Maasai Family Essay

Submitted By vessy1998
Words: 437
Pages: 2

THE MAASAI
The Maasai are people of East Africa who live in Northern Tanzania and Southern Kenya, along the Great Rift Valley on semi-arid and arid lands. Occupying a total land area of 160,000 square kilometres and with a population of approximately 500,000 people, although many Maasai miscount their numbers in the national census as they view it as meddling.
Family
In Maasai culture, it is almost always common for marriages to be arranged by the elders of the tribe, often without consulting the bride or her mother. Many of the Maasai marriages are generally polygynous, meaning that the men have several wives. Husbands build a hut for each wife that they marry; the hut that they build is placed in a specific location, either to the right or left of his gate. The wife is given a number of cattle in exchange for the children she will provide the husband. Men often marry younger women, resulting in widowhood being a common occurrence. Widowed women are not allowed to remarry, specifically not the brother of the deceased husband. The deceased husband’s family is considered a necessary tool in raising his children and caring for his wife and becomes responsible for their welfare.
The father plays an important role within the Maasai household. He is responsible for making the decisions and is the head of the family, while the wife has little say and is responsible for running the household. Maasai families are very close. Members of the same clan often live close to one another and occupy neighbouring houses; as a result of this each member of the community considers the other a distant relative. The task of raising children is shared among…