Quintessential characteristics of Maasai tribe of Africa

by - 4/17/2024


The very reason for planning to travel to Tanzania was that I longed for cultural diversity. I wanted to mingle with the locals, learn about the African culture and come back with an exotic experience. And our trip turned out to be even more successful than our expectations!

One of the biggest things on my bucket list was to interact with the Maasai tribe, the kings of the savannahs. And I can safely say that my wish had been fulfilled!

The Maasai tribe are nomadic and pastoral in nature. They have a Nilotic origin, meaning they originated along the banks of the river Nile. Now at present , they are mostly found in Kenya and Tanzania and also present in small numbers in Rwanda and Burundi, Sudan and parts of East Africa. They are still mostly nomadic , although now, they are increasingly being convinced by the government to quit moving around and settle at one place. While many of them have adapted to the rules of modern world, the ones in Kenya and Tanzania have acquired permission from the government for grazing rights in the national parks and game reserves.

Once you land in Zanzibar, they are very easy to spot. They are clad in long flowing red robe, a spear in hand and lots of jewelry. They are tall and have a thin yet strong physique, and they walk for miles together. Their accessories really deserve a special mention, as they are so unique! From their handmade wooden slippers to their ivory necklaces, ornate earrings to beautiful bracelets, I can write a thesis on their looks!

The Maasai people whom we encountered throughout the trip were well versed in English, although their native language is Swahili. They had made tourism their profession and hence they were so friendly and articulate.

We saw their ceremonial Maasai dance in Antonio Resort. All of their music is vocal as they hardly use any instruments. Sometimes they blow large horns for the same. 

At the Antonio resort, we truly got the feeling of a tribal atmosphere. All the staff were Maasai men and they used donkeys from transport and the gate was the great Maasai shield. It's one experience that I will savour for life!

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