Old Masai (Maasai) SEME Knife – Kenya
Old Seme Knife in a red scabbard. Mid 20th century. Steel blade, red hide scabbard. Cm. 51,0 in length (20.08″); the blade is cm. 37,5 in lenght (14.76″). Weight: grams 402,4 (14.19 oz.).
The Seme (sime) is the constant sidearm of the Maasai (Masai) man. It is a light short sword with a double-edged, leaf-shaped spatulate blade, made from spring steel. The Maasai use this blade for everything from clearing brush, butchering cattle, to peeling fruit. They also use it for self defense.
Maasai are a Nilotic ethnic group inhabiting central and southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. The Maasai speak a Nilo-Saharan language. They inhabit the African Great Lakes region and arrived via the South Sudan. Most Nilotic speakers in the area, including the Maasai, the Samburu and the Kalenjin, are pastoralists, and are famous for their fearsome reputations as warriors and cattle-rustlers.
The Maasai and other groups in East Africa have adopted customs and practices from neighboring Cushitic-speaking groups, including the age set system of social organization, circumcision, and vocabulary terms.
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