Their main activity was raising cattle, but the Maasai have also been known for centuries as fearsome hunters and warriors. By the mid-19th century Maasai territory was at its largest, extending over pretty much the entirety of modern-day Kenya and half of Tanzania.
RED is the most important color for the Maasai community. It represents cow blood – which the Maasai drink mixed with cattle milk for added nutrition, power and strength – especially in times of famine. It is also considered important for Maasai warriors to wear it as a way to protect themselves against wild animals.
#3 The Maasai belong to the tallest people in the world It’s because of their rich calcium diet that they are so tall. They seem taller because of their world famous high jumps. And for sure, you will get a few laughs from the Maasai as well. Its tradition to do’Adamu’ during a special ceremony called ‘Eunoto’.
According to the tribe’s own oral history, the Maasai originated north of Lake Turkana (north-west Kenya) in the lower Nile Valley. They began migrating south in the 15th century and arrived in the long trunk of land stretching across central Tanzania and Northern Kenya during the 17th and 18 century.
They are considered one of the tallest people in the world with average height of 6 ft 3 inches according to some reports. Traditionally, the Maasai diet consisted of raw meat, raw milk, and raw blood from cattle.
It’s a sort of mating dance, a way for a young Maasai man who has just become a warrior to demonstrate his strength and attract a bride. Two men enter the centre and begin to jump, heels never touching the ground, straight into the air as high as they can go.
There is nothing unusual about this – in fact, three wives for a wealthy man like Mr Ntokot is considered not at all excessive, and unless you are Muslim, Kenyan men can marry as many women as they like. The Maasai accept polygamy as a way of life and these women grew up with fathers who had married several wives.
They love singing and dancing: If you have a chance to visit some of Kenya’s major restaurants and game reserves including the Nairobi National Park and many other tourist destinations away from the city, you will most probably meet some Maasai men and women singing and dancing as they usher you in.
Why did the Maasai warriors hunt lions? The Maasai tribe saw lion hunting experience as a sign of bravery and personal achievement. In the past, when the lion population was high, the community encouraged solo lion hunt.
To a westerner, though, traditional eating for the Maasai may seem distinctly unorthodox. That’s because a traditional Maasai diet not only includes, but primarily relies upon, both cow’s milk and cow’s blood. Mixed blood and milk is used as a ritual drink in special celebrations, or given to the sick.
Maasai lion hunting. The Maasai people have traditionally viewed the killing of lions as a rite of passage. Historically, lion hunts were done by individuals, however, due to reduced lion populations, lion hunts done solo are discouraged by elders. Most hunts are now partaken by groups of 10 warriors.
These are traditional Masai lands. Naturalist guide Andrew King’Ori who has been with us all through this Wildlife Safari trip around Kenya insists that the Masai are so strong and so skilful that lions are scared of them and will avoid them. Masai are nomadic.
The Maasai are monotheist and they believe in Enkai (also known as Engai), a God who is mostly benevolent and who manifests himself in the form of different colors, according to the feelings he is experiencing.
In Maa language you can greet a Maasai women by saying “yeyo, takwenya!” and the Maasai woman will reply you “iko”!
The Maasai are famous and easily recognizable thanks to their traditional robe, the Shuka; it is a bright-colored cloth, predominantly red, wrapped around their lean and slender frames; red symbolizes Maasai culture and it is the color believed by these people to be able to scare off lions even from a great distance.