The Maasai, African Warriors Of The 21st Century.
Mara plains extend covering over 500 square kilometres, the Mara includes seasonal marshes, open plains and gallery forest habitats, providing homes for a great diversity of mammals and birds. This is Mara’s wonderland from the Kenyan soils to a larger part of Tanzania, in it the 7th wonder of the world happens every twice a year as the wild beasts migrate from south to north and back in search of greener pastures, estimated annual movement of over two million. We have seen an increase of Natgeo team presence featuring the area extensively as they follow the migratory wild breasts, and the Big cats.
I have followed and wondered around the Mara plains, with me the most fascinating thing I found were the people who leave around the Mara, The Masai, still wondering if their name have something to do with the region or it’s just a mere coincident. In the past century the study shows they were nomadic and were on constant move in search of better pastures for their herds, in recent years they have evolved to be semi-nomadic, having the international boundaries being observed and protected, the free movement around the African plains have been greatly compromised leaving the great Masai people with no choice but to look for better ways to conserve water as it is the main resource they are always after. They are pitching tents for longer till the worse have come their way. The African warriors life is centered around cattle, which are a both a measure of wealth and the primary source of food
A day in Maasai land will take you around for miles just following the herds from dawn to dusk. In spite of many interventions, the Maasai have retained their traditions and remain a proud culture. People with their tall stature, red coloured sheets, Fimbo, head braids of their own are among their hallmarks. The happy return at dusk, its time to celebrate with new born lambs in their hands and calves ragging behind with the slow walkers. Tonight the village will see dancers and the elders will chat the night out. The African warriors will eat and celebrate having in mind the dangers they have to go through everyday as they protect the herds.
Who said he can’t fight a big cat, competition for food and survival for the fittest, for the Maasai it’s a lesson they can’t forget if they loose a goat today tomorrow the cats will follow them for more. The warriors will spend the day in the wilderness looking after the herds this is where every skill learnt is combined with others giving birth to an African warrior. Looking at the ground to determine the directions of the lion’s footprint and being able to see far than the herds can see. Every sound makes sense, even the birds will tell you something while others will warn you for impending dangers. They have skills to be in harmony with mother nature. A rhythmic tinkling of cowbells is a sound that they quickly learn to understand at tender age, when it stops, slows or even increase.
Maasai society is strongly patriarchal – The villages are at all times full of life as woman will spend there entire day there, with numerous chores and duties to perform, building houses, electing fences, cooking and drying foods. The elders will spend their day under a shade unless they have a special task to perform.
The African warriors, we are always proud of you,, you are our culture and we will always appreciate you..