Learn Maasai Tribe Facts in this article. What do you know about the Masai tribe found in the East African region?
The fact is this tribe has a unique culture that has become a tourist attraction for both Kenya and Tanzania.
I am sure after reading this article you may want to travel and interact with this unique tribe. Let’s go jumping to great heights with the Maasai, shall we?
Who are The Maasai?
The Maasai denote a certain tribe of people living in parts of Kenya and Tanzania and are famous for being fierce, tall warriors. You can easily recognize them by their distinctive red cloth called Shuka.
The Maasai are nomadic people who move from one place to another in search for pastures with their animals. The animals are the main source of food for the Maasai, especially animal blood, meat, and milk.
Maasai people walk several miles along with their animals to find fresh water and food. They swap with their fellow Maasai people to get other needed foods.
Maasai men use spears to guard their animals from wild animals like lions. Maasai women, on the other hand, are tasked with building the home, collecting firewood, and cooking.
Masai Tribe Kenya
The Masai tribe Kenya live in the Southern part of the country. Kenya is synonymous with the Masai tribe. The Masai tribe live on the Kenya, Tanzania border. Tours take people interested in knowing much about this tribe to Amboseli National Park and Masai Mara National Reserve to meet the Masai tribe.
The fact that Masai tribe has retained many traditional values and way of life makes them famous. That is happening against the forces of modernization and industrialization.
True, some people from the Masai tribe have shifted to urban areas but a better part of them have remained in their homeland and kept their customs.
Masai Tribe Tanzania
Members of the Masai tribe Tanzania live in the Northern part of the country. Given their special dress and customs, and proximity to Key Tanzanian game parks, the Maasai are internationally identifiable. Their image has enthused the catwalks of One Direction’s latest music video, Louis Vuitton, barefoot running shoes, and Land Rover accessories.
The truth is not so desirable. Masai tribe Tanzania are semi-nomadic people who primarily depend on livestock herding but encounter a couple of challenges.
They are economically and socially marginalized, vulnerable to displacement from traditional rangelands and to drought, threatened by the ongoing increase of ecotourism industry, and affected by the current illegal business of land-grabbing.
They further face outside forces to abandon their historic way of life of semi-nomadism.
Masai Tribe Diet and Food
The Masai tribe are a pastoralist people whose traditional diet comprises almost completely of animal blood, meat, and milk. About two thirds of Masai tribe diet and food come from fat. They ingest between 600 and 2000 mg of cholesterol every day.
Despite the fact that members of the Masai tribe consume high cholesterol, high fat diet, these diets cause very low rates of related diseases. They are likely to have minimal chances of blood pressure.
Overall, they have low rates of coronary artery ailments like atherosclerosis, low occurrences of cholesterol gallstones, and also low levels of cholesterol.
Masai Tribe Drinking Blood
Members of the Masai tribe drink cow’s blood. They believe drinking animal blood makes their body warmer and stronger and is good for the elderly and children to build up their strength. The blood is every so often drunk mixed with the cow milk. The cow’s jugular vein is punctured by a closely shot arrow.
The Maasai drink cow blood on exceptional cases. That includes circumcision ceremony of a child, occasion of a girl’s marriage, and the birth of a baby.
Blood is also given to elderly people who are drunk to alleviate hangover and intoxication. The Masai tribe derive most of their diet and food from their cattle.
Although they seldom eat beef; they eat blood and milk harvested by using an arrow to stab the cow’s loose flesh on the neck.
Maasai Tribe Facts
Here are some fascinating traditions and facts of the Maasai people:
- Masai men are allowed to marry more than one wife.
- The Masai language is called ‘Maa’.
- A Masai community is known as enkang.
- During their spare time, Masai women do a much of beading. They bead dresses, gourds, headdresses, and necklaces.
- The men prevent wild animals from invading their village by putting a thick wall comprising of dried branches of thorn-tree around the houses in a circle.
- A Masai boy enters a warrior or morani class after leaving boyhood. The community expects him to spear a lion to symbolize bravery. If the morani holds the lions tail as it dies, he is given great honor in the tribe and also awarded with that lion’s mane. After every seven years, the ceremony to usher in new morani is held.
- Morani wear long braid hair dyed with red clay while children and women shave their heads.
- Masai women show their beauty by having long stretched earlobes. Women face is also decorated with certain cuts as a sign of beauty.
Masai Tribe Height
Studies on Masai tribe height indicates that the average Masai male measures about 6ft tall. The Maasai attribute their height to both their diet and genetics. The Masai tribe diet and foods are heavy in dairy products and calcium.
They are taller than agrarian inhabitants residing in the same location. That is because the agrarian seldom consume milk leading to stunted growth among most of them.
Masai Tribe Jumping
The Masai tribe jump is called adamu. It’s the dance warmly known as the “jumping dance.” It’s a dance that is very impressive because of its energy and also its deceptive simple look.
If you watch members of the Masai tribe do it, it appears so easy. Everyone including the Maasai themselves has a good laugh during the jumping.
The adamu looks elementary in its movement, but then again carries deeper reason and meaning. According to the Masai tribe traditions, the jumping is kind of mating dance.
It is a means through which young Maasai men who have just graduated into morani or warrior attract their bride and also demonstrate their strength.
By tradition, the adamu occasion happens during a ceremony called Eunoto. This is ritual that marks the changeover from a junior warrior or morani to a senior warrior.
Maasai Tribe Clothes
The primary clothing worn by members of the Maasai tribe is the Shuka. It’s a simple piece of fabric you can wear in multiple ways, based the wearer’s personal style.
Traditionally, the Shuka was made from animal skins, especially cowhide. Today, Shuka is mainly made from cotton material. The fabric is cleaned with dye or color to make it red.
That color or dye makes it kind of camouflage with Africa’s red dirt. In regions with dry grass plains, they rub the Shuka with white color or dye to camouflage with the grain.
Maasai Tribe Jewellery
You’ve perhaps before now come across them; those colorful and big beaded pieces of jewelry handmade and worn by the Maasai tribe from Tanzania and Kenya. The jewellery has intricate patterns and bright colors that represent the tradition of the Maasai style.
The colors used to make the jewels have symbolic values. The meaning of each color is often related to cattle.
Red symbolizes strength and bravery, but above all, it denotes the unity of the Maasai tribe because it’s the color of cow blood slaughtered when members of this community gather during celebrations.
The Blue color represents the sky and symbolizes energy. The sky provides these people with rain for cattle and green pasture hence held in great esteem.
Green symbolizes health and stands for the land. This is where Maasai tribe grow food for their cattle.
Yellow and orange represent hospitality. That is because these colors are of the animal skins that are used to cover guest beds.
White denotes purity. That is because it is milk color from the cows. The Maasai consider cows holy and pure animals.
Lastly, the black color symbolizes the Maasai people and all the endured struggles.
The beaded jewelry made and worn by the Maasai women signifies the tradition and strong culture of the Kenyan tribe.
Maasai Tribe Africa
The Maasai are Kenya’s most true ethnic tribe. The Masai tribe is a popular and unique tribe because they have preserved their culture for quite too long compared to other tribes. They speak the Maa language from the Nilotic ethnic group from their origin in North Africa, the Nile region.
Maasai Tribe Culture and Traditions
The Maasai tribe culture and tradition is distinctive. This ethnic group is among the few tribes known to have held on to their lore, lifestyle, and traditions in Africa. Shared with the wildlife environment in which they live, the Maasai require a bigger chunk of land to survive.
Different from many other Kenyan tribes, the Maasai are pastoral and semi-nomadic. They live by herding goats and cattle.