The Masaai Cultural Beliefs

Today, most Masaai are Christians and very few Muslims. Traditionally, they believed in a god, Engai who lived on the mountain of God, Ol Doinyo Lengai. They were monotheistic. A Laibon was the traditional religious leader. He would perform for the people any religious rituals and ceremonies. He was also a seer and a prophet for the people. The man was the head of every family. He was the decision maker and the protector of the family. The woman was the one who did all the work in the family.

The Masaai are nomadic pastoralists. They would move from place to place with there livestock in search of grazing land and water. On the way, women would build the homes they were to live in. Milking, cooking, cleaning and looking after the toddler was also work for the women. The boy child was brought up to know that he was the protector of the community. From an early age he would go through ritual beatings to test for courage and endurance.

In the Masaai culture, the dead were not buried. The people believed that this would pollute the soil. They were thrown away to be eaten by scavengers such as the hyenas. Burial was a ritual only reserved for dignitaries such as the chiefs. The babies once born, they were not fully accepted into the community until three moons [months] were over. This is as a result of the high infant mortality rate. After this period, the babies would be shaven and named in a ceremony attended by other members of the community.