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The History & Culture behind The Maasai

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Africa is blessed with so much sublime natural beauty, rich cultures & awesome history. One of the famous tribes in Africa, are the Maasai tribe in Kenya and Tanzania. The Maasai have a unique culture that consists of sixteen sections – known in Maasai as IloshonIldamat, Ilpurko, Ilkeekonyokie, Iloitai, Ilkaputiei, Ilkankere, Isiria, Ilmoitanik, Iloodokilani, Iloitokitoki, Ilarusa, Ilmatatapato, Ilwuasinkishu, Kore, Parakuyu, and Ilkisonko, also known as Isikirari (Tanzania’s Maasai).

The Maasai are a semi-nomadic people who live under a communal land management system. People of the Maasai tribe live in small settlements of 8 to 15 huts per village ‘the kraal (a traditional hut) is surrounded by a thorn bush fence which acts like a barbed wire protecting the tribe from animals such as the lion. The huts are built using branches, twigs and grass with a cement of cow dung and urine, and inside animal skins.

The Maasai women have numerous chores from building the hut, milking the cows, fetching water, & other basic chores. It is obvious to see that the Maasai women are very vital to the growth of the tribe. In present times, the Maasai try to make an income from selling beads, masks & carvings to tourists who appreciate their culture. One of such avenues has been created by a company in Spain called Pikolinos who are shoemakers. The Maasai women now have an opportunity to embroidered this sandals which later get sold and a portion of the profit goes back to the community. The Maasai are an important tribe in African history and we need to share their tradition and embrace what they stand for – fierce warriors of Africa!

A Maasai Tribe Warrior overlooking the Horizon - Zen Magazine Africa

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