East Africa: The Maasai

We are winding down our school year and will be bringing our Africa unit to a close in the next week or so. The past couple of weeks we’ve been reading about East Africa. We’ve read about a number of countries and then learned a bit about the Maasai people. The Maasai are semi-nomadic people who live in Kenya and northern Tanzania. They have quite distinctive customs and dress and live quite close to the game parks. Here are a couple photos from wikimedia of a woman and children with beaded necklaces around their necks:

File:COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Close-up van een Masai vrouw met drie kinderen bij Kajiado TMnr 20038609.jpg

We read about the Maasai warriors and learned about the rite of passage boys undertake to become a warrior.  The Maasai warrior’s shield is on the flag of Kenya:

Kenya_flag_300jpg

Many years ago, my Mom went to a conference in Nairobi. While she was there she went on a safari and bought a Maasai beaded necklace. After my Mom has passed away my Dad gave the necklace to me.  I took the necklace down from the wall and let the kids all try it on:

MaasaiNecklace

After spending quite a bit of time examining our necklace and the ones in the books we had on hand, the kids set about making their own… while I read aloud:

IMG_4787MasaiNecklace

The kids have also worked quite a bit on the geography of East Africa with our pin map.

EastAfricaPinMap

We used the flags of Africa from Montessori Materials  to create country pins for our pin map (African Flags-page 1;  African Flags-page 2). You can print out a map of Africa from our Africa Learning Packet:

Africa Learning Packet: Geography of Africa

Africa-LearningPacket

I have a couple of wonderful geography games we’ve been playing, but I’ll save that post until tomorrow.

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