14 in x 2.5 in x 1 in
Metal, leather

Kenyan Maasai People Weapon: "Ol Alem" Maasai Sword

Everyday Connections - Weapon

Africa

Country flag

Kenya

The Maasai people of East Africa live in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania along the Great Rift Valley on semi-arid and arid lands. Due to their distinct traditions, customs and dress and their residence near the many national game parks of East Africa, the Maasai are among the foremost African ethnic groups and are known internationally because of their links to the national parks and reserves.

The Maasai warrior, or "moran", is responsible for protecting his cattle. He will always have with him his "ol alem" or the "seme", a kind of short broadsword. The blade is very much like the spears ('moran') which has a central ridge. The blade is always sheathed in rawhide, dyed red.

The Maasai live in Kraals arranged in a circular fashion. The fence around the kraal is made of acacia thorns, which prevent lions from attacking the cattle. It is a man's responsibility to fence the kraal. While women construct the houses. Traditionally, kraals are shared by an extended family. The Inkajijik (maasai word for a house) are loaf-shaped and made of mud, sticks, grass, cow dung and cow's urine. Women are responsible for making the houses as well as supplying water, collecting firewood, milking cattle and cooking for the family. Warriors are in charge security while boys are responsible for herding livestock. Traditionally they survived on meat, milk and blood from livestock. Cattle are very important to the Maasai, and are the subject of mystical beliefs and reverence. One of the more common Maasai greetings is "I hope your cattle are well". 

http://tanzaniakoreafriendship.blogspot.com www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maasai_people http://www.maasai-association.org/maasai.html http://swordforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=49941