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Personal Naming System among Massai of Tanzania

Scientific Essay 2017 13 Pages

Sociology - Individual, Groups, Society

Excerpt

Inhaltsverzeichnis

ABSTRACT

1.0 INTRODUCTION

2.0 THEORETICICAL DEVELOPMENT

3.0 METHODOLOGY
3.1 STUDY AREA AND TARGET POPULATION
3.2 SAMPLE SIZE AND SAMPLING PROCEDURE
3.3 DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS TOOLS

4.0 RESULTS: MAASAI AND NAMING SYSTEM
4.1 NAMES RELATING TO EVENTS
4.2 NAMES RELATING TO SITUATIONS
4.3 NAMES RELATING TO TIMES
4.4 MAASAI CHILDREN’S NAMES

5.0 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION

Bibliography

ABSTRACT

The main purpose of this paper is to uncover the meaning and motive behind personal names given to baby born during birth times. This study looks Maasai naming systems not as arbitrary labels but as a linguistic anthropological perspective. Among Maasai in Nothern Tanzania, naming system is socio-cultural interpretation of things, events, and life experiences. It is argued that Maasai personal names are related to power and memory.

1.0 INTRODUCTION

The Maasai of Tanzania are a tribe of people who live in the Northen part of Tanzania, specifically, Arusha and Manyara regions. They are known as tall and fierce warriors. They are recognized by the special red cloth they wear which is called a Shuka. Maa, a sub-group of the Nilotic languages, is the language of Maasai. The Maasai have their own religion and believe in a god called Ngai. They claim that Ngai, their god, gave all the cattle to the Maasai people, that is why they raided cattle from other people in the past and meant that they belonged to the Maasai. The Maasai live in their own type of village, called an enkang, consisting of 10-20 small houses.

2.0 THEORETICICAL DEVELOPMENT

Names and naming are as old as humanity. This aspect of social linguistic has been paid attention by many sociolinguists recently as one of many ways of revealing social functions of language (Fitzpatrick, 2012).

Discovering various names named by the parents to their children in relation to gender construction in Maasai society is the focus of this study. This study shows how naming system and practice play the exclusive function of language. This implies that a name of a child given by parents identifies a child as male or female. The research has been conducted on the realization on the naming system among Maasai. The naming system among Maasai tribe can be determined in different ways and those ways are like due to events, according to time memorial, according to season and tradition, and according to life conditions and hardship, based on days of the week and ceremony.

The naming system was influenced by the agents of colonialism in the 1880’s up to date (Fitzpatrick, 2012). This is realized by various loan names among Maasai speaking people considered as baptismal and school names as they appear in admission registers.

The Maasai naming sytem like any other naming systems existed a long time since the exsitence of this society. When the maasai child is born , he or she is not given an official name, rather the child is given the temporary name which is called an opening “embolet.”

Before independence this society lived in Tanzania and it pertcipated in social political activities, they had had thei way of governing themselves where by they were in the age system from the elders to the youngest one.

After independence Tanzania implimented socilist policy of villagelization program to promote sustainability development and nationalism. In maasai land this means that people where physically resetteled into “Bomas”cicular cluster homes. The Boma which were formaly king of settlement were now neighbourly groupings of individual family .

In 1976 the Government of Tanzania officialy resettled the Maasai in Monduli and gave them a maximum land of three ecres each to farm.

Other studies regarding Maasai Ethnicity and Identity in East Africa were done, edited by T. Spear and R. Waller (1993). Gender, Ethnicity, and the Cultural Politics of Maasai Development was by D. Hodgson (2004) and Tradition, Culture and Development in Africa (2007) by Ambe J. Njoh. These particular references provide some of the contextual information from three angles, the concept of ‘Maasainess’, and socio-economic realities and detailed ethnographic research on gender.

By introducing this study, I wish to refer to Dorothy Hodgson who spent many years researching the Maasai in Tanzania. In her detailed and extensive ethnography, she cites two publications entitled, ‘The Last of the Maasai’. The first was written in 1901 by Sydney and Hildegarde Hinde, who predicted the imminent extinction of the ‘nomad warrior’ and the race of ‘pure’ Maasai. The second publication was published in 1987 in which Amin et al. refers to the Maasai as “the noblest of savages in the 19th century who have made no advance in a hundred years and for whom it’s all over, almost…{the Maasai} are on the final retreat…”. Hodgson concludes her works with a different opinion, at the turn of the 21st century.

3.0 METHODOLOGY

3.1 STUDY AREA AND TARGET POPULATION

The research design used in this study was descriptive study, study aimed at collecting information from respondents on their attitudes and opinions concerning society the factors causing the maasai to name their children traditional names in their society. The study area of study was at Olosiva village where the different samples of respondents were given the questionnares and other interviewed by the reseachers. The target population is all Maasai people living at Monduli and some parts of Arusha region.

3.2 SAMPLE SIZE AND SAMPLING PROCEDURE

Olosiva village comprises both old and young population, not only that but also many women, girls, men and boys.. The subjects of the study were drawn from elders who knows well the vital custom and norms of the maasai society from different respondents .The reseachers planned to get data of their reseacher from 20 respondants who were in the chosen from Olosiva village.

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Details

Pages
13
Year
2017
ISBN (eBook)
9783668606784
ISBN (Book)
9783668606791
File size
420 KB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v385895
Grade
Tags
personal naming system massai tanzania

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Title: Personal Naming System among Massai of Tanzania