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Witness
A Maasai Tale
A young Maasai girl leaves her tribe and embarks on a new life in the USA.
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2009 14:31 GMT

Watch Part two

Director: Bill Stout

The Maasai tribe is in crisis. Its nomadic pastoral traditions and ritualistic blood-drinking are in conflict with the modern world. The community's attitudes to women are equally out of step. Education is almost exclusively reserved for boys and female circumcision is standard practice.

Sitatien Kaelo was the smartest girl in the tribe. Yet when she reached puberty, her father tried to stop her education and insisted Sitatien and her sister be circumcised.

Sitatien's community continued to pay for her education into high school. Yet this soon came to an end because, as Sitatien points out, 13 year-old girls are considered grown women where she comes from.

But with the help of a Maasai tribal elder and a university scholarship in the US, Sitatien's life becomes anything but traditional.

T
he farewell song composed by female friends and family is a haunting tribute to the responsibilities resting on this youngster's shoulder.

Your Comments:

I really loved this episode about the girl in Kenya.  It really opened my eyes.  Seeing the thirst for knowledge in her eyes made me think about just how precious education really is. I admired her dedication and she has made me appreciate my studies more as well. Keep up the good work with the show. I can't wait to see more episodes and learn more about the different cultures around us.
Hanna, USA

I am a huge fan because you do stories that are very seldom seen anywhere on any of the other TV channels. I loved the story on the Maasai women and their struggle for independence from their abusive husbands.

Amal, United Arab Emirates

Source:
Al Jazeera
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