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.
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A young girls childhood is shared by the love and affection of a girl’s father and elders, not that of fear and solitude. Love, high morals, and affection is that of which typical childhoods are instilled with upon their growing up in my society. Similar to that of my own culture, the marriage ceremonyis one of the longest and most celebrated ceremonies in the Maasai community. It begins by a man showing interest in a woman and giving her a chain, called an olpisiai, similar in retrospect as that of an engagement ring in American society. Likewise, as the word of this proposal circulates the family as well as the community waits for the initial proceedings to begin. The Maasai man does this by finding women of his own age who will bring a gift of alcohol to the mother of the girl. This first stage called esirit enkoshoke indicates to everyone that the girl is now engaged. After some odd time, the man has to make his intentions clear again once more. By presenting a gift of alcohol to the girl's father, the man has shown this once again, as the alcohol will be brought by the same women who brought the other gift of alcohol to the women earlier. The gift of alcohol is called enkiroret, which the father of the intended bride drinks with his brothers and then summons the man asking him to declare his initial interest