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Maasai Tribe Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Nora Jarvis

Nora has a Master's degree in teaching, and has taught a variety of elementary grades.

In this lesson, you'll learn all about the Maasai, a tribe in Africa who live in villages and take care of cattle. You'll learn about the importance of cows to the Maasai, the role of the warrior, the Maasai houses, and how the Maasai live today.

The Maasai Tribe

In the deserts of Kenya and Tanzania, one of the largest tribes in Africa care for their cows, study to be warriors, and take care of their families. What tribe am I talking about? The Maasai. Let's learn more about the Maasai culture, including how they shape their lives around cattle, their homes, the value of warriors, and how the Maasai live today.

The Maasai people
Maasai tribe

Importance of Cattle

Cattle are extremely important for the Maasai. They believe that God made the Maasai to be the guardians of cows, so they base their lives around taking care of cows. They are semi-nomadic, which means they move around to follow their cattle. When it rains, the grass grows, which cows love. The Maasai follow the rain patterns to feed their cows. They rely on cows for most of their food, eating the meat and drinking the milk. On special occasions, the Maasai drink cow blood to celebrate.

Warriors

Warriors are a very big part of the Maasai culture, and a very valued part of their society. From a young age, Maasai boys learn how to be warriors. When they get older, their job will be to protect their families and cattle.

Fathers and older men in the Maasai guide the boys and teach them how to hunt and protect their families. When they get old enough, they will have a ceremony where the boys will transition to adult warriors.

The Maasai Home

In the dry desert in Kenya, the Maasai live in a kraal, or group of huts surrounded by a fence. Why do the Maasai need a fence? To protect their homes from lions! They do live in Africa, after all.

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