Kenyan Maasai


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Kenyan Zebu
Special Characteristics: 
Characteristic small and narrow head; large dewlap; variable coat colour; horn and shape of horns also vary; the heterogeneous phenotypes reflect the continual traditional cattle raids and counter raids among adjacent pastoral groups.
Main Location: 
Maintained by the Kenya Maasai pastoralists in southern to south-western Kenya.
All zebu cattle in Kenya, except the Boran and its derivatives, are referred to as Kenyan Zebu. They are believed to have descended from the recent introductions of zebu into Africa from Asia. The Maasai people are among the Nilo-Hamitic tribes that migrated during the 17th century into Kenya from the north and settled in western Kenya, south of Lake Turkana. Because of the centuries old traditional practice of cattle raids, present-day cattle of the Maasai are very heterogeneous having some similarities with adjacent Kenyan Zebu breeds (Rege and Tawah, 1999).