Maasai Culture V. American Culture

Topics: Marriage, Wedding, Family Pages: 3 (1240 words) Published: March 28, 2011
English 101-McElroy
Compare and Contrast- Rough Draft
March 22, 2011

Maasai Culture v. American Culture

In the tribal villages of eastern Africa the Maasai marriages are arranged by the elders without ever first consulting the bride or the mother of the bride to be. Unlike, that of my own culture in the United States of America, where I am free as a citizen to choose whomever I may choose to marry and when and if I may marry. Polygyny is that of which is practiced in the Maasai culture, as an ideal that is achieved only by that of the elder men of the tribe. Unfortunately, as a result ofthemen being much older at the time of marriage, most women become widows, knowing that it is understood that they should never remarry again. Although, I myself practice monogamy, as it is tradition in my culture and that of what is expected by me, my community, and my family. A young girl's childhood in Maasai culture is dominated by a strict avoidance of her father and other elders. Her marriage prospects and her family's reputation hinges on her ability to develop an accurate sense of respect in her community. She is socialized from birth to accept her service to her future husband as an elder and to all other elders in the community.The father is the key figure in the patriarchal family. Theoretically, his control is absolute only to the interference by close senior elders. It is tradition in Maasai culture that as long as the father is alive, no son has final control over his cattle or over his choice in marriage. It is practiced that as the younger men of the community age, the older men begin to rely on their sons to take over the management of the family. After a husband's death, the widow is then subordinate to her sons in the management of her herd. If she has no sons; she is unprotected. As this idea is not practiced in my own community, where typicallythe roles of the head of house hold is shared among husband and wife equally. Inheritance of property and...
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