THE KITENGELA MAASAI

Chief Nickson Parmisa uses watsapp to sell his livestock
Benson Parmisa has built hisfamily a small house in Kitengela

Approximately 7,000 Maasai live on the Kitengela plains.  Many of them still live in very traditional ways while others combine modern living standards with community traditions and rituals.

Kitengela Maasai livestock pay no attenon to wildlife, unless lions are nearby

The Maasai have always respected wildlife but lions present a special conflict.  In years past, it was the traditional practice for a young man to kill a lion in order to join the ranks of the warriors or moran.

While Maasai today try hard to avoid killing lions, their livestock - which represents their entire wealth - is under constant threat.  During the rains, when wildlife disperses out of Nairobi National Park, the lions follow and a cow or sheep makes for easier prey than a zebra or wildebeest. Despite conservation efforts, lions are sometimes killed by Maasai in an effort to protect their livestock.

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Kitengela Maasai understand the importantof girls' educaton
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In Kitengela, ox-cart are used as hardy transportation vehicles
Kitegela Maasai women live traditionl lives enhanced by modern beauty, such as a wig insead of a shaved head

In Kitengela, the women make a little money  by selling their beadwork to tourists. Children go to school.  After school, boys help with the livestock while girls help with household chores.  Increasingly, the community is adopting equal rights for girls and boys and abandoning age-old practices, such as female genital mutilation and forced early marriage, which no longer serve the community's interests.  Almost everyone understands that educating a girl is as valuable as educating a boy.

Livestoc and wildlife minge on the Kitengela plains
Maasai in the remote areas of Kitengela still lie in traditional manyattas

Photos:  Nickson Parmisa, Oscar Mann

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ACACIA MOYO - WHERE TRADITION MEETS TECHNOLOGY is fiscally sponsored by Creative Visions Foundation (CVF). CVF is a publically supported 501c3, which supports Creative Activists who use the power of media and the arts to affect positive change in the world.

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I'2021  By Acacia Moyo