Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.
Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records
Merker, Meritz, 1867-1908
The Masai: ethnographic monograph of an East African Semite
Published By: Original publisher
Berlin: Dietrich Reimer (Ernst Vohsen). 1910. 31, 456 p.
[HRAF MS: 1, 44, 623 leaves] ill., map
By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication
HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.:
Human Relations Area Files, 1996. Computer File
Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis.
Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF
Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document
This extensive ethnography of the Maasai people was written
by a Captain in the German 'Protectorate Troops' who, in his capacity as a military officer
spent more than 8 years among the Maasai. Part One contains a discussion on the origins of
the Maasai and presents Merker's hypothesis that the Maasai are descendants of the nomadic
Semites whose ancestral home was on the Arabian peninsula. Part one also identifies what
Merkert considers to be the three branches of the Maasai people, the Wakuafi (Kwafi), the
Asa, and the Maasai proper, and discusses the sequence of their migrations from the Arabian
peninsula to their current location. Part Two contains a thorough ethnographic description
of the Maasai proper and the Kwafti, while Part Three contains a briefer, somewhat sketchy
ethnography of the Asa. In Part Four, the author compares Maasai myths and traditions with
those of the Bible and with traditions from Babylonia. The remarkable similarity between
the traditions of these three peoples is used as corroborating evidence for Merker's belief
in the common origin of the ancient Israelites and the Maasai.
Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents
Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits.
Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs.
Language: Language that the document is written in
English translation from German
Translation of: Die Masai: Etnographische Monographie
eines Ostafrikanischen Semitenvolkes.|The original German text is not included Translated
for the HRAF files by Frieda Schütze As the Asa are currently considered to be a branch of
the Dorobo, information in Part Three has been indexed only for the Dorobo (FL06)
Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document
Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data
Soldier, Government Official-5
Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection.
Helen Gunsher Bornstein ; John Beierle ; 1972
Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date).
Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site)
Kenya and Tanzania
LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings
Masai (African people)