The Proud Maasai by D. Lee Roper

The Proud Maasai by D. Lee Roper

January 1, 1978 Print length. 91 pages

This booklet touches upon many aspects of the Maasai tribe of Tanzania and Kenya. Topics covered include an historical background examining Maasai origins and contact with Europeans and a survey of their economic system detailing community life, daily routine, diet, the importance of and ideas about raising livestock, food, technology, and inheritance customs. The chapter on social structure describes the Maasai custom of male dominance, male and female circumcision ceremonies, the life of the warrior including warrior taboos, and becoming an elder. Male-female relationships are explored, covering courtship, marriage, extra-marital relationships, and Maasai customs during pregnancy, childbirth, infancy, and childhood. The author defines social controls and surveys how the Maasai deal with the unknown, discussing medicine men, treatment of illness and injury, death, creation stories, superstitions, and proverbs. He describes the towns, as opposed to the villages, and summarizes by noting trends and possibilities in the future. He concludes the booklet by noting some of his own personal experiences while visiting the Maasai.

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