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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