The Kenyan Masai Home and House
The Kenyan Masai house was a very temporary make shift structure due to being nomads. It was made from locally available materials such as cow dung, tree branches, poles and grass. It was known as the ‘enkaji’. The hut which was very small was a home not only for the family but to calves and goats. The enkaji is the place the family cooks, eats, sleeps, socializes and stores food, fuel and other household possessions. The hut would be made using timber poles that were fixed into the ground and smaller branches were interwoven around them. The walls were plastered with a mix of mud, sticks, grass, cow dung and human urine, and ash.
The women were the ones who would make the huts. The women in the community would help each other in making the huts. Meals for the entire family were made in the enkaji. This would consist of ugali and milk or meat. Ugali is a solid mixture of maize meal and boiling water. The enkajis were many in a compound and a security wall would surround them forming a ‘manyatta’. This security wall was made by the men.
Boys of the age of thirteen to twenty five once they were circumcised would live in a manyatta a distance away from the main homestead. Their manyatta was build by the mothers but it did not have a security fence around it. This was so as to emphasize on their role as the security force of the society. After eight months, they were allowed to get back to the main homestead.
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