Vol. 24, #10
People are more and more left to sink or swim on their own.
On a recent morning Lemalali together with his small son Mpising drove their cattle to the Oldugum stream to drink. On the way, one of the cows fell into a small ravine and due to the soft dirt on the banks, could not climb out. Lemalai, walking some distance ahead of the cattle and talking with a friend that he had met on the way, did not notice. Mpising he was focused on throwing stones at a troop of baboons, so he also did not notice that the cow was missing. Another Maasai man coming along the same path came upon the cow in trouble got behind it and pushed. Out came the cow without a hitch. The stranger followed along with the freed cow and met Lemelali and his son at the stream. On meeting Lemalali, who had just realized he was missing one of his milk cows, he explained what he had done and strongly suggested that he was entitled to some gourds of local beer for his trouble. The Maasai say: Teneishir inkishu, naa ilewa eishiru. When the cattle are hurting, the Maasai people hurt along with them. From time immemorial anyone coming upon a cow having fallen into a gully or water hole would pull the animal out. He wouldn’t think of asking for anything in return for his help. Nowadays it is different. When one helps, the ordinary thing is to ask for food or local beer in return. More and more, it seems that cooperation and mutual help is out and it is everyone for himself or herself.
Husband and wife troubles:
A certain husband beats his wife regularly because he accuses her of adultery whenever she is seen talking to a man. This is being talked about everywhere around Endulen. Even when she goes for firewood, he says that she is meeting her lovers. When she goes to the shops, to draw water, or to cut firewood, he says that she is looking for her lovers. Each day her husband returns home early with the cows and goats so that he can question her about where she has been and accuse her of having been with her lovers. She has become afraid of leaving the village to go anywhere or to do anything normal because of being accused as soon as she is out of the sight of her husband. What will she do? She has no recourse and the people don’t know how she can be helped because she is under the authority of her husband and doesn’t have a way out.
Last week, a certain man left his village at night and went to his friend. After visiting his friend, he got up and said that he was going back home. Maybe I will meet my wife with her lover, he told his friend. When he was nearing home, he met a lion. The lion chased him and he climbed a tree. The lion stayed at the base of the tree till morning preventing him from coming down from the tree. At dawn he was able to leave the tree and continued on home.
No more gardens.
This month cultivation and people were forbidden to have gardens of any kind anywhere within the Conservation Authority of Ngorongoro. It is reported that in the Nainokanoka area where Maasai have gardens of potatoes and tobacco, there were clashes with the police and a number of people needed hospital treatment.
Till next month,