The Masai



The Masai are a tribe of people who live along the border of Kenya and Tanzania. They have a different kind of lifestyle to most people because they don’t live in the same place for very long. They move their homes to follow their cattle.

The Masai’s cattle are vital to them. They need the bulls and cows to help them survive. They drink cow’s milk and blood, and use the cows’ dung to build their homes. They don’t usually kill their cattle for food but if they do, they use all the different parts of its body.

Only the Masai men can own the cattle. Wealthy men own a lot of cattle. A man who owns fewer than 50 cows or bulls is a poor man. Rich Masai men can own more than 1000 cows. Even though the cattle are owned by the men, the women and children usually help to look after them. They give the cattle food and water.

Women build and take care of the home. They do the cooking and they make clothes. They also make necklaces and dresses out of beads. Women and children have their heads shaved. All Masai people wear large hoops in their pierced ears. They speak a language called Maa.