The Massai have strict rules for their cohabitation. Positions of authority are reserved for men only. The burdens of daily life are carried on by the women.
The individual clans live separate from one another and maintain their nomadic way of life. They have never been organized into larger alliances such as a kingdom. Leadership is in the hands of the elders, who, for example, determine the point of time when younger men become warriors, and when this time is over. The elders are the heads of a boma. Next in line to the elders come the middle age men. Most of them are married to a number of wives and are heads of the family. Family affiliation, circumcision and age play an important role in the Massai society.