Maasai
Frontline Perspectives from Africa

Maasai

Made up of 17 clans, they are spread from Northern Kenya to Southern Tanzania. They are a semi-nomadic people group with the cow being their highest value. Because of government control most families live permanent locations although their herds still roam the open plains of East Africa. I begin to work with the Maasai about 10 years ago and it has been a fantastic journey. Many are hungry for change but traditions and witchcraft are powerful enemies of change.

Made up of 17 clans, they are spread from Northern Kenya to Southern Tanzania. They are a semi-nomadic people group with the cow being their highest value. Because of government control most families live permanent locations although their herds still roam the open plains of E. Africa.

I begin to work with the Maasai in 2006 and it has been a fantastic journey. Many are hungry for change but traditions and witchcraft are powerful enemies of change.

Culture is the outward behavior of an inward value and are created by our surroundings, our experiences, our exposures.

Cultures are as many as the sands of the sea. Each person has created his/her own culture, there are group cultures and national culture, sub-cultures. Cultures are very complex and it takes years to understand the cultures of others.
It is very crucial to understand the culture you are trying to reach, a few questions to ask:

  • What are peoples’ relationship with the environment?
  • What is the relationship with the spiritual world? God or the gods? Is the god an idol or is it myself? Is it a theistic (one god) world view, animistic worldview, is it a monotheistic culture?
  • What gives people value in the culture? Is it power, position, education, independence, materialism.
  • How do people think? Why do they think the way they do?
  • Practically how are you going to redeem a culture or one aspect of culture?

To know these things are so important.

We often judge other cultures because they are not like me or they do not believe like me so this makes them wrong. This has created a huge breakdown between people, groups, nations.

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Masumbo Camp
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Iringa, Tanzania

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