The Maasai

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Second Wind, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. Second Wind

    Second Wind AH Enthusiast

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    by this point, just select 3 - 7 letters, put them together in any given order and I am probably a lifetime member
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    Well I have been reading along . . . . article after article

    What's up exactly with these guys

    I'm not sure whether to join up or move them all to Austin

    Where, no doubt, they would fit in well

    I got to the part where they own all the cattle in the world

    I have to tell you, the bankers are not going to like that news

    They seem like almost a romantic and particularly unusual people

    Outside of the printed word, whats the real deal on these guys?
     
  2. timbear

    timbear AH Enthusiast

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    My Great-Grandfather was a missionary and teacher in Mamba in Tanzania (then Tanganyika). He wrote a little about them in a small book published in German, although they were not the people he primarily interacted with. He described them as very tall and athletic, a warrior tribe in the original sense of the word. The Maasai would raid neighboring tribes regularly to steal cattle. Their primary weapons were a 3 part spear with a long, leaf-shaped blade the size of a longsword, a foot long wooden middle section, and a thin iron tail counterbalancing the blade, a short sword with a club shaped blade, widest towards the tip and used for slashing, and a 3 feet tall oval shield of buffalo hide. He brought a spear and shield with him which still hang in my parent's home (and with which I played as a child), and I found a matching sword 1985 in an antique shop in Inverness, Scotland. The spear could be thrown accurately, but was more commonly used for stabbing. With this the Moran (young warriors) would hunt lions as a rite of passage into full manhood (the shield we inherited actually shows claw marks!). Moran lived in separate quarters and were not allowed to marry until they had proven themselves in battle or lion hunting, and had reached a certain age.
    Massai were semi-nomadic, their main possessions their cattle herds. The diet was said to consist mostly of raw meat, milk and blood tapped from the jugular veins of their cattle. They were extremely athletic, well able to jump more than half their own height vertically into the air, and to run then whole day carrying sword, spear and shield.
    Now, this is based on his reports and may, as a lot of reports from colonial days, be taken with a grain of salt, but it tallies well with other things I have read about the Maasai over the years.
     
  3. Second Wind

    Second Wind AH Enthusiast

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    by this point, just select 3 - 7 letters, put them together in any given order and I am probably a lifetime member
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    Timbear,

    Then it may be true

    In one account I read, the ultimate status symbol, based upon their level of effectiveness I am sure, would have been a devoted Maasai tracker

    I am left to wonder, are they now just a ghost of history past?

    or do they still exist

    Being from the border country along the Texas - Mexican border they sound a lot like the Mescalaro Apache
     
  4. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    they still exist and have their cattle, but as everywhere some are changing to a static town lifestyle. there are some lodges they have opened in partnership with people, and as part of the package you can spend a night or 2 with them in their huts, and learning about their ways. we were in northern tanzania in 93 or94 and we stopped in what seemed the middle of nowhere and within minutes some maasai appeared , out of thin air it seemed. they looked in the vehicles had a chat and evaporated . at the camp they again appeared in numbers and just sat down to watch the show. i suppose to them it was the equivalent of us watching a top tv show. they were not shy at all and would come and sit right in front of you and stare at you even if you werent doing anything ,which did get to be a bit annoying. i was holding some binos so i started looking at the maasai sat in front of me with them and it spooked him a bit and they all backed off and continued watching the show but from a reasonable distance. they were there from wake up to going to bed watching the entertainment ! they are still employed as trackers along with people from the ndorobo tribe who are thought of as some of the best trackers. as the ndorobo were/are hunter gatherers and didnt own cattle the maasai consider them a lower class of people.
     
  5. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    Read an article somewhere, sometime ago, that Lion's will avoid the Maasi, they have learned over time that these Maasi critters kill them. Thoughtthat was an interesting thing, that's all.... Bottoms up:beer::beer:
     
  6. Second Wind

    Second Wind AH Enthusiast

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    by this point, just select 3 - 7 letters, put them together in any given order and I am probably a lifetime member
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    Have you noticed a trend in these responses

    A lot of people have read something about them

    A few have a story to tell

    But no one really seems to be able to sit down and authoritatively, tell you all about the Maasai

    For all the African experience contained within the membership here and the prominence of the Maasai as an African people, no one has that much, quantitatively, to say about them

    mebbe dem lions are on to sumtin! :demented::thumb:
     
  7. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    SW, thought spike had a little more than anyone else, actual contact with them.
     
  8. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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  9. Stretch

    Stretch AH Fanatic

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    I too have been enamored by this culture. It is not one world out there.
    An interesting u-tube video can be seen here:

     
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  10. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    SW

    This pas week the Maasai went on the rampage and killed 10 cape buffalo, up wards of 10 elephants of which one was a park's prize, plus a few Lions.

    A Maasai boy was killed by a Cape buffalo bull, and 200+ went on a killing spree...most of the animals were killed in the near by park where they like to herd there cattle to graze grass.

    The Local Maasai want a larger portion of the park revenue.

    now as far a Maasai warriors go when i was in Tanzania a few in camp were Maasai and one was my tracker, the PH had the another one as his tracker.

    just as info...
     
  11. Don_G

    Don_G New Member

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    I just came back from TZ and had a Maasai tracker, Lorinyo. Lorinyo was a wrinkled up 55 year old about 5'2" tall and 90 lbs. He was a good tracker. Here he is standing on a 5 ft tall rock in the bush, trying to see across a korongo. The bush was thick!
    [​IMG]

    Here's a pic of some young Maasai. The driver told me the ones with white faces had just been circumcised, and the ones with black faces soon would be. He said they all had to stay away from home for several months during this process. He also said the circumcision could only be performed in certain years, about 4 years apart.

    [​IMG]

    Notice I'm also repeating what someone else old me! :)
     

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