Africa is a country sealed with many surprises ranging from iconic national parks to tranquil water sports shorelines as well as breathtaking landmarks such as volcanos. When you visit Africa, you are bound to have the best moments derived from several attractions you will experience. There are many traditional tribes and cultures in Africa. However, the most significant tribe that attracts tourists globally is the Maasai Tribe.
Here is a list of top 8 facts about the Maasai tribe that you need to know:
GOD HAS GIVEN THEM ALL THE CATTLE :
Since the beginning, the Maasai people and cattle have shown undeniable bonding. The Maasai do not depend on cows only for milk. On the contrary, they use cows for their rituals and other daily life activities. You will be enthused to know that the Maasai do cattle raiding, implying that they engage in cattle stealing from their neighborhoods, believing that it brings prosperity to their families. They do not believe that any other tribe apart from the Maasai can own cattle.
THEY ARE LION HUNTERS :
The Maa are well known for their fearlessness, strengths, and power. On most occasions, they are referred to as the warrior tribe. Since they live in areas neighboring regions where fearless predators such as the lions are found, they need to be equipped with effective techniques required in hunting them when the need arises.
They often form groups known as Olamayio and go hunting lions using traditional weapons. There are times when solo hunting of the lions is done by the Maasai. However, it is prohibited by the Maa elders. Once they hunt and kill a lion, they often make a mark on their chest to symbolize the kill.
AFTER DEATH RITUALS :
The Maasai people originated from North Africa and migrated to the east and south Africa around the 15th century. They then moved and established themselves in Northern Kenya and central Tanzania. This iconic tribe does everything in a unique way.
They do not believe in the afterlife and as such, they conduct very minimally after-death rituals. Unlike other African tribes, the Maasai cover the dead body in oxblood and abandon it in the bushes to be eaten by predators. The blood is used to attract predators as fast as possible. If the body remains uneaten for two nights, it is taken and latched on to the surviving family.
THEY ARE NOMADS :
The Maasai tribe does not prefer staying in a single place for their entire life. On the contrary, they keep moving from place to place. In ancient times, such movements were meant to search for greener grazing pastures. Currently, the Maa still follow such traditions. However, a few of the Maasai currently prefer staying permanently in settled villages.
THE MAA WEALTH IS MEASURED IN TERMS OF CATTLE :
As noted earlier, cattle and the Maasai are traditional partners. The pastoralist Maasai are considered one of the most vibrant indigenous communities worldwide. They took part in building their way of life and economy using their cattle. Cows are a significant part of life for the Maasai. When they want to measure the amount of wealth, they do not consider either material valuables or money but count the number of cows. As such, people with more cattle are termed wealthy.
THEY HAVE UNIQUE CLOTHING AND ORNAMENTS :
In addition to their unique rituals and lifestyle, the Maa community also has unique eye-catching clothing and ornaments. The colors of the clothing and ornaments have significant impacts on their daily lives. In most cases, they wear traditional robs called Shuka, which marks their identity. They have a belief that lions are afraid of the red color and therefore, their dresses are mostly red in color.
THEY DON’T EAT MEAT, BUT DRINK FRESH BLOOD OF CATTLE :
The Maa has a belief that fresh blood will cover them from any accident and provide them with vital body nutrients. They drink blood mostly from cows. To collect the blood, they tie the neck of a cow and a Maasai man shoots an arrow from a close range, making a hole in the cow’s neck. The blood is then collected in a guard. They then drink the raw blood and at times, mix it with drinking water.
THE MAASAI JUMPING DANCE :
If you are interested in knowing one of the prime facts about the Maasai, it is their jumping dance. Specifically, the dance is done by the Maa males. Such dance is used to create an opportunity of showcasing strengths and abilities. The Maasai believe that the highest one can jump during the dance, the strongest that person is. The dance is therefore very significant in the Maasai traditions.
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The great African migration safari involves the movement of around 1.5 million wildebeest, thousands of Zebras, Thomson gazelle and Grant`s gazelle that move between two essential grazing areas which are Southern part of Serengeti plains and the Northern part of Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. They migrate over a distance of about 800 Kilometre. The great migration of wildebeest is the result of the current weather whereby they move to search for pastures and sufficient water. It is one of the tricky Safari to hold.
It’s Triangular in shape And occurs seasonally:
The great migration of wildebeest is triangular in shape, whereby from November to May the herds stay in the Open plains of Serengeti National Park. From June to July the herds are in Western Serengeti and migrates to Maasai Mara National Reserve for three months, August to October.
Best time for the great African migration safari:
The best time for wildebeest migration varies in these two destinations whereby in Serengeti the best time is from November to May, whereby he wildebeest move from one point to another within the Serengeti plains and in Maasai Mara is From August to October and the beat time to view the wildebeest traversing the Mara river to Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya in July.
Crossing the Mara River:
The wildebeest, Zebras, Grant`s gazelle and Thomson Gazelle migrate throughout the year from one point to another within the Serengeti National Park and once per every year they cross from the Northern Serengeti to The Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya through The Mara River. July is the special wilderness month for Tanzania and Kenya, people visit mostly to see how the wildebeest cross the Mara River from Serengeti to Maasai Mara.
It is a favourite and popular holiday Package?
A safari intended for the great wildebeest migration viewing is the piece of a fine package for your holiday because is filled with a lot of excitement, adventure and more especially you will have a good chance to witness the most popular East African culture, the Maasai, that lives along with all these conservation areas, both Serengeti and Maasai Mara.
For migration safari, the luxury lodges and tented campsite at the wilderness are the best accommodation facilities that can help you get close to follow the wildebeest migration and for great sighting in the wilderness.
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Maasai Mara National Game reserve is in the South Western part of Kenya and is contagious with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. The Reserve was initially established in 1961 and it lies at 1,510 km square. The reserve was named by the local Maasai people which means Expanse of land “Mara”. Maasai Mara is one of the best wildlife Sanctuary in Africa because of its wildlife conservation and maintenance of the natural landscapes.
Maasai Mara is one of the best destinations for game viewing that a person has to visit once in Africa, because of its unique beauty, natural and cultural resources that are encompassed with. The reserve has various interesting features that give a thousand reasons for one to take a travel, and these are: –
The Great Migration:-
It is the greatest migration in the world that involves around 1.5 million wildebeest, Thousands of Zebras, and Gazelle that move from Serengeti National park, Tanzania into the Maasai Mara reserve area in Kenya. The migration happens every year around July to November and that’s being the best season to view.
One of the greatest experiences is getting an opportunity to view the greatest world migration as they are crossing the Mara river.
Maasai Mara Game Reserve is among the wildlife destination which is rich in a large population of animals, almost more than 90 animal species and nearly 500 bird species are found. The reserve has a high density of lion in Kenya, the cat animals like the cheetah, Lions and Leopards are common to be sighted. Several animals like African Bush Elephants, African wild dogs, Hyenas, side-striped jackal, Zebra, Thomson gazelle and Grant gazelle, Oribi, Roan Antelopes, Serval, Herd of buffalos, Caracal, Coke`s hartebeest, and also from July to November almost 1.5million wildebeest migrates to the reserve from Serengeti National Park. The Reserve is also the favorable destination that one can spot the Big five commonly.
In Maasai Mara game reserve area, is surrounded by the Maasai people who are semi-nomadic and pastoralists, they appreciate and embrace their culture as their general lifestyle through various ways like dressing (especially the red robes), traditions and customs, Visiting Maasai Mara game reserve you can have an opportunity of meeting and interact with them and see how they live their cultural life.
The Maasai youth (Moran)
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