The Maasai are a tribal group of Eastern Africa originating and currently living in Kenya and northern Tanzania. Primarily a cattle herding tribe, traditionally families lived in what is known as kraals (circular living quarters made of primarily acacia thorns to keep wild prey from attacking both members as well as prey). Each member of the family and larger tribe has a very distinct role to play with regards to daily life. In traditional / village settings, women concerned with the home construct the living quarters, care for the children, tend to the care of the cattle, prepare meals, and collect water. Men and warriors provide security and herd the cattle. Elders, often offer sage advice and presided over daily activities. Overall, wealth is measured by both the number of cattle one had, as well as the number of children within a family.
Regarding beauty practices, today, typical Maasai dress consists of red sheets, (shuka), wrapped around the body and several layers of beaded jewelry placed around the neck and arms. These are worn by both men and women and may vary in color depending on the occasion. Ear piercing and the stretching of earlobes are also part of Maasai beauty. Both men and women can be found wearing metal hoops on their stretched earlobes. Women, typically are seen wearing colorful wraps of fabric called kangas.
In all this beautiful culture, not only prides itself on its rich warrior heritage, but it also celebrates their ability to maintain and pass on cultural rituals traditions to the next generation of tribal elders … their children.
Tap the video below to learn more about life as a Maasai.
See my modern take on this tribe's shuka cloth wraps by tapping HERE!
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