An experience with the nomadic people of Tanzania; the Maasai.
Ah, the Maasai. While visiting Tanzania, one of the must-do things is devote time to experience the nomadic people. Although considered as a touristy attraction, it is still one of the most memorable experiences I’ve encountered.
The Maasai people originally came from the Nile Valley, and mostly live in Kenya and Northern Tanzania. They are famous for their distinctive customs, the way they dress and are best known for their fearsome reputation as warriors and cattle-rustlers. We were privileged enough to visit their tribes and learn more about them.
The whole family welcomes guests to their tribe with ritual music and dances. Each tribe is consisted by a father and his many, many wives, and their gazillion children.
The ritual was utterly unforgettable. Although amazing as it was, I unfortunately only have this amazingly shot snapchat video to give you a taste of the whole experience.
Furthermore, there’s so many fun facts to share about the Maasai people, but I’m just going to stick to what surprised me the most.
So, as mentioned, one can marry as many women as he desires. Most noteworthy however, if he sees fit, he can exchange one or more of those wives for a cow. Not quite sure how I feel about this but anyway. Let’s move on.
Unfortunately, circumcision in both boys and girls take place at the age of (about) 13 years old. The “ceremony” happens by an experienced member of the tribe, without a doctor or anaesthetic. Consequently, a great deal of deaths occur each year. Nevertheless, circumcisions are what turn boys are into warriors.
The housing system in the Maasai tribe is fairly standard. Mud, sticks, grass, cow dung, urine and ashes are the active ingredients in constructing houses. Although houses are small, their construction enables the Maasai to keep warm during winter, and cooler during summer. Most houses are temporary, however. This is because the Maasai are nomadic people and therefore change locations quite often. As an effect, they relocate, and thus re-build their houses from scratch. Another advice; if you’re claustrophobic, it’s better to skip the entering-one-of-their-houses bit. #YouLiveYouLearn.
Finally, the Maasai people’s diet consists of raw meat, raw milk and raw blood from cattle. As a result, most of the Maasai people have a dangerously low life expectancy. Evidently, this causes them to be the People with the lowest life expectancy in the whole world. The average male lives to the age of 42, whilst the women live until the age of just 44. #ThePeopleWithTheLowestLifeExpectancyInTheWorld.
Thank you for reading this post! I hope you enjoyed it!
For a completely different blog post, why not check out my Bahamas experience?