Leadership, Masai Women & Traditional Knowledge
The community has its own way of organization whereby the elder men are at the top of the hierarchy, then elder women, morans and finally the girls. Passage from one age set from the moran to young adult is marked by slaughtering of a cow as an offering to the Gods. They have a ‘council of elders", which makes decisions as to which tribe will graze where and when, to avoid over-grazing and the destruction of the land.
Masai women are in charge of taking care of the entire home which includes milking cows, fetching water and firewood, preparing food for the entire family, repairing their homes, milking the cows and tending their small children. Children are taught to respect their elders, and they quickly learn the ways of Masai family life. Young girls are taught to care for domestic duties and boys are instructed in the care and protection of livestock.
Parents pass on to their children knowledge of traditional medicines and instruct them about Masai rituals and traditions that touch every aspect of Masai life. Youths learn the customs and ceremonies that will mark their passage from childhood to adulthood learning rituals that deal with sickness, bad fortune, marriage, and death.