When it comes to safari, visiting a Masai village is almost a must and a way to learn a little more about the traditions of this community.
The Maasai are a nomadic people in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania, made up of an estimated 883,000 people.
Today they subsist on grazing, their survival depends on the health and strength of their animals. From them they obtain the milk for their consumption and the excrement with which they cover the huts. They seldom kill cattle for food (Cows are sacred and therefore their land and all other items concerning their cattle are sacred), except from time to time a sheep or goat. However, when they do, they waste nothing. The horns are used as vessels; With the hooves and bones they make ornaments, and they tan the skin to make shoes, clothing, sleeping covers and ropes.
HOW ARE THEY ORGANIZED?
The Maasai social structure is hierarchically organized, they are divided into warriors or morane, heads of families and elders (political or religious leaders). Each of these classes has specific rights and duties, which in the case of warriors vary according to the age of the youth.
At 16 years of age, Maasai boys undergo a ceremony of coming of age that includes circumcision, and by which they become warriors for a few years. These young warriors used to carry out the function of defending the territory, but today they occupy the most difficult tasks of herding.
Each increase in status (always by groups) offers young people more rights and prerogatives such as being able to smoke or marry (always outside the family clan); and their opinions are weighing more and more in society.
WHAT IS THE TYPICAL SETTLEMENT OF THE MASAI TRIBE?
It is a set of huts made with adobe and manure called manyatas. It is fenced in by a thorn-filled acacia fence to prevent attack by lions and other wild animals and the livestock from running out of control.
Their religion centers around mystical beliefs concerning the Maasai, their livestock, and God, it is monotheistic and austere. Ngai’s main manifestation of goodness is rain.
The more head of cattle you have, the more important you are, the more you are worth. Wealth for the Maasai is measured in livestock as well as being their main source of food, from which they get meat, milk and blood. As semi-nomadic shepherds that they are, having many animals symbolizes power and wealth, a very relevant aspect when it comes to getting married, since the dowry is materialized in animals.
Its cultural life is full of celebrations, beginning with birth and continuing with marriages and, without a doubt, this tribe can be classified as one of the most interesting towns in Africa.