|Education In the Maasai
||The Maasai Tribe of is one of the most widely recognizable
tribes in Africa. The tribe is one of the few tribes that has continued
to practice its traditional way of life, even while the surrounding
communities have become more modernized. People find the Maasai’s
way of life an excellent case study on the culture of indigenous African
||Along with many other parts of the Maasai
lifestyle, education has changed little over many centuries of existence.
Both women and men continue to be responsible for certain activities
within the tribe. Young men and women are educated by their elders.
There is not a formalized educational system in the Maasai tribe.
Recently there have been efforts to bring formalized education to
the tribe. Private and public donors from outside of Kenya fund the
||One example of a more modernized school exists at the
Merrueshi Primary School located approximately 290 miles southeast
of Nairobi. The school was started in 1985 with 13 students. By 2004
the school had grown to 170 students, of which 60 percent were girls.
The students range in age from 4 to 13 years. The school is run by
a committee of 12 men and women appointed by the community. The committee
tries to manage the school in a way that integrates traditional Maasai
culture with Western educational principles. The school ethical system
places emphasis on students becoming role models for future generations
of the tribe. With this goal in mind, there is a great deal of time
spent on preserving the tribal values.
||One effort is currently being funded by Ledama
Olekina. Ledama is a Kenyan born Maasai member who studies at the
University of Massachusetts in Boston. He is walking from Boston to
Chicago to raise money to build a college for his tribe.
||The roles of men and women of the tribe are clearly defined
and are taught informally to the children of the tribe throughout their
youth. Women of the tribes are taught to build and maintain the living
huts for their families. These huts are made from a mixture of cow dung
|Men in the tribe are responsible for family survival. This
includes the hunting, gathering, and herding responsibilities of the
tribe. When the young men of the tribe turn 15 they have a coming of age
ceremony. The group is led into the woods where they are taught the
practices of hunting and war which have been handed down from generation
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