We hope you manage to take a trip to visit a Maasai village. Here you will have an opportunity to meet some of the Maasai families, and see a little of their way of life. The Maasai are descendants of migrants (Nilotic pastoralists) from Sudan and Egypt who arrived some 2,000 years ago.
The Maasai are easily recognised by their bright red robes, and they can be found across the whole of southern Kenya and in Tanzania. Amongst all the peoples in Kenya the Maasai cherish their heritage greatly.The Maasai live in huts made of dung and mud, arranged in a circle and known as a manyatta. The edge of the compound is surrounded by a fence of sticks and branches. One large family lives in each manyatta.
The Maasai are keepers of cattle, and these are brought into the compound at night where they can be protected from predators. One consequence of this is that the entire area is covered in cow dung. You may find this rather shocking, as the children happily play in this area, with faces, eyes and mouth routinely covered in flies.
Here is short film of the Maasai men doing their jumping dance and chanting. Amongst the young men jumping is a way of demonstrating manhood, virility and strength. They jump straight up, springing up on their feet whilst the group around them will chant. The jumping may not look very difficult, but it is surprisingly so!
At the end of your visit you will be encouraged to visit the craft stalls. These are packed with wooden crafts and textiles. Do be sure to take some money with you for your visit to buy some souvenirs. Some of them are really quite good. Perhaps you could also give a coin or two to the children.
We cannot be certain of course, but it is quite likely that the Maasai have more modern ways to light their stoves, but they will nevetheless give a demonstration of more traditional fire-making methods.Just like the scouts, they use friction to create heat that in turn inflames some grass. here you can see the very long wooden stick that is twisted by rapid spinning between two palms, whilst the end is held to a wooden plate to create the heat and ultimately fire.
You will be able to go inside one of their huts. They are very small, with room perhaps for three or four people. The huts have small stoves inside and are incredibly warm. It may surprise you that in amongst this traditional lifestyle and dress you will also find training shoes, instant coffee and a few other things more usually associated with our western culture.