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Differences are meant to be celebrated and shared and highlighted as the beauty that makes the world spin around. Each of us and our cultures are different and unique. Please join Blupela in celebrating the uniqueness of your life and heritage by sharing it as a spotlight on Light of Culture.

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Africa

Happy Mother's Day

Issa Nyaphaga
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY
I'm that little worm she carried in her belly, then on he back.
For me, the relationship to a Mother is Sacred. I grew up in this rural village in Africa with no birthday celebration. Even though my mother Adjimi had my birth certificate, she can't read and writ - so I missed this kind of fun a child can have. .. That's okay.
We're currently building a community radio station in the village, so that the next generation of women and girls can access Knowledge and Education.
***THIS SUNDAY, DONATE TO http://www.hitip.org/ ON THE NAME OF YOUR LOVED MAMA! Usoko/Thank You ;-)

Votes3 DateMay 14, 2017

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North America

Artist Manifesto - Santa Fe Street Performance

Issa Nyaphaga
- Artist Manifesto -
Santa Fe Street Art Performance:
Artist Performance "The Walk of the Water Carrier", Issa Nyaphaga an artist from Cameroon (West Africa) in Residence at the Santa Fe Art Institute for the Water Rights Residency, will perform in Santa Fe on Friday, May 5th, 2017. Issa grew up in the rural African village of Nditam, Cameroon where he carried water twice a day before and after school. The artist will reprise the walk carrying a bucket of water on his head from his studio at SFAI to the Mill Contemporary Gallery on Canyon road where the opening of his exhibition, the Sanctuary Show, will be taking place.
Issa Nyaphaga alias ‘Artoonist’ was imprisoned and persecuted in Cameroon for his political cartoons. Issa paints his body as a way to find resilience. Issa will build a costume out of recycled plastic bottles for his Friday performance. Issa Nyaphaga was selected by SFAI for his award winning project “Water for Social Peace”.
Open to the public - for a fun Friday Art Walk.

Votes3 DateApr 29, 2017

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Pacific

Tahitians

One World Blue, LLC
The Tahitians, or Maohis, are indigenous peoples of Tahiti and thirteen other Society Islands, as well as the modern population of these lands of mixed ancestry (French: demis). The Tahitians are one of the most significant indigenous Polynesian peoples of Oceania.
The original Tahitian society was unaware of metal as it was based on Stone Age technology. However, it enabled Tahitians to clear land for cultivation on the fertile volcanic soils and build fishing canoes, their two basic subsistence activities.[2] The tools of the Tahitians when first discovered were made of stone, bone, shell or wood.
The Tahitians were divided into three major classes (or castes): ari'i,[3] ra'atira and manahune.[4] Ari'i were relatively few in number while manahune constituted the bulk of population and included some members who played essential roles in the society.[5] It is estimated that by the first contact with Europeans in 1767 the population of Tahiti was no more than 40,000 while other Society Islands held probably 15,000-20,000 natives.[6]
Tahitians divided the day into the periods of daylight (ao) and darkness (pō).[7] There was also a concept of irrational fear called mehameha, translated as uncanny feelings.[8] The healers, familiar with herbal remedies, were called ta'ata rā'au or ta'ata rapa'au. In the 19th century Tahitians added the European medicine to their practice. The most famous Tahitian healer Tiurai, of ari'i, died aged 83 during the influenza outbreak on Tahiti in 1918.
Retrieved from:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tahitians

Votes1 DateJan 29, 2017

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Pacific

Tribes of Bali

One World Blue, LLC
The Balinese (Indonesian: Suku Bali) are an ethnic group native to the Indonesian island of Bali. The Balinese population of 4.2 million (1.7% of Indonesia's population) live mostly on the island of Bali, making up 89% of the island's population.[3] There are also significant populations on the island of Lombok, and in the eastern-most regions of Java (e.g. the Municipality of Banyuwangi).
The Balinese originated from three periods of migration. The first waves of immigrants came from Java and Kalimantan in prehistoric times and were of proto-Malay stock.[4] The second wave of Balinese came slowly over the years from Java during the Hindu period. The third and final wave came from Java, between the 15th and 16th centuries, about the same time as the conversion to Islam in Java, causing aristocrats and peasants to flee to Bali after the collapse of the Javanese Majapahit Empire in order to escape Mataram's Islamic conversion. This in turn reshaped the Balinese culture into a syncretic form of classical Javanese culture mixed with many Balinese elements.[5]
A DNA study in 2005 by Karafet et al., found that 12% of Balinese Y-chromosomes are of likely Indian origin, while 84% are of likely Austronesian origin, and 2% of likely Melanesian origin.[6]
Balinese culture is a mix of Balinese Hindu-Buddhist religion and Balinese customs. It is perhaps most known for its dance, drama and sculpture. The island is also known for its Wayang kulit or Shadow play theatre. Even in poor rural and neglected villages, beautiful temples are a common sight; and so are skillful gamelan players and talented actors.[7] Even layered pieces of palm leaf and neat fruit arrangements made as offerings by Balinese women have an artistic side to them.[8] According to José Miguel Covarrubias, works of art made by amateur Balinese artists are regarded as a form of spiritual offering, and therefore these artists do not care about recognition of their works.[9] Balinese artists are also skilled in duplicating art works such as carvings that resemble Chinese deities or decorating vehicles based on what is seen in foreign magazines.[10]
The culture is noted for its use of the gamelan in music and in various traditional events of Balinese society. Each type of music is designated for a specific type of event. For example, music for a piodalan (birthday celebration) is different from music used for a metatah (teeth grinding) ceremony, just as it is for weddings, Ngaben (cremation of the dead ceremony), Melasti (purification ritual) and so forth.[11] The diverse types of gamelan are also specified according to the different types of dance in Bali. According to Walter Spies, the art of dancing is an integral part of Balinese life as well as an endless critical element in a series of ceremonies or for personal interests.[12]
Traditionally, displaying of female breasts is not regarded as immodest. Balinese women can often be seen with bared chests; however, a display of the thigh is considered immodest. In modern Bali these customs are normally not strictly observed, but visitors visiting Balinese temples are advised to cover their legs.
In the Balinese naming system, a person's rank of birth or caste is reflected in the name.[13]
The vast majority of the Balinese believe in Agama Tirta, "holy-water religion". It is a Shivaite sect of Hinduism. Traveling Indian priests are said to have introduced the people to the sacred literature of Hinduism and Buddhism centuries ago. The people accepted it and combined it with their own pre-Hindu mythologies.[15] The Balinese from before the third wave of immigration, known as the Bali Aga, are mostly not followers of Agama Tirta, but retain their own animist traditions.
Retrieved from:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balinese_people

Votes1 DateJan 22, 2017

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North America

Melungeons

Bernard Asper
The Melungeons

Melungeons, dark-skinned mountaineers of eastern Tennessee, southwest Virginia and Kentucky, have sparked myths and theories over the past century: among them that they were descendants of shipwrecked Portuguese sailors, or the Roma, the Gypsies. Some have speculated on connections with the Lumbee Indians in Robeson County or the Lost Colonists of the Outer Banks. The traditional view is that they are of mixture of black, white and Native American origin.
For centuries, they remained almost invisible to the American mainstream. They live hidden away on inaccessible mountain ridges, and a racially segregated society wrote them off as a mixture of white, black and American Indian. Now, evidence is emerging which suggests that the Melungeons may have been among America's very first settlers, arriving in Appalachia long before the Northern Europeans.
The name likely comes from the French "melange," a slur most often used by suspicious white neighbors in the days of the Jim Crow South, when African-Americans and anyone with dark skin faced prejudice and segregation.
Researchers have theorized that Melungeons may have been a mixture of European, African and Native Americans. A DNA study in the Journal of Genetic Genealogy in 2012 found that the families historically called Melungeons are the offspring of sub-Saharan African men and white women of northern or central European origin.
In the segregated South, any trace of black blood mattered legally. Virginia passed the Racial Integrity Act in 1924, the so-called "one drop" rule that would strip anyone of mixed race from white legal privileges. Melungeons through history were often shunned and pushed off to the edges of the economy.
The conventional wisdom, suggests that Appalachia was settled predominantly by English, Scots and Irish people. But to many, like a certain, Dr Brent Kennedy, that did not appear to be the whole story.
When he began to research his ancestry, Dr Kennedy found evidence that the first people to arrive in Appalachia, were not northern Europeans which includes people from the British Isles, but may have been Ottoman Turks. Portuguese settlers brought Turkish servants with them in the 16th Century.
Sir Francis Drake unloaded hundreds of other Turks after he liberated them from the Spanish in 1587. Blood typing has confirmed close similarities between present day Melungeons and people of the Mediterranean region.
What has now become known as the Kennedy theory is that these people pushed inland and settled down with American Indian women, to begin life as farmers. With his team of researchers, Dr Kennedy has found hundreds of words in local Indian dialects that have almost the same meaning in Turkish or Arabic. The Cherokee word for mother for example, is Ana Ta. In Turkish, the word for mother is also Ana-Ta.
Dr Kennedy says the word Melungeon is derived from the Arabic "Melun-Jinn" meaning one who has been abandoned by god - a cursed soul.
His theory is that when white settlers arrived in the region and saw that these dark skinned people had already taken the best land in the valleys, they pushed them out and into the high mountain ridges where Melungeons live to this day. The word Melungeon was considered a racial epithet, and the specter of the dark people of the mountains was used by Appalachian mothers to scare their children into good behavior.
In the segregated South, local bureaucrats described Melungeons as mongrels and half -breeds, and they were classified black and denied education or the right to vote. Others moved away in the hope of escaping the racism of the South. Those who stayed kept to themselves.
Melungeons have filtered into all aspects of American society. Researchers claim that Elvis Presley and Ava Gardner may both have had a Melungeon heritage.
Brent Kennedy has received death threats from those who feel he is slurring their name by denying their Scots-Irish heritage.
But for many younger Melungeons, the idea that they may be linked to some of the very first settlers in the new world 400 years ago, has given them a stronger sense of identity, in a country which has forced them to hide it for centuries.
Edited mostly from http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/06/24/melungeon-mountaineers-mixed-race/29252839/ and http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/384502.stm

Votes1 DateJan 13, 2017

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Europe

Catalonia

Bernard Asper
Catalonia
The autonomous community of Catalonia occupies a triangular area in the northeastern corner of Spain. It is bordered by France and Andorra to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the east, the autonomous community of Valencia to the south, and the autonomous community of Aragon to the west. The autonomous community of Catalonia was established by the statute of autonomy of December 18, 1979. The government consists of a Generalitat (an executive council headed by a president) and a unicameral parliament. The capital is Barcelona. The principal rivers in Catalonia are the Ter, Llobregat, and Ebro, all of which flow into the Mediterranean. A Mediterranean climate prevails throughout most of Catalonia, with hot, dry summers and mild, relatively rainy winters.
The towns of the Catalan coast have dominated the development of the region, with the result that the population is heavily concentrated along the Mediterranean, increasingly depopulating the hinterland. In the 20th century there was additional concentration of population in the city of Barcelona and its satellite towns.
Catalonia’s traditional agriculture was centered on the production of wine, almonds, and olive oil for export, as well as rice, potatoes, and corn (maize) as staples. Slightly more than one-third of Catalonia remains under cultivation, and the traditional crops of olives and grapes are being supplanted by fruits and vegetables for consumption in the cities. The raising of pigs and cows is the dominant agricultural activity. Agriculture accounts for only a tiny fraction of Catalonia’s domestic product, however.
The autonomous community of Catalonia is the richest and most highly industrialized part of Spain. The Catalan textile industry first achieved prominence between 1283 and 1313 and long remained the region’s premier industry. The manufacturing sector underwent rapid expansion and diversification since the 1950s, however, and metalworking, food-processing, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries had overtaken textiles in importance by the 21st century. Textile, paper making and graphic arts, chemicals, and metalworking industries are concentrated in Barcelona; Sabadell and Terrassa are also textile centers. One of Barcelona’s plants produces electric automobiles for Nissan. Catalonia’s growing demand for petroleum products led to the expansion of Tarragona’s petroleum refineries. Services, particularly those of tourism and transportation, are highly developed.
History
Catalonia was one of the first Roman possessions in Spain. Occupied during the 5th century by the Goths, it was taken by the Moors in 712 and at the end of the 8th century by Charlemagne, who incorporated it into his realm as the Spanish March, ruled by a count.
Frankish suzerainty over Catalonia was merely nominal, however, and was completely rejected during the reign of Count Borrell (died 991).
From 1137, when Count Ramon Berenguer IV of Barcelona was betrothed to Petronila, queen of Aragon, Catalonia and Aragon were united under the same ruler. Catalonia monopolized trade in the western Mediterranean in the 13th and 14th centuries, and Catalan interests dominated the union with Aragon until 1410, when the male line of the counts of Barcelona became extinct.
Dissatisfaction in Catalonia with the new Trastámara dynasty of Aragon increased after 1412, and during the reign of John II it developed into a full-scale but unsuccessful rebellion (1462–72).
After the marriage of John II’s son Ferdinand with Isabella of Castile (1469) had brought about the unification of Spain, Catalonia became of secondary importance in Spanish affairs. Though it retained its autonomy and Generalitat (assembly), by the 17th century its conflict of interest with Castile, along with the decline of the Spanish monarchy’s prestige, led to the first of a series of Catalan separatist movements. In 1640 Catalonia revolted against Spain and placed itself under the protection of Louis XIII of France, but the revolt was quelled in the 1650s. In the War of the Spanish Succession, Catalonia declared its support for the archduke Charles and resisted the accession of the Bourbon dynasty in Spain, but in 1714 it was completely subjugated by the forces of the Bourbon Philip V, who abolished the Catalan constitution and autonomy.
The Catalonians' language Catalan developed from its inhabitants bordering with various language areas. In the 1850s serious efforts were made to revive Catalan as a living language with its own press and theater—a movement known as the Renaixença (“Rebirth”). Catalan nationalism became a serious force after 1876, when the defeat of the Carlists led the church to transfer its support to the movement for autonomy.
Catalan nationalism had two major strands: a conservative, Roman Catholic one and a more liberal, secular one. The former was initially predominant, particularly in the first decades of the 20th century. By 1913 Catalonia had won a slight degree of autonomy, but the legislation conferring it was repealed in 1925 by Miguel Primo de Rivera, who attacked all manifestations of Catalan nationalism.
Primo de Rivera’s policy led to the formation of a left-wing coalition party in Catalonia, the Esquerra Republicana. The Esquerra won a sweeping victory in the municipal elections of 1931, and two days later its leader proclaimed a Catalan Republic. A compromise was worked out with the central government, and in September 1932 the statute of autonomy for Catalonia became law. Catalonia played a prominent role in the history of Republican Spain and in the Civil War (1936–39). The Nationalists’ victory in 1939 meant the loss of autonomy, however, and Gen. Francisco Franco’s government adopted a repressive policy toward Catalan nationalism.
The establishment of democratic rule in Spain after Franco’s death did not lessen Catalonia’s desire for autonomy, and in September 1977 limited autonomy was granted to the region. The pro-autonomy Convergence and Union party was founded the following year, and it served as the dominant political force in Catalonia over subsequent decades. Full autonomy was granted in 1979 with the establishment of the autonomous community of Catalonia. In 2006 Catalonia was granted “nation” status and given the same level of taxation responsibility as the Spanish central government. Spain’s Constitutional Court struck down portions of this autonomy statute in 2010, ruling that Catalans constituted a “nationality” but that Catalonia was not, itself, a “nation.”
Many Catalans, frustrated at the management of the Spanish economy throughout the euro-zone debt crisis, continued to push for increased fiscal independence from the central government. In 2013 the Catalonian regional parliament passed a measure calling for a referendum on independence from Spain to be held in 2014. Scotland’s referendum on independence from the United Kingdom in September 2014, although ultimately unsuccessful, galvanized the independence movement in Catalonia. Convergence and Union leader Artur Mas called for the long-promised, albeit nonbinding, independence referendum to be held on November 9, 2014. The move was immediately challenged by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, and the independence campaign was suspended while the Constitutional Court considered the legality of the vote. Ultimately, Mas proceeded with the referendum but framed it as an informal poll of Catalan opinion. With more than one-third of registered voters participating in the balloting, over 80 percent expressed a desire for independence.
The push for Independence and the push against continues and has not let up on either side of the debate. Whatever happens there is no doubt that the Catalans have a unique culture and their language is the official language of the small principality of Andorra that lies between France and Spain.
Edited and compiled mostly from https://www.britannica.com/place/Catalonia

Votes1 DateSep 23, 2016

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Asia

The Kazakh Tribe

One World Blue, LLC
Kazakhs in Mongolia
reference from https://discover-bayanolgii.com/kazakhs-in-mongolia/
Bayan-Olgii is a unique place in Mongolia, home of the Kazakh ethnic group. The Kazakhs have a rich culture, close extended families, and many traditions that are still practiced today that are centuries old. The Kazakhs are the second largest ethnic group in Mongolia after the Khalkhs, with 101,000 people comprising 5% of the population. Most live in Bayan-Olgii Aimag, where they make up 90% of the inhabitants. The aimag or province was created in 1939 as a semi-autonomous homeland for Kazakhs living in Mongolia. Today, Bayan-Olgii has a distinctly Kazakh culture. Kazakh is the language of everyday communication, with Mongolian used for inter-ethnic interactions and official communication. Islam is the primary religion of the Kazakhs.
The Kazakhs trace their origins back the 15th century and the founding of the Kazakh Khanate by a direct linage of Chinngis Khan near the Aral Sea in present day Kazakhstan. The Khanate was formed in the wake of several other declining kingdoms including Mongolistan, Nogai Horde, Ak-Orda, and Khanate of Abulkhair that controlled much of Central Asia and trace their beginnings back to the family of Chinngis Khan. The Kazakhs were themselves descendents of Mongols and other nomadic tribes of Central Asia. The Kazakhs quickly developed a distinct identity and a powerful state for several hundred years until the Russian Empire began absorbed the Kazakhs in the mid 18th century.
It was during this period that Kazakhs fled into the lawless region of the Altai Mountains in China and Mongolia. When the Soviet Union and China established borders, Kazakhs in Mongolia were isolated from their brethren until the 1990s. During this time, nomadic herding and the traditional way of life was completely suppressed in the Soviet Union. The traditional nomadic lifestyle was only preserved in the undeveloped steppes and mountain ranges of Mongolia. About half of the Kazakhs in Mongolia moved to Kazakhstan after independence in the 1990s. Though many came back, the Kazakhs maintain close ties to family in either country.
Nomad Herder
Today, many Kazakhs in Bayan-Olgii maintain traditional semi-nomadic herding by moving with their animals several times a year, and living in a Kazakh style ger (larger and taller than a Mongolian ger) during the summer. All Kazakhs keep close ties to extended families. Tradition requires that one must not marry anyone related within 9 generations. As a result, upon meeting each other, Kazakhs always tell if and how they are related. This is not their only tradition, though.
The most visible expression of tradition one will notice is the world famous art work of these nomadic people of the steppe. Kazakhs are famous around the world for their intricately embroidered wall hangings (tuskies) used on ger (yurt) walls. A typical ger may have 5 to 7 wall hangings that can take 200 hours to hand stitch each. The curving designs of the wall hangings are patterned after goat horns which symbolize the primary source of wealth of the nomadic herder. This design is used for a wide variety of traditional clothes, home furnishings, and accessories. The Kazakhs are not only known for their artwork, but also for their incredible friendliness.
After meeting a Kazakh, you will be impressed by the generous hospitality expressed through expansive meals with many dishes and countless cups of milk tea and sweets. Like other tribes of the steppe, Kazakhs love to sing and play music. After dinner or while travelling, one will pull out a dombra, the national instrument of the Kazakhs, and play a traditional folk songs that reminds one of the time of the great warriors of Central Asia. Living is such a sparse land; they make the most of celebrations, with music, dancing, and horse games. The biggest celebration is Nauryz, the Kazakh New Years, which is celebrated in March.
But whatever time of year you visit Bayan-Olgii, you should go see a family. Go inside, have tea, and enjoy a delicious meal, including their favorites of kuz (a horse meat sausage) and bisbarmak (literally “five fingers”), and have fun. Kazakhs love to laugh and enjoy company. Listen to Kazakh music, and maybe sing a song for them. By the time you leave, both of you will call each other brothers, and you will never forget the incredible hospitality and spirit of the Kazakhs.

Votes1 DateAug 24, 2016

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Africa

Maasai

One World Blue, LLC
Retrieved from:
http://www.maasai-association.org/maasai.html
The Maasai people of East Africa live in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania along the Great Rift Valley on semi-arid and arid lands. The Maasai occupy a total land area of 160,000 square kilometers with a population of approximately one half million people. However, many Maasai see the national census as government meddling and often miscount their numbers to census takers.
The Maasai society is comprised of sixteen sections (known in Maasai as Iloshon): Ildamat, Ilpurko, Ilkeekonyokie, Iloitai, Ilkaputiei, Ilkankere, Isiria, Ilmoitanik, Iloodokilani, Iloitokitoki, Ilarusa, Ilmatatapato, Ilwuasinkishu, Kore, Parakuyu, and Ilkisonko, also known as Isikirari (Tanzania's Maasai). There was also once Iltorobo section but was assimilated by other sections. A majority of the Maasai population lives in Kenya. Sections such as Isikirari, Parakuyu, Kore and Ilarusa lives in Tanganyika.
Homestead and labor
The Maasai live in Kraals arranged in a circular fashion. The fence around the kraal is made of acacia thorns, which prevent lions from attacking the cattle. It is a man's responsibility to fence the kraal. While women construct the houses. Traditionally, kraals are shared by an extended family. However, due to the new land management system in the Maasai region, it is not uncommon to see a kraal occupied by a single family.
The Inkajijik (maasai word for a house) are loaf-shaped and made of mud, sticks, grass, cow dung and cow's urine. Women are responsible for making the houses as well as supplying water, collecting firewood, milking cattle and cooking for the family. Warriors are in charge security while boys are responsible for herding livestock. During the drought season, both warriors and boys assume the responsibility for herding livestock. The elders are directors and advisors for day-to-day activities. Every morning before livestock leave to graze, an elder who is the head of the inkang sits on his chair and announces the schedule for everyone to follow.
The Maasai are a semi-nomadic people who lived under a communal land management system. The movement of livestock is based on seasonal rotation. Contrary to many claims made by outsiders, particularly the Hardinian school of thought, this communal land management system allows us to utilize resources in a sustainable manner. Each section manages its own territory. Under normal conditions, reserve pastures are fallowed and guarded by the warriors. However, if the dry season becomes especially harsh, sections boundaries are ignored and people graze animals throughout the land until the rainy season arrives. According to Maasai traditional land agreement, no one should be denied access to natural resources such as water and land.
Subsistence economy
Livestock such as cattle, goats and sheep are the primary source of income for the Maasai. Livestock serves as a social utility and plays an important role in the Maasai economy. Livestock are traded for other livestock, cash or livestock products such as milk and siege. Individual, families, and clans established close ties through giving or exchange of cattle. "Meishoo iyiook enkai inkishu o-nkera"- so goes a Maasai prayer. The English translation of this praye is: "May Creator give us cattle and children. Cattle and children are the most important aspect of the Maasai people.
Maasai economy with outsiders
The Maasai economy is increasingly dependent on the market economy. Livestock products are sold to other groups in Kenya for the purchase of beads, clothing and grains. Cows and goats are also sold for uniform and school fees for children. It is now common to see young Maasai men and women in major towns and cities of Kenya selling, not just goats and cows, but also beads, cell phones, chacoal, grain among other items. The entrepreneurial spirit is something new in our society.
It was not until the early 1980s with the Group Ranch project that we became much more entrenched in a market economy and, hence, more impoverished generally speaking.
Maasai diet
Traditionally, the Maasai rely on meat, milk and blood from cattle for protein and caloric needs. People drink blood on special occasions. It is given to a circumcised person (o/esipolioi), a woman who has given birth (entomononi) and the sick (oltamueyiai). Also, on a regular basis drunk elders, ilamerak, use the blood to alleviate intoxication and hangovers. Blood is very rich in protein and is good for the immune system. However, its use in the traditional diet is waning due to the reduction of livestock numbers.
More recently, the Maasai have grown dependent on food produced in other areas such as maize meal (unga wa mahindi), rice, potatoes, cabbage (known to the Maasai as goat leaves), etc. The Maasai who live near crop farmers have engaged in cultivation as their primary mode of subsistence. In these areas, plot sizes are generally not large enough to accommodate herds of animals; thus the Maasai are forced to farm. Our people traditionally frown upon this. Maasai believe that tilizing the land for crop farming is a crime against nature. Once you cultivate the land, it is no longer suitable for grazing.
Private ownership
The concept of private ownership was, until recently, a foreign concept to the Maasai. However, in the 1960s and 1980s, a program of commercializing livestock and land was forced on us initially by the British and later by the government of Kenya. Since then, our land has been subdivided into group and individual ranches. In other parts of Maasailand people subdivided their individual ranches into small plots, which are sold to private developers.
The new land management system of individual ranches has economically polarized our people; some Maasais, as well as outside wealthy individuals, have substantially increased their wealth at the expense of others. The largest loss of land, however, has been to national parks and reserves, in which the Maasai people are restricted from accessing critical water sources, pasture, and salt lick. Subdivision of Maasailand reduced land size for cattle herding, reduced the number of cows per household, and reduced food production. As a result, the Maasai society, which once was a proud and self-sufficient society, is now facing many social-economic and political challenges. The level of poverty among the Maasai people is beyond conceivable height. It is sad to see a society that had a long tradition of pride being a beggar for relief food because of imposed foreign concepts of development.
The future of the Maasai is uncertain at this point. One thing, however, is certain that the Maasai culture is quickly eroding at the expense of civilization.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE MASSAI AND TO HELP THEIR CAUSE PLEASE VISIT:
http://www.maasai-association.org/maasai.html

Votes1 DateJul 26, 2016

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Asia

Votes1 DateJul 8, 2016

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