The burden of a Maasai woman

 I think it is only here in Maasailand that women are the beasts of burden. They have a lot of responsibilities; land tilling, herding cows, collecting water and firewood and even building houses. Recently I came across a new house being built from local materials. In the photo you can see branches collected from the surrounding area, which are smeared with cow dung to make the house warm and waterproof. It is the least costly kind of construction because one does not need any money to buy anything. And of course it was a woman that was building this house!


With my exposure to other cultures in the world, I have learnt that these tasks should be divided more equally among men and women, and I will help my mum cut branches to build a house. But she must collect the cow dung herself. It is against Maasai tradition for a man to hold dung in the case of constructing a house. However when it comes to any other tasks I would do anything to help mum. Here is a photo of some Maasai women in front of a finished house.



  • sauwah says:

    antony, you are getting wiser each day! the burden which the Maasai women carry is much similar to other women all over the world. Trust me, complaints have been voiced and heard in most culture from women to men. You are one good man and a true warrior! work by women is never done and seldom gets paid if at all. and that is why such work is called women’s work.

    don’t you think if women have fewer duties, then they can take their spare time to devote to their children, their families, their tribes and country? and as for the fire wood they must find, i am sure it a time consuming pain in the neck for the gatherers. have you heard of solar cookers? this organization help people who usually use wood to cook their meals build their solar cookers. with their solar cookers, wood is no longer in use. Women then have more time to tend for livestock and kids instead of walking miles for fire wood. solar cookers also benefit the environment since the cookers demand no wood which is cut from a tree. by leaving trees be , the top soil is saved as the wild animals whose lives also depend on the life sustaining trees. lives for the women do get a little easier too.

  • Wanda, Atlanta says:


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