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Did you know?

1. No African country names begin with the letters F, H, I, J, O, P, Q, V, W, X, or Y.

2. Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent.

3. African tech startups raise billions of dollars annually, seven African start-ups were included in the World Economic Forum 2021 cohort of 100 Technology Pioneers.

Maasai Cattle and Children Are Maasai Treasures

Maasai Cattle and Children Are Maasai Treasures

Maasai Cattle and Children Are Maasai Treasures


Maasai tribes feel that their society has been given less thought and respect than that of wild animals. Cattle and children are an important aspect to the Maasai people.

Maasai tribe meeting

The Maasai people of East Africa live in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania along the Great Rift Valley on semi-arid and arid lands. Maasai own large herds of cattle, sheep, and goats which they follow around seasonally in search of new grazing grounds and water sources. Traditionally Maasai tribes have been an independent tribe.

Cattle and children are an important aspect to the Maasai people. Cattle play a central role in the life of the Maasai. Cattle represent food and power; the more cattle a Maasai has, the richer he is and therefore the more power and influence he will have within his tribe.

Individual, families, and clans established close ties through giving or exchange of cattle. While the Maasai traditions have undergone some changes in the past few decades, their strong social traditions remain intact.

Here's a quote from the Maasai Association; "When a lion attacks a cow, the authorities from wildlife and conservationist organizations would bury their heads under the sand. When a Maasai warrior kills a lion because of killing his cow, the authorities would ferry security personnel to arrest the warrior. In other words, it is acceptable for a lion to kill a cow but not acceptable for a warrior to kill a lion. Lions are more important than the Maasai cows."

The Maasai live in Kraals arranged in a circular fashion. The fence around the kraal is made of acacia thorns, which prevent lions from attacking the cattle. It is a man's responsibility to fence the kraal.
The Inkajijik which is the Maasai word for a house, are loaf-shaped and made of mud, sticks, grass, cow dung and cow's urine. While women construct houses. Traditionally, kraals are shared by an extended family.

The Maasai are a semi-nomadic people, fierce protectors their tribe, their cattle, and their grazing lands. The Maasai struggle to keep their traditional way of life; it is the wildlife parks that present the biggest problem to the Maasai.

The largest tracts of land that have been taken and protected for the wildlife has been taken from the Maasai's traditional grazing lands. The Maasai feel that their society has been given less thought and respect than that of wild animals.

The Maasai prayer "Meishoo iyiook enkai inkishu o-nkera" translates to "May Creator give us cattle and children.” Cattle and children are the most important aspect of the Maasai people.

Maasai Children and Cattle Prayer


Maasai jumping ceremony

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Africa is surrounded by water but is not an island, here are a few African Island facts.

Madagascar is the 4th large island in the world and is located in the Indian Ocean supporting a unique biology, about 90% of its plants and animals are found nowhere else on earth.

Composed of 155 islands, Seychelles is Africa's smallest country. By far the largest island is Mahe, home to about 90% of the population and the site of its capital city of Victoria.

Cabo Verde has a strategic location 310 miles or 500 km from the west coast of Africa near major north-south sea routes; important communications station; important sea and air refueling site.

Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent. Continents can not be considered islands because of their size and also by historic definition since many people who study geography define islands and continents as two different things.

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Being African in America I have grown up learning about different ethnic cultures. My father and mother are historians of African culture and history and their influence expanded my activities to several best-selling cookbooks, magazine columns, self-branded products, and a popular African culture and food blog.

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