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Masai The Masai are an East African nomadic tribe of Kenya and Tanzania who speak Maa an Eastern Nilotic language The Masai or Maasai are nomadic to provide grazing and water for their cattle Cattle are the center of Masai life providing their food milk blood and meat their materials skin for clothes and dung to seal their houses and their only recognized form of wealth Each family marks its cattle with a unique brand and ear slits to identify them The Masai live in small clusters of huts called kraals or bomas made of sticks sealed together with cow dung these kraals also include enclosures for the cattle Masai males are rigidly separated into five age groups child junior warrior senior warrior junior elder and senior elder Both boys and girls undergo circumcision ceremonies which initiate them into adulthood Marriages are often arranged and polygamy is practiced In the Masais culture the elders are believed to know everything about the world They know how the Masai began where the sacred cattle came from the legends and when to hold the ceremonies and celebrations Everyone must show great respect to all the elders especially children The children may not speak to an elder until he has touched them on the head One of the stories told by the elders describes how it was a mad elephant who pulled the rhinoceross horn into such a peculiar location on top of its head There is a dangerous game that the Masai play with rhinos You must find a sleeping rhino and take turns putting small rocks on his back Whoever puts on the last rock before the rhino wakes up has won the game Lions are important to the Masai because the male warriors the moran have to prove their valance by killing a lion with a spear It takes a team of five of the warriors to do this and a lot of
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