The Masaai Cultural Beliefs

By Annabell Ann

The Masaai believed in God, Enkai who lived on the mountain of God, Ol Doinyo Lengai located in Tanzania. The Laibon was the religious leader who connected the people to Enkai. The Laibon would perform religious functions such as praying for rain, victory in war and he was also a prophet and a seer. This was a much respected man in the society. Today, the masaai community has embraced Christianity a lot. Cases in the community would be handled out of court by elders. They would pass judgment on the issues concerned and the people would respect this and do as has been suggested. Compensation would involve of cattle.

The Masai believe that the woman is the one who is supposed to do most of the work in the homestead. This involves cooking, looking after the children and milking. Building shelters is also a task performed by the women who help each other in the community. Since these shelters are very temporal, they have to be maintained, a task left to the women. The girls do help there mothers while the boys are left to play and herd calves and lambs.

The dead were never buried as they could pollute the land. They were left out to be eaten by scavengers. They would be covered in animal fat and blood to attract the scavengers such as hyenas and jackals. The dignitaries such as the Laibon and the chiefs were the ones entitled to a decent burial. Any corpse not eaten by the scavengers wad deemed a disgrace to the society. Babies after birth were not named or accepted in the society until after 3 months due to the high mortality rate.

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