During my wildlife safari in Tanzania in 2015; one of the most incredible experiences was to go and meet the Maasai people in one of their villages. It was amazing to observe their life in such close proximity and to see how generous they are while showing me around the village.
Every Maasai man can get marry up to fourteen women! “As my guide told me’’, this tradition was originally inspired by the beautiful animal of Tanzania, the Impala (photo of the Impala in the slides), every male of Impala has up to 14 female partners. In fact, some of the Maasai villages may be formed by one man, his wives and their children only.
They have danced for me (to show me their traditional dance), the men and women stand separated and sing different songs in their language; it was amazing how the rhythm is totally in harmony with each other without any instruments. The women will move their heads up and down to shake their colorful and lovely beaded necklaces and the men jump up high in perfect rhythm.
Beadwork is one of the most important parts of the Maasai culture, the women of Maasai creates colourful jewelry which is worn by them and the men. The jewelry they create is very beautiful and has important cultural significance, e.g.
- Unmarried Maasai girls often wear a large flat beaded disc that surrounds their neck when dancing. They use the movement of the disc to display their grace and flexibility.
- Women wear a very elaborate and heavy beaded necklace on their wedding day. The necklace often hangs down to the brides knees and can make it very difficult for her to walk.
- A married Maasai woman will wear a Nborro, which is a long necklace with blue beads.
The men often perform the jumping dance which is well recognized as one of the rituals of Maasai life. Originally, this dance is performed during the ceremony to mark the passage of a junior warrior into manhood; the higher you jump the stronger you are.
Have a great day,