The Masai Mara tribe lived in Tanzania and Kenya around the Eastern part of Africa. They are semi-nomadic people who are into cattle trading like the Fulanis in West Africa. In Eastern Africa, they are highly recognized due to their close living proximity to the different game reserves in this region. Apart from this, their tradition and dressing style makes them stand out amongst other tribes. In the past, the Kenyan and Tanzania governments joined hands to make the Masai Mara tribe leave their semi-nomadic cultures, but the plan didn’t work out well.
The people of Masaai stood firm with their traditions, and other things that made them different from other tribes in this part of Africa. For instance, in spite of the plans that have been plotted against them, their ancient customs, local culture, and general lifestyle have been maintained. Different visitors from across Africa visit the Masai Mara tribe to have a taste of this tribe. The Masai Mara tribe doesn’t discriminate outsider who comes to know more about their lifestyle.
Origin of Masai Mara Tribe
According to historians, it was known the Masai Mara tribe originated from the lower Nile Valley of Northwest Kenya before they migrated to the South. In the 15th century, they left this valley in Northwest Kenya and went to Northern Kenya which is known as central Tanzania. The migration of the Masai Mara tribe took place between the 17th and the 18th century. These people became powerful in this region, subjected other empires, and made others empires their tribe. For instance, the Sothern Cushitic groups were absorbed by the Masai Mara tribe.
In terms of their music, it is composed of beats supplied by a vocal chorus taken by the lead singer in the person of Olaranyani. The chorus is being harmonized in a way it becomes pleasant to the ears. Olaranyani was in charge of singing the main melody, while the females hum the songs and also sing lullabies. The women of this tribe were fond of dancing and singing amongst themselves. This tribe has a period they organize ceremony known as ‘coming of age’, and it is for warriors who are from this tribe.
These warriors are recognized for their good works with ten days of celebration, and other rituals done in order to appreciate them. Competitive jumping is done among these warriors, and they are photographed during this process. The Masai Mara warriors form a circle, and perform precise jumps either one by one or two by two in the middle of them. The warriors wear their long hairs in tiny braids, and this makes them quite exceptional from other Masaai.
The population of Masai Mara Tribe
The Masai Mara tribe has been known as one of the tribes in East Africa to the extent its shield can be seen on Kenya’s national flag. In Kenya, and Tanzania respectively, both countries have been estimated to have the same number of 800,000 people who are from the Masai Mara tribe. The Northern Tanzania and Southern Kenya that occupies most of the renowned national parks and game reserves are places to find a large number of them. In Tanzania, you will get to see the Masai Mara tribe in places such as Ngorongoro and Serengeti.
Tourism in Masai Mara Tribe
The people of Masaai live in the Savannah, and this is one of the major reasons people who travel to Kenya and Tanzania visit the Maasai villages to learn their customs. During their visit, they have a broad knowledge of the local people and also a feel of what it looks like living in the Savannah. People who go to these villages have always gotten an unforgettable experience because of the different animals they get to see.
Another experience in this region is seeing the sunset over the Serengeti plains, and this is another spot for visitors who like an adventure. You can be sure to have a wonderful travel experience that will become memories in your head to the extent you still want to visit there to ignite the memories. If you are a great lover of tourism, you can travel to the Eastern part of Africa to discover the history and culture of the Maasai.
Brief Facts of Masai Mara Tribe
- They originated from South Sudan.
- Their major language is known as Maa.
- The migration of the Masai Mara tribe started during the late 17th and early 18th centuries.
- They are cattle herders, fighters, and fearsome hunters.
- They extend their ear lobes and body piercings.
- The females like wearing beads on different parts of their bodies.
The Masai Mara tribe has also had good and bad times too. During the mid-19th century, they expanded in terms of their territory from Kenya to half of Tanzania, and things went on well for this tribe. Unfortunately, 60% of the Maasai population was wiped out due to the outbreak of an animal disease known as Rinderpest. This plague affected their lands in terms of famine, and this brought starvation to the people living with chickenpox. Apart from this, nearly all of their cattle were killed, and this occurred from 1883 to 1902.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the majority of the land in the Masai Mara tribe was converted into wildlife reserves and national parks. The Masaai weren’t happy with the incidence, and on the other hand, the government was mounting pressure for this tribe to change their way of living into a modern lifestyle. Presently, a huge number of Maasai people still live in rural areas. On the other hand, some Maasai have obtained an educational degree becoming politicians, doctors, lawyers, etc.
Clothing and Body Modification of Masai Mara Tribe
The popular dress worn by people from this tribe is called ‘Shuka’. The shuka is a sheet of fabric being wrapped around the body. Initially, animal hides were used as Shuka till in the middle of the 20th century, when cotton was used to replace the animal hides. Different ages and genders have their specific colours they wrapped on their body. For the circumcised men, they wear black fabrics for several months. Aged men wear red fabrics, while women wear striped, checked or patterned pieces of fabrics.
The women wear several numbers of beads on their bodies, and the Masaai women make use of the beads to show their position in the society. During the marriage or circumcision event, most of the men and women shave their heads. The only people who grow their hairs are the Masaai warriors in which they wear it in thin braids.
Apart from this, they make use of materials such as bones, stones, and woods in stretching their ear lobes. Generally, the stretched ear lobes are done by both male and female genders because it is being regarded as a symbol signifying respect and wisdom. In addition to this, the canine teeth of a Masaai are being removed in infancy to cure diarrhoea and vomiting.