The development of personality traits and tribal identities draws significantly from gender, class and social status. The Maasai community is a patriarchal society. Men command respect and honor while women are merely submissive. The development of perceived male superiority stems from the ordeals that men encounter. For instance, in order to join the Moran, the young man undergoes ritualistic circumcision performed without anesthetic. Expression of fear and pain translates into weakness, albeit momentarily (Miller et al, 1997).
This in turn creates personality traits such as bravery and honor as well as identities such as cultural affiliation. In the broader cultural context, the Maasai customs and beliefs influence their behavior as a community and ultimately their historical trends. For instance, their belief that all cattle rightfully belong to them justifies their raiding and banditry operations against other tribes.
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