Maasai Tribe of Kenya
Maasai people are popularly known for their colored ornaments
made of beads and are arguably Africa's most populous tribe. The Maasai have reputation
as fierce warriors and a community with a colorful lifestyle. The
Maasai are nomadic pastrolist and their life revolves around their
large herds of cattle. According to their tradition, Maasai belief
that all cattle belong to them. Traditionally the Maasai are known to be fierce
cattle raiders. Cattle are sign of wealth in the Maasai community and are traditionally
used to pay dowry during
Cattle raiding used to be a common inter tribal activity where
warriors from one tribe would raid a village of another tribe and get herds of cattle.
The tribe that had been raided would retaliate by organizing a raid to the other
The Maasai moved to Kenya from Sudan
and settled in the
Rift Valley in Kenya and some moved further to Tanzania. The Maasai
live in huts made of tree branches, mud, grass and cow dung.
They live in families in a Manyatta (a form of enclosed homestead).
A fence made of thorny bushes surrounds the Manyatta. This protects the Maasai and
their livestock from intruders and predators. Each Maasai Manyatta has about 10
to 20 huts know as "Inkajijik". In tradition, women construct the Maasai huts.
Apart from constructing the house, women in the Maasai community are also responsible
for collecting firewood, fetching water, milking the herds of cattle and cooking
for the family. Young boys look after the livestock while the warriors maintain
security. Older men manage daily operations in the community.
Maasai women wear vast plate like bead necklaces and bangles while men wear
red checked shuka (Maasai blanket). The colorful ornaments
are mainly created for their beauty, which is very important aspect of Maasai culture.
The Maasai warriors colorfully paint themselves with ochre
and bravely carry spear and a distinctive ball-ended club. Maasai's
diet revolves around meat, milk and cow blood.
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