Maasai warrior

August 28, 2002 | Leave a Comment

Maasai headdressThis Maasai warrior shows off a marriage headdress made from the mane of a lion.

Boys and girls both undergo the circumcision ceremony when they are about 14 years old. Boys are warriors from ages 14 to 18. At 19 or 20 they cut their hair, get married, and become men.

Girls are generally married when they are 16 to 18 years old. A young man’s first wife is chosen — and paid for — by his parents. If he can afford to buy subsequent wives (the bride price is 10 cows) he gets to choose them himself.

You do the math: this well-off Maasai family of 80 people owns 165 head of cattle.

(From a 2002 trip to Kenya.)


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