Saturday, May 17, 2008

Maasai

This is a pic of me with one of my students, Rahel. She is Maasai, a nomadic warrior tribe in Tanzania and Kenya that primarily herd cattle. Cows blood and milk are a staple in the Maasai diet. This is their traditional dress - red cloth with lots and lots of beads.


Polygamy is prevalent in Maasai culture and most women, like Rahel, marry very young. When Christian men in Africa introduce themselves, they generally say, "I have seven children and ONE wife" just to make it clear. For men, part of their rite-of-passage is to kill a lion. I know one Maasai man who has killed three lions and has a scar on his back to prove it. Like most Africans, Maasai are amazing dancers. When they dance, the men hold their spears and jump straight up in the air and make this hissing sound. It is incredible to watch. They can leap so high! There are quite a few Maasai on our base here, and we have built a preschool and adult education center in Maasai land. They are amazing people.

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