Why A Maasai Village In Kenya Is Worth A Visit : You’ve seen those incredible pictures of Maasai warriors holding their spears high and with pride while wearing the brilliant red, purple, and blue patterns on their shukas. Or perhaps you’ve seen photos of their fierce women dressed to the nines in colorful scarves and earrings against the desolate African savannah. The Maasai Mara region of Kenya and northern Tanzania is home to this fascinating tribe.
One of the oldest ethnic groups in East Africa, the Maasai tribe, has a history that dates back to the 15th century. They still practice many of their ancient customs, which are largely untouched by modern civilization. A visit to a Maasai village is a must-do on any safari trip to Kenya because it offers an educational experience in one way or another and gives visitors a chance to see how they live. Here’s what to expect:
The Explosion of Colors
One of the first things you’ll notice as you enter the village is the Maasai people’s clothing, which comes in a variety of vibrant colors. These vibrant shukas, or sheets, contrast sharply with the browns and greens of the landscape stretching out in front of them, often creating a picturesque scene.
Brightly beaded necklaces, bracelets, and amulets, mostly worn by women who use such jewelry to express their identity and social status, add to this display’s vibrancy. You can buy some of these items that will be on display to support the community and bring home a genuine, handcrafted souvenir from your trip.
The warm, excited welcome
Most Maasai tribes continue to live their traditional lifestyles as pastoralists and warriors who place cattle at the heart of their culture and way of life. They frequently do so with song and dance, which you might even be able to join in on because they are very proud to welcome guests to their villages. A dancer will occasionally gracefully jump up and down in what is known as the “jumping dance,” or adamu.
These elegant leaps, which can reach heights of several feet, are performed by the warriors in a circle, with the jumper-dancer in the middle rising and falling to the beat of the singers. The singers will raise the pitch of their voices in proportion to the height of the jump. Usually, you’ll be invited into the circle so you can try jumping along with them and enjoy the dancing even more!
The Bizarre Village Huts
Manyatta is the name given to the traditional Maasai village, which is made up of a number of tiny huts made of mud and cow dung. These huts, or bomas, as they are commonly known, are built in a circle and have thatched roofs so that their livestock can remain in the center safe from lions and other predators. The villagers also construct tall, thorny fences around the huts as an additional measure of protection.
It’s interesting to note that the Maasai women construct these robust homes, relying solely on the men to provide the necessary supplies. They build the structure out of a rough framework made of timber poles interlaced with smaller branches, and they cover it with a mixture of mud, grass, cow dung, and ash. Each boma varies in size, but on average they are about 3 x 5 meters and only about 1.5 meters tall. A whole family will cook, eat, sleep, and socialize inside this simple building, occasionally even sharing the space with small livestock. It is unquestionably a very different way of life.
A Famous Tribe Rooted in Tradition
The Maasai tribe has resisted the urge to lead a more contemporary lifestyle because they are traditionalists. As nomadic people, Maasai women and girls spend their days milking cows and goats and taking care of other chores. They are cool and typically busy. Later, the herders (all men) take the cattle to the Mara plains for grazing while continuing their long-standing custom of following the water.
Because of this, even on a typical Kenya safari tour, you would frequently see them on the savannah, which is also home to elephants, giraffes, zebra, and some of Africa’s most ferocious predators, with their livestock. Despite this, the tribe has long coexisted peacefully with these wild animals and has a strong aversion to eating game.
It does seem strange to go exploring on someone’s ancestral land without at least setting aside an hour or two to meet the people and get a glimpse into their ancient traditions, because Maasai land today boasts the best nature and wildlife areas in East Africa. Consider adding a trip to the Maasai village to your African safari adventure itinerary if it isn’t already there.