Maasai of Masai Mara

The Maasai tribe are semi-nomadic people who move about every 5 years, depending on the cattle needs and home conditions. Their villages are surrounded by sticks and bush to protect the livestock.

When I arrived at the village they blew the Kudu Horn, made from an antelope. It is used for ceremonies, special events and communication. The sound was low and long like a trombone. Calling out.

When I arrived at the village they blew the Kudu Horn, made from an antelope. It is used for ceremonies, special events and communication. The sound was low and long like a trombone. Calling out.

Soon the men showed up and started to sing for me.

Soon the men showed up and started to sing for me.

They danced for me and then circled me.

They danced for me and then circled me.

All part of their traditional Jumping Dance, a right of passage and a mating dance. It is for the young Maasai warrior to show his strength and attract a potential wife.

All part of their traditional Jumping Dance, a right of passage and a mating dance. It is for the young Maasai warrior to show his strength and attract a potential wife.

These were highly skilled warriors.

These were highly skilled warriors.

They then lead me into their village. One of the first things that was mentioned to me was that the Maasai are a polygamist community. The women have one home and the men have multiple homes.  I learned that the women are typically circumcised between the ages of 11-13 and soon after, traded to a husband for cattle and cash. It is a transaction made by the fathers. The boys are circumcised between the ages of 7-20, depending on maturity.

They then lead me into their village. One of the first things that was mentioned to me was that the Maasai are a polygamist community. The women have one home and the men have multiple homes.

I learned that the women are typically circumcised between the ages of 11-13 and soon after, traded to a husband for cattle and cash. It is a transaction made by the fathers. The boys are circumcised between the ages of 7-20, depending on maturity.

The women of the village came over to meet me.

The women of the village came over to meet me.

They welcomed me with song.

They welcomed me with song.

Their colorful clothing and jewelry were electric against the earthy backdrop.

Their colorful clothing and jewelry were electric against the earthy backdrop.

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Some men hanging out in the center of the village while a women works on finishing the roof of a home. The Maasai homes are made 100% by the women.

Some men hanging out in the center of the village while a women works on finishing the roof of a home. The Maasai homes are made 100% by the women.

The children in the village were a pure delight!

The children in the village were a pure delight!

They welcomed me with laughter and curiosity, met with my own.

They welcomed me with laughter and curiosity, met with my own.

They impressed me with ‘mud ball catching’…

They impressed me with ‘mud ball catching’…

… And their no-nonsense, lets get dirty and play already attitudes!

… And their no-nonsense, lets get dirty and play already attitudes!

They continued on with work and life while I visited the different homes.

They continued on with work and life while I visited the different homes.

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What struck me the most was how friendly and open this community was.

What struck me the most was how friendly and open this community was.

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I got to see a Maasai house, called an Enkai, that was almost done.

I got to see a Maasai house, called an Enkai, that was almost done.

I was invited in to hang out with some young ladies. The inside of an Enkai is really small, warm and dark. It smells strongly of wood burning from the small stove that vents through the only small hole that natural light flows through.

I was invited in to hang out with some young ladies. The inside of an Enkai is really small, warm and dark. It smells strongly of wood burning from the small stove that vents through the only small hole that natural light flows through.

While I was passing by, a young Maasai boy came out to impress me with his jumping abilities! I was!!!

While I was passing by, a young Maasai boy came out to impress me with his jumping abilities! I was!!!

The blacksmith sang and played me a song on his Nyatiti.

The blacksmith sang and played me a song on his Nyatiti.

Even young children are in charge of the herds of livestock. As soon as they can toddle they are sent out with the herds. They bravely wonder around predators without adults. They are raised without fear and with a deep understanding of how the predator chain works.

Even young children are in charge of the herds of livestock. As soon as they can toddle they are sent out with the herds. They bravely wonder around predators without adults. They are raised without fear and with a deep understanding of how the predator chain works.

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While I was there, this little guy was born!

While I was there, this little guy was born!

The Massai are known for their beautiful white smiles. They frequently chew on branches from the Esistesi tree. It fights bad breath as well as keeping their smiles white. The bark can be used to cure stomach problems. The branches are used for herding cattle and for defense.  I never saw a Massai man without a stick. Even in the city where they would blend in, in most other ways. It was fascinating and transformative to meet the people of this tribe. <3

The Massai are known for their beautiful white smiles. They frequently chew on branches from the Esistesi tree. It fights bad breath as well as keeping their smiles white. The bark can be used to cure stomach problems. The branches are used for herding cattle and for defense.

I never saw a Massai man without a stick. Even in the city where they would blend in, in most other ways. It was fascinating and transformative to meet the people of this tribe. <3

This is Steve! My amazing guide!!!!!!! I took my adventure with Fair Trade Safaris. This company donates 100% of its profits to a variety of fully vetted wildlife conservations, community development and social impact projects @fairtradesafaris  www.facebook.com/fairtradesafaris  Twitter: @fairtradesafari

This is Steve! My amazing guide!!!!!!! I took my adventure with Fair Trade Safaris. This company donates 100% of its profits to a variety of fully vetted wildlife conservations, community development and social impact projects @fairtradesafaris www.facebook.com/fairtradesafaris Twitter: @fairtradesafari