Masai


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Wikipedia.

Masai

or

Maasai

(mäsī`), a largely nomadic pastoral people of E Africa, chiefly in Kenya and Tanzania. Cattle and sheep form the basis of the economy that they have maintained in resistance to cultural change. The Masai live off the milk, blood, and meat of their livestock. Masai society is patrilineal; polygyny is practiced. Boys are initiated into a warrior age-group responsible for herding, killing predators, and other tribal labors; only after serving as a warrior may a man marry. The Masai, who are characteristically tall and slender, live traditionally in the kraal, a compound within which are mud houses.

Bibliography

See A. C. Hollis, The Masai: Their Language and Folklore (1905, repr. 1971); G. Hanley, Warriors and Strangers (1971).

Masai

 

(self-designation, il-masai) a people living in Kenya and Tanzania. Total population, about 370,000 (1967, estimate).

The Masai language belongs to the Nilotic language family. Traditional beliefs (cult of natural forces, ancestor worship) and vestiges of a clan tribal system survive. The majority of Masai are herdsmen, wandering from place to place in search of good pastures. The socioeconomic development of independent Kenya and Tanzania is leading to gradual change in the Masai’s traditional way of life and to the decline of their clantribal system.

REFERENCES

Merker, M. Die Masai: Ethnographische Monographic eines ostafrikanischen Semitenvolkes. Berlin, 1904.
Huntingford, G. W. B. The Southern Nilo-Hamites. London, 1953.

Masai

 

(Maasai, Maa), the language of the Masai people, spoken in northern Tanzania and southwestern and western Kenya, by approximately 370,000 people (1967, estimate).

Masai is related to the Nilotic language family. It has three dialects: Masai proper, Njemps (Ntiamus), and Samburu (Sampur). Masai has 18 vowels; the consonant system includes the glottalized (preglottalized) injectives b, d, j, g. Phonological tones exist. Vowel harmony occurs in the word according to the feature of openness (i, u, e, o) and closedness (i, u, e, o). Word inflection is partly of the fusion type (suffixes or infixes) and partly agglutinative (personal verb conjugation prefixes, classes). Verb classes indicate direction of movement and change the verb’s relation to its object (a-isúj “to wash something,” a-isuj-yé “to wash with [by means of] something”). There are two cases: an absolute case and a subject case. The noun is marked by a prefix (article), which differs according to gender and number.

REFERENCES

Tucker, A. N., and J. T. O. Mpaayei. A Maasai Grammar. London, 1955.
Hollis, A. C. The Massai: Their Language and Folklore. Oxford, 1905.

A. B. DOLGOPOL’SKII

References in periodicals archive ?
You really need several days to explore the Masai Mar a , and the Mara Simba Lodge again offers a comfortable retreat.
FAMED for their bright red traditional dress and a reputation for being fierce warriors, the Masai are among the most well-known tribespeople in Africa.
With Poe's leadership, MBT Physiological Footwear, under the banner of Swiss Masai US, LLC, will aggressively expand in the states and launching multifaceted branding initiatives including expanded distribution, marketing, public relations and visibility programs.
We will set a new standard of luxury in East Africa when we open the first Kempinski hotel in Nairobi later this year, and Kempinski is also the perfect operator for our luxury camp in the Masai Mara, said Adil Popat, CEO of Simba Corporation.
Recommendation L Masai women's 10,000m final 2pts 6-1 Ladbrokes FORMGUIDE Women's 100m C Jeter 10.
Based in the Masai Mara, they run a luxury tented camp in a private conservation area.
Masai set off from Iten in northern Kenya early yesterday morning hoping that, despite the political unrest in the country following the recent government elections, she can catch a flight from Nairobi.
A gang of six men, two armed with AK-47 rifles, attacked their campsite in a private conservation area near the Masai Mara park.
That's why the market was not moving and the dollar will not probably draw strong buying, unless there are big positive surprises'' for the report, Masai said.
Masai has extensive experience in the Japan pharmaceutical and fine chemical industries.
Newspaper reports said the Prince crept up behind the 14-inch dik-dik during a hunting trip last week after taking lessons from a Masai warrior.