Tall, dark, slender, fearless, proud and free, are some of the words that describe the most celebrated people in East Africa, the Maasai. They live in the southern part of Kenya and spread down to the northern part of Tanzania.
The Maasai are great herders of cattle and live in the open wild, sharing their habitat with wildlife. Cattle have always been central to their lives. A man’s wealth is measured in terms of how many cattle and children they have.
Their way of life has made the Maasai an outstanding tribe with a unique culture. The men are born and raised to be warriors, while the girls stay close to their mothers and are nurtured to take care of the home.
Body modification is part and parcel of their custom. The Maasai pierce and stretch their earlobes as a form of beautification. Beadwork is done by women, with the main colors being red, yellow, green, white and blue.
A trip to Kenya, and especially to the Maasai Mara is never complete without experiencing song and dance from the Maasai. Sometimes referred to as ‘the jumping dance’, the Maasai jump and down in rhythm to their chants, accompanied with graceful neck movements.
Maintaining a traditional pastoral lifestyle has become increasingly difficult due to outside influences, but they kept their culture intact despite modernization. That is why the Maasai are arguably the most interesting and fascinating people of our time.