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Quiz about The Maasai People
Quiz about The Maasai People

The Maasai People Trivia Quiz


A quiz on life in Maasai society. These African people are caught between their traditional lifestyle and the modern world approaching them.

A multiple-choice quiz by Joepetz. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
Joepetz
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
398,314
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Tough
Avg Score
5 / 10
Plays
165
- -
Question 1 of 10
1. The Maasai people live primarily in which part of Africa? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. You can tell that a Maasai man is wealthy from the amount of what he has? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. True or False: Maasai males must be circumcised at the age of fifteen.


Question 4 of 10
4. Which of the following is true regarding the treatment of women in Maasai society?

Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Who or what is adumu? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Which of the following body modifications is commonly practiced amongst the Maasai in the twenty-first century? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Who in Maasai society would have long hair? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. True or False: The Maasai continue to wear animal hides as clothing.


Question 9 of 10
9. Which of the following is a common medicine in Maasai society? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. After death, who among the Maasai would be buried? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The Maasai people live primarily in which part of Africa?

Answer: Eastern Africa

The Maasai live almost exclusively in Kenya and Tanzania. Traditionally, the Maasai are welcoming to outsiders and speak Maa, the local language. Some Maasai speak English and Swahili as well. The Maasai are primarily nomadic but in recent years, younger people have been attending universities in urban areas and then return home.
2. You can tell that a Maasai man is wealthy from the amount of what he has?

Answer: Cattle

The Maasai measure wealth in terms of how much cattle a man has. Cattle are considered gifts from God in the Maasai culture and they believe the more cattle a man has the wealthier he is. It was once a longstanding practice that Maasai would steal cattle from other tribes because they believe God gave them and only them the right to have cattle. Cattle is the primary food source for the Maasai and they eat every part of the cattle, including its blood.

In addition, Maasai courts often demand payment of cattle for restitution purposes.
3. True or False: Maasai males must be circumcised at the age of fifteen.

Answer: False

Maasai males are not circumcised until they can be initiated as warriors. New warriors are initiated every 15 years so Maasai males can be circumcised as young as 12 or as old as their mid-twenties. The circumcision ritual is common amongst African tribes. Anesthesia is not used and is performed by a tribal elder with a knife.

The initiate must not flinch or show pain during the process. Afterward, the soon-to-be warriors are forced to live in an unprotected village called a manyatta and wear black.
4. Which of the following is true regarding the treatment of women in Maasai society?

Answer: Uncircumcised women are considered disgraceful

Both men and women in Maasai societies can have more than one spouse but such a practice is not prevalent today. Men are considered superior to women but women do have many rights of their own. A woman may divorce her abusive husband but such a request, called kitala, must be requested by her father or elder male in her birth family.

Something of great controversy is the issue of female circumcision, which is banned in Kenya and Tanzania. However, the Maasai have found illegal and covert ways of performing it and it is still very prevalent. A few local groups have substituted a traditional dancing ceremony in place of the circumcision ritual. An adult male Maasai will not marry an uncircumcised female. Some women who have undergone the painful ritual and subsequently left Maasai society have became activists against the procedure.
5. Who or what is adumu?

Answer: A dance

Adumu is the jumping dance the Maasai are well known for. It is performed usually by men holding a rigid posture. The heels do not touch the ground. Onlookers surround the performers in a circle and shout at different pitches depending on how high the performers are jumping. Adumu can be competitive as men will often compete to see how high or for how long they can jump.
6. Which of the following body modifications is commonly practiced amongst the Maasai in the twenty-first century?

Answer: Removing the canine teeth

The Maasai believe removing the canine teeth, specifically those belonging to children, will prevent illness and diseases such as diarrhea. This is a common practice throughout Africa.

The Maasai were once well known for their extreme body modifications, specifically stretching the earlobes with wooden discs or piercing them with elephant tusks. However, these practices have largely fallen into disuse among young Maasai people because many aspire to travel outside their society. This is true of both men and women, however some women wear fake bead piercings and jewelry as a remnant to this tradition.

The Maasai people never commonly practiced foot binding, tattooing or the wearing of rings to elongate the neck.
7. Who in Maasai society would have long hair?

Answer: Warriors

Only warriors are permitted to wear long hair (and it is required that they do so). After a warrior passes from that stage to a junior elder, he must cut off his hair and wear it as a skirt. From then on, the man must continue shaving his head.

On the third day of a baby's life, his or her hair is cut off except for a strip in the middle of the head. This is done to put the baby in a state of grace.

Head shaving is part of the male and female circumcision ritual. Before being circumcised, Maasai males have their heads shaved for the last time until the become junior elders. Women are never permitted to have long hair.
8. True or False: The Maasai continue to wear animal hides as clothing.

Answer: False

The Maasai no longer wear animal hides and instead wear manufactured clothing from cotton and other materials. With the exception of a recently circumcised person who always wear black, the Maasai tend to wear very colorful clothing. Colors are not gender specific like they are sometimes treated in the Western world.

The Maasai call their clothing shuka, which are sheets they wear wrapped around themselves. On their feet, the Maasai traditional wear sandals. Women traditional wear heavily beaded necklaces and jewelry, although they once had the beads pierced into their skin.
9. Which of the following is a common medicine in Maasai society?

Answer: Cattle's blood mixed with milk

Blood from the jugular of a cow is considered the best blood to use as a cure all. When mixed with milk, this concoction is said to cure anything. The same mixture is also used in certain Maasai ceremonies. In order to extract the blood, the cow is shot with an arrow and is not killed. Only the best, healthiest and purest cows are used for this.

Although such a thing is not used by the Maasai, it is not unheard of in Tanzania to use the severed hand of someone with albinism in medicine whipped up by witchdoctors. Such a practice is illegal but people with albinism have been targeted and murdered for this reason.
10. After death, who among the Maasai would be buried?

Answer: Chiefs

The Maasai believe that to bury the dead is harmful to the Earth from which they live on, so they reserve burial for their most important chiefs. Traditionally, other Maasai who die are left out in a field for scavengers where it is an honor to be eaten by wild animals. If a body is not eaten by animals, it is considered a disgraceful and shameful event.
Source: Author Joepetz

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor stedman before going online.
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