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The African American and Maasai Culture as a Co-Culture Term Paper


The word “Maasai” refers to Maasai people or simply Maasai language. The culture is usually recognized by their colored ornaments that are normally made from beads. Debatably, the Maasai are the most Africa’s populous ethnic group who believe all cattle are theirs. This has given them an image of fierce cattle raiders.

To them, cattle is a sign of wealth and are supposed to be used in paying a dowry (Wallace 128). According to their culture and tradition, it is the role of women to construct the huts. It is their responsibility to fetch water, cook for the family, collect firewood, and milk the cows. The daily operation of the community and conflict resolution is done by older men (Wallace 130).

The Maasai culture defines a particular dress code for the members of their community. Women should be in bangles and necklaces. Men, on the other hand, wear the Maasai blanket, a red checked shuka. The Maasai believes in beauty and therefore make colorful ornaments to suit this purpose. This is a significant aspect of their culture. The Maasai culture dictates the community diet. Their foods are mostly milk, cow blood, and meat (Jones 44).

In Maasai culture, there are various ceremonies and rituals including Murata (circumcision), enkipaata (senior boy ceremony), Akiyama (marriage), Sokoto e-kule (milk drinking), eunoto (warrior shaving), or Gesher (junior elder) and enkang oo-Keri (meat-eating) among others. The culture has some other ceremonies preserved for young boys and girls that they must go through. The initiations such as ilkioirat (leg fire marks) and eudoto (ear lobe) are stages that the minors before circumcision.

Each ceremony marks a new life in the Maasai community; every child in the Maasai community is usually eager to go through these initiations as they are considered the rite of passage. The Maasai, who moved from Sudan to Kenya, lives in Rift Valley. According to their culture, they live in huts that are made of mud, tree brunches, cow dung, and grass.

They live in a homestead as a family normally referred to as Manyatta. Their Manyatta is usually surrounded by thorny bushes that protect their cattle from predators and intruders. Every Manyatta is composed of between 10 and 20 huts, which they refer to as “Inkajijik” (Wallace 132).

In summary, Maasai people are a popular tribe in Africa, and their culture entails a lot of adorable traditions. They are the most of Africa’s populous ethnic group. According to the culture and traditions of the Maasai, circumcision is valued as the most significant initiation process among all the other rites of passage. This circumcision is normally done shortly after the pubic stage, and many Maasai children are normally eager to undergo through the process of initiation.

It is, however, worth noting that due to the challenges arising with the advancing century, Maasai women no longer pass through the circumcision initiation, but young men still fancy the process and are still eager to under go through it.

According to their culture, the initiation elevates individuals to adulthood from childhood. However, before children undergo this initiation process, they must exhibit the signs of a grown man which is normally ascertained by acts like herding large herd of cattle and carrying heavy spears among other signs (Jones 48).

Works Cited

Jones, Jonathan. The Myth of Wild Africa: Conservation without Illusion: Proceedings of 25th Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning. Web.

Wallace, Paul. The Maasai of Matapato: a study of rituals of rebellion: In The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, (5)3, 127-137. Wallace, Paul. Time, Space, and the Unknown: Maasai configurations of power and providence. Open Learning, 14(3), 129-136

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IvyPanda. (2020, April 27). The African American and Maasai Culture as a Co-Culture. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-african-american-and-maasai-culture-as-a-co-culture/

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"The African American and Maasai Culture as a Co-Culture." IvyPanda, 27 Apr. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/the-african-american-and-maasai-culture-as-a-co-culture/.

1. IvyPanda. "The African American and Maasai Culture as a Co-Culture." April 27, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-african-american-and-maasai-culture-as-a-co-culture/.


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IvyPanda. "The African American and Maasai Culture as a Co-Culture." April 27, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-african-american-and-maasai-culture-as-a-co-culture/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "The African American and Maasai Culture as a Co-Culture." April 27, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-african-american-and-maasai-culture-as-a-co-culture/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'The African American and Maasai Culture as a Co-Culture'. 27 April.

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