Our day to day lives are often marked with ways of living that reflect what we are familiar with in terms of what was exposed to us during socialization or what we have had to change with time as we adapt new ways of living during growth but which are nevertheless familiar to us or we get to familiarize with them as we adopt them into our daily lives.
The definition of psychological anthropology by Miller 2007 can be compared to the belief in the environmental role in the creation of cultures that Margaret Mead had when she observed that three different communities in Papua New Guinea displayed three different modes of interactions depending on the way the social environments in the areas the three groups were occupying dictated. This can to some degree be reflected with a closer look at the customary relations of the Maasai and the Tchambuli within their social environments.The following paper seeks to examine the traditions of the two said communities through their different stages in life from infancy to adulthood.
The Maasai The role of childbirth and childrearing, like in many other communities, is the work of the women. They teach their children on the beliefs of the society thereby socializing them into acceptable members of the society. Children are exposed to cattle rearing as soon as they can toddle. They however take care of the small animals like the sheep and the goats and join there male parents during herding.
Apart from herding, the boys also spend most of their time playing with their age mates. The girls are introduced to execution of domestic chores at a tender age in life where their mothers often incorporate them when undertaking their duties. These domestic chores include cooking meals for the family and milking the herds. They are taught how to go about this by their mothers. Both boys and girls pass through an initiation ceremony during their adolescence as a rite of passage from childhood to adulthood.The boys are circumcised after a generation of 12-15 years and are immediately initiated into an age set shared by all the individuals that are circumcised together. They then assume the roles and status of junior warriors immediately after their circumcision. Their roles include protecting of the Maasai land.
Though it seldom happens in the contemporary world, they are also expected to create wealth for their community by involving themselves with cattle rustling.The young men marry during their time as senior warriors. A number of other initiation ceremonies are often carried out for taking the warrior to different stages in life e. g.
from junior to senior warriors then to junior elders who are held responsible for making political decisions, then to the senior elders who settle disputes and make decisions in the community(Amin W. et al. 2005p23). The girls are also passed through the initiation into adulthood by excision which they term as female circumcision.The ceremony often entails giving of instruction for the new roles that the girls should expect to adopt in marriage for marriage often followed circumcision in girls (Ward C 2007p 23). The girls were then married off and began their lives in marriage as young women.
Young are charged with the role of constructing houses for their families, while together with the older women, they fetch and supply homes with water and firewood to use as fuel. Other duties include milking and preparation of meals for the family (Amin W. et al. 2005pp16-35).