TANGANYIKA: The Masai Take a Chief

Herding their cattle over the grassy uplands rolling down from Kilimanjaro in what is now Kenya and Tanganyika, the Masai were fierce, sensual warriors who used dung and ochre for hair oil and drank cattle blood laced with urine. In periodic sport they swooped down on their Bantu neighbors, ramming seven-foot spears through the males and carrying off their women, who often did not seem to mind; the tall, aristocratic Masai were notable men, and Masai wives did not work.

The coming of the white man brought syphilis and smallpox to the Masai, rinderpest to plague their herds, and ultimately...

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