‘Becoming Maasai, Being in Time’

There are a number of things i found interesting in this text, one particularly interesting part was the ways in which the Masaai society were so distinct in thought. They have a culturally defined sense of time and firmly believe in age sets and use this as a way to identify their social status. I found it interesting there are many different models applying to the different process of ageing in Masaai society.

The most interesting type was the geocentric model. I thought it was extremely odd how women did not belong to any age sets, but when they were married they were promoted to a higher age grade. It is almost as though the Masaai consider women worthless alone, and only when they’re dependent on husbands do they gain a real status. At the top of this Masaai hierachy are the elders, they are extremely powerful and retain their monopoly of power by delaying the marriages of younger men, by doing this they are creating a surplus of younger women willing to become wives of elder men. The geocentric model of Masaai appears to be very backward and older men appear very sly, using their power for polygamy.


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