The Maasais

DSCF4066The Maasais are a tribe of shepards who still preserve their culture as it was hundreds of years ago. Last century they suffered the biggest expoliation of land in the British colonial history. They are nomads and when they were asked for they fertile lands, they invited the British. In the Maasai’s perspective everything is temporary. So they thought they would be given back their lands. But instead they were pushed up the hills and then to the Mara river, which is why the southern lands of Kenya towards Tanzania are called the Maasai Mara. This is where the main Kenyan game reserve is located.

DSCF4034The Maasai  live in huts made of cowpat, and branches. Their fences are made of branches and they are circular. It looks so beautiful. This is where their cattle sleeps at night.

Each hut has five rooms, the main room where they light a fire and cook one for the parents, one for the children one for the guests and one for the baby cattle. There are tiny window in each hut that mesure around 15X15 cm.Inside the hut

They sleep on a cow skin. In each lande enclosed by branched fences where ten families live.

Their diet consists of cow blood and milk. Sometimes they buy ugali, i.e. corn paste. Once per week they slaughter a cow to feed on it. They are all very thin and rather tall. They also make traditional beer from the sausage tree. The receipe for this beer is take the grains put them in water for three days, remove them and clean them. Add honey and water : they ferment. Wait for seven days, and it’s ready!

They say they die at an advanced age – they say they live around a 100 years and never get any kind of disease except for malaria.

DSCF4033Their clothing contains bright red and purple, and this is meant to protect them from the wild animals such as lions or buffalos who are afraid of red. They always carry a stick and the spade you can see in the fire video which they use at the age of 15 to kill a lion in order to become real adults males. Both men and women wear jewels and belts made of colourful beads.

Few of them know English as they do not attend school. Their language is Maasai but some know Kiswahili, the national language too.

Take a look at the way they light fire. “Do you sometimes use matches?” – “No never”. They said.

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6 thoughts on “The Maasais

  1. Pingback: Maasai Mara | Teaching French in Nairobi Kenya

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