Masai Tribe. The Masai are tall and strong. Fig. 39 shows a typical belle, also a Masai man who is much taller than our six-foot guide. It is interesting to study the methods of living and observe the accumulated wisdom of the Masai. They are reported to have known for over two hundred years that malaria was carried by mosquitoes, and further they have practiced exposing the members of their tribes who had been infected with syphilis by the Arabs to malaria to prevent the serious injuries resulting from the spirochetal infection. Yet modern medicine boasts of being the discoverers of this great principle of using malaria to prevent or relieve syphilitic infections of the spinal cord and brain.
I saw the native Masai operating on their cattle with skill and knowledge. The Masai have no currency and all their transactions are made with cows or goats. A valuable cow was not eating properly, and I observed them taking a thorn out of the inside of her mouth. The surgical operation was done with a knife of their own making and tempered by pounding. The wound was treated by rubbing it with the ashes of a plant that acted as a very powerful styptic. Their knowledge of veterinary science is quite remarkable. I saw them treating a young cow that had failed to conceive. They apparently knew the cause and proceeded to treat her as modern veterinaries might do in order to overcome her difficulties. For their food throughout the centuries they have depended very largely on milk, meat and blood, reinforced with vegetables and fruits. They milk the cows daily and bleed the steers at regular intervals by a unique process. In Fig. 40 we see a native Masai with his bow and arrow, the latter tipped with a sharp knife which is guarded by a shoulder to determine the depth to which the arrow may enter the vein. If the animal is sufficiently tame, the blood is drawn while it is standing. If the animal is frightened it is quickly hobbled, as shown below. In this figure the stream of blood may be seen spurting from the jugular vein into a gourd which holds about a gallon. A torque is placed around the neck before the puncture is made. The animals did not even flinch when struck by the arrow, the operation is done so quickly and skillfully. When sufficient blood was drawn, the torque was removed and the blood immediately stopped flowing. A styptic made of ashes referred to above was used. This serves also to protect the wound from infection. The blood is defibrinated by whipping in the gourd. The fibrin is fried or cooked much as bacon or meat would be prepared. The defibrinated blood is used raw just as the milk is, except in smaller quantities. When available, each growing child receives a day’s ration of blood as does each pregnant or lactating woman. Formerly, the warriors used this food exclusively. These three sources, milk, blood and meat provide them with liberal supplies of body-building minerals and the special vitamins, both fat-soluble and water soluble. Their estimate of a desirable dairy stock is based on quality not quantity. They judge the value of a cow for keeping in their herd by the length of time it takes her calf to stand on its feet and run after it is born, which is only a very few minutes. This is in striking contrast with the practice of our modern dairymen who are chiefly concerned with the quantity of milk and quantity of butter fat rather than with its value as a source of special factors for nutrition. Many of the calves of the modern high-production cows of civilized countries are not able to stand for many hours after birth, frequently twenty-four. This ability to stand is very important in a country infested with predatory animals; such as lions, leopards, hyenas, jackals and vultures.
Weston Price, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration (1939)