laibons are religious leaders.
Elders resolve local disputes.
(Males only.)

Subdivisions:
Twelve geographic subdivisions (where customs, appearance, leadership and even dialects may differ).

Keekonyokie, Damat, Purko, Wuasinkishu, Siria, Laitayiok, Loitai, Kisonko, Matapato, Dalalekutuk, Loodokolani and Kaputiei.

copyright 2004