are the mainstay of the traditional Maasai way of life, and their
importance is embedded deep into the hearts and minds of these peoples.
So much so that one of the traditional maasai beliefs was that God
sent all the cattle down to earth only for the Maasai. This long
justified their cattle rustling activites on surrounding tribes,
who they believed had 'stolen' any cattle they had from the maasai.
Social structures in the traditional way of life reflect the principles
of a male dominated society with polygamy being a norm. Wife inheritance
subject to certain conventions, was also practised. The traditional
maasai dwelling , known as the 'manyatta', was infact constructed
by the women, using a wooden structure and a plaster made of cowdung
and mud. Several of these manyattas could form a household for a
maasai family headed by the man. Although remnants of the traditional
Maasai way of life still remain, there are inevitable changes on
a large scale.There are several eminent members of the maasai community
in different spheres of life in Kenya. The more traditional and
conservative members of the tribe still do live almost like they
used to say 80 years ago, but the majority of the community is accepting
change and are embracing education. Permanent settlement is also
becoming a normal way of life for many Maasai.