An Encounter with Masai!

I was not prepared to witness a passing Coca Cola van being ambushed by a Masai warrior! After all, my idea of a refreshing drink for Masai was milk mixed with cow’s blood stored in dried bottle gourd.


Coca Cola van in Masai Mara Reserve

Before we saw the lure of the high-fructose drink, we had seen the men displaying their dancing skills by performing a jumping dance called  Adumu. The height of a warrior’s jump was directly proportional to his virility. They stood in a line, taking turns to dance, ensuring that their heels did not touch the ground.


Masai warriors doing Adumu

The previous day, we had expressed a desire to see  Masai people, to our driver, Richard. He had made a few phone calls and had informed us that we could visit their village en-route from Rift Valley to Masai Mara Reserve.

On our arrival, at the Masai boma or village, we found that women wore heavily beaded jewellery and men dressed in red, as warriors. Their attire was more ceremonial than an average daily wear. The village chief said that beads used for jewellery was made up of stones mined from the mountains. May be, he meant, bought from a supermarket in the nearest town.


A Masai woman


A child leaning against a hut in the Masai boma

We were informed that our visiting fees, paid for the education of children. I believe, the same children who were responsible for grazing cattle.

Masai women lined-up and sang a welcome song. Their heads bobbed in rhythm as their warbling voices resonated with the grassy landscape. Acrid odour of dried cattle dung complemented the simplicity of their song, which was being sung unaided by any musical instrument.
Hello, stupid tourist
you are such a fool...”
These might not have been the lyrics,but that’s what I heard.

The temporary village of 10-12 houses was surrounded by thicket of thorns to keep predators out. At night, cattle were kept in a central communal courtyard. At that open space, the warriors taught us, how to make fire  using a stick and some tinder.

#boma, #youth, #masaimara

Masai youth

As our tour ended, we were escorted to the outer fringe of the hamlet, to the village market. Why would a settlement of a semi-nomadic community need a village market? Of course, for tourists! The place was a permanent theatre.

Even though the meeting with Masai was a set-up. We witnessed, at least, a shadow of their traditional life. Commercialisation transcends all cultures and nationalities, we tourists are responsible for it. I still believe that the artists participating in the act were true Masai and not phony like their boma market.


12 responses to “An Encounter with Masai!

  1. Kedar Narayan Mohanty

    Well written,Masai are the real clever ones.


  2. Birajini Patnaik

    Your real life achievements are worth reading.


  3. Reading your note made me go in flashback to my experience.
    It’s now one of the things included in every itinerary. Not much of the tribes left. The few ones as these are showcased!


    • Sadly, globalisation has killed the traditional living all over the planet…its impact is even more than the impact industrialisation had in the last millenia…guess its a part of our evolution as human species…


  4. Pingback: The Dramas of Masai Mara | L i m i t l e s s S k i e s

  5. Very well written and wonderful pictures

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Its a beautiful account again full with bright colourful pictures ! here the pic size posed no problem as these are really bright and red !


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