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Maasai life part I


Maasai are pastoralist, they used to be strictly nomadic pastoralists, now they are much less nomadic and they just move the herds when needed.

In some areas they farm crops.

The traditionally do not hunt and all what they live off comes from the cows and the goats and sheep

The cows have different markings, the ones on the back are the clan marks, theo ones on the shoulder are the boma’s or family mark, the one on the face is the single individual owner mark. The marks are made by an incandescent blade

There are also marks on the ears that shows the belonging to the boma.

The herds have two different type of bells, the oltuala, made of metal used for cows, bulls, sheep and goat, and the enkorkor, made of wood (often Commiphora or Erythrina) used only for goats and sheep

Calves are kept in the manyatta when too young otherwise the animals are kept into a fenced pan, one for cows, one for goats and sheep.

The one for the smaller animals is higher with a much more reinforced entrance to prevent the leopards to get in


The maasai’s diet was mainly made of milk and blood with the exception of some meat every few days, goat normally or cow if a ceremony is held.

If lions, leopard or hyenas were killing their stock the warriors would hunt them down or chase them away and bring back what meat was left to be eaten

Nowadays even if they do not traditionally farm, they trade and buy wheat flour and vegetables that complement their diet.

They often milk the cows while he calves are suckling to make sure there is milk for everybody