Category Archives: Blog

Warriors Fix Bridge & Water for Sale

The young warriors are out bridge fixing. The rains have eaten away at the already narrow bridge near the mission. The bridge consists of a corrugated iron culvert covered with dirt and stones. The rains have worn away the passage so there is just enough solid ground for a car to pass. This makes it a scary drive across the deep rain water dug gully. The young warriors are adding earth and rock to widen the roadway across. Some of the secondary students home for vacation are also taking part in the project.

Warriors shored up this dangerous bridge with lots of rock to make it passable again.

There are many places where the road passes over these water courses and they have become narrow and dangerous to pass. Fortunately, our young Olbalbal warriors have willingly take on the job of making our road safe.

Water is a huge problem at Loongoku, one of the Maasai centers that I hold a prayer service and teaching each week. There is no water for miles around. The people there hire a land rover to bring a tank of water. It costs them the equivalent of some hundreds of dollars to bring the precious stuff and and they raise that sum by paying the equivalent of 25 cents American for each buck of water that they use. I’ve never seen people who were so careful about their use of water.

Water for sale from a spring two hours away

Here at the area of Olbalbal called Meshili, we are very lucky to have a pipe bringing water from a spring high on Ngorongoro mountain. There is a water point here on the mission where lots of people come to draw water every day. Once in a while, elephants break the pipe requiring some patching up, but generally there is always water at the tap in our front yard. This in in contrast to most of Maasai country where the women walk as much as half a day to get water for cooking and drinking.

Village of the Meat

The ceremony that took place here at Olbalbal is called “Enkang oo-Kirin, The village of the meat. The Enkang oo-nkiri enables a warrior to eat by themselves food prepared by women. During this ritual a special bull is chose to be slaughtered and eaten by the warriors. Wives must also prove that they have stayed faithful to their husband by taking part in the bull’s skin ritual. Men wrestle with each other approaching the bull’s skin that is laid out on the ground to reveal whether their wife has or hasn’t obeyed their marriage customs. To remain faithful in the Maasai culture women are only permitted to have affairs with men inside their husband’s age set. If a woman is found guilty, her husband as well as his entire age set will no longer respect her. A female cow is brought to her husband as repentance gift in hopes to apologize. To conclude the ceremony all members of the tribe, male and female, fight each other for the meat. 

During the early morning of the initiation, each warrior sits in a chair as

New elder is fed meat
A new elder is blessed
New elder and wives
A new elder and his wife
The mother of one of the new elders
The sacred ox is fed honey beer and blessed

Hi oldest wife shaves them. After the ceremony is completed a warrior is now allowed to break away from his fathers homestead and start his own. He is now considered an elder and takes on full responsibility for his own family. Even though he is now able to live entirely on his own, a warrior in this position would still rely on his father for advice until he reaches about the age of thirty-five.

Although all these rituals and ceremonies are a vital part of the Maasai culture, some of these traditions have started to disengage. Many western cultures have started invading these Maasai tribes and forcing their cultural ideas upon them. Because of this invasion it is a lot harder for these people to practice their older way. The Maasai people have been very reluctant to adopt western ideas and remain in touch with their ceremonial rituals as much as possible.