The Massai of the Massai Mara

One of the most memorable experiences was the opportunity to visit the Massai village where our guides were from.

We were so fortunate to have a peek into what daily life for the Massai is like. Here are some of the interesting things we learned:

  • The Massai are nomads. They live in groups of about 8 -15 familys.
  • They are basically herders. Their primary source of food comes from their livestock. A typical morning breakfast consists of milk and cows blood. They do supplement thier diet with crops such as corn.
  • In the past, when a suitor wanted to take a bride he had to kill a lion. Now that they are protecting wildlife, a Massai warrior has to have a cow each time he wants to marry. The Massai practice polygymy.
  • They live in structures made of cow dung and mud. The women build the houses and each wife has their own house. The houses are rebuilt as needed when they deteriorate.
  • The huts consist of 4 closet size rooms with only a bed and small chest. There is no electricity or running water. There is a tiny area in the center where women can cook. Because there are almost no windows, the environment is very dark. At the village we visited, a recent traveler donated small solar powered lights for the women to use in the kitchen.
  • The Massai warriors are trained to jump at an early age. The pictures below are a traditional warrior dance. It’s said the warriors who jump the highest are the most desirable to the women.
  • They used to wear animal hides but modern Massai wear beautifully woven fabrics and handcrafted jewelry.
  • I was so impressed with all of the Massai we met at our camp. Not only were they beautiful to look at, they were incredibly knowledgable, friendly and resourceful. The best part of our safari were the people met and took care of us in the camps.

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