The Maasai , a warrior and nomad aristocracy that once dominated large sheets extending between Kenya and Tanzania in a vast region of East Africa, today languishes in an unstoppable decline absorbed by the sweeping machine of Western civilization . Although still some clans and groups struggling to survive while maintaining their own cultural traits , isolating more areas invaded by the tourism industry . Their way of life and economy has been and is still based in a society that practices such pastoral nomadism in search of better pastures to feed their cattle , the main reason for all their cultural tradition. The Maasai are a community made up of about 200 to 300,000 people united by a language of Nilo- Hamitic origin known as Maa . The Maasai ethnic group is comprised of four distinct tribal groups : the Samburu , the arbusa , the baraguyu and the Masai . The latter were considered over time as the main group, military and socially dominating the other groups of their own ethnicity and other neighboring ethnic groups , including the Kikuyu and Nandi. Rites and celebration dances Masai. The Maasai adorn your body using exaggerated eye-catching necklaces, bracelets and earrings. One of the main features that always defined profiles culturalesde the Maasai , differentiating them from other cultures in the region, has been his deep contempt for agriculture, considering it an unworthy and impure activity for a stocking aristocracy as they are, also radically rejecting the products of the land cultivated as a food source . The Maasai live forever rooted exclusively to their cattle , arriving to establish a loving relationship with him in which man may feel more affection for his oxen to his wife. It is a significant fact that in the Maa language men and oxen are designated in the same way . So cattle is for them, a unified manner , the most representative symbol of wealth and power. When the Masai came in relation to other cultures of the geographical environment and knew their ways of life they considered inferior , reaching the absolute conviction that they were a superior race.
The account of the origin of life that sets the Maasai culture is based on God, Man and Cattle. First, God creates man and Maasai once physically located on land granted cattle as form and meaning of life. So much is this absolute belief that the Maasai believe that all cattle belong to them and this fact have even come to have serious problems with the rest of the neighboring towns and justice in Kenya. In principle for Masai heaven and earth were one. When the moment of parting came, the god Ngai, its main deity, decided to move to heaven from where he sent cattle as prized gifts. However, this separation of heaven and earth also come all the curses of the land precisely is where the Masai contempt for agriculture and historical denial to work it is derived. The Maasai live in villages consisting of circular huts of mud and straw and surrounded by a fence of branches to keep out predators. The town has many entries as component families. A Maasai near his cabin that are normally built with branches and logs smeared with their own feces oxen.
Still in the nineteenth century the Maasai were feared as it dominated the rest of the peoples of East Africa. They had the best pastures and practiced without shame, no resistance kidnapping and theft. All his strength was based on a military organization. While their nomadic trait related to the maintenance of cattle, prevented the organization of a state, which would bring them later decomposition as a people, this factor decisively acting to the detriment of their civilization. Both men and women wear colorful dilations ears to an inch in length at the bottom of the ear , and the diameter of a dime on the top, which tend to decorate with wood and colored beads. The Maasai craft is remarkable , especially in terms of textiles, wood carvings, hematite beads and ornaments . They usually wear a knotted fabric on the shoulders of bright colors , usually red with geometric designs on other pieces of clothing . Collect a large number of ritual dances and songs , which made ??against tourists in exchange for money and other economic benefits . Usually not be photographed unless they are granted a small fee as compensation. The physical characteristics of the Masai , mainly of Sudanese origin , favored them for military activities , as they are tall, strong and extremely agile people. The Maasai , well aware of having a beautiful , lavishly adorn your body with elegance and coquetry , using bold beaded necklaces , bracelets , earrings curiously correspond with the cut of the ear of an ox or a drawing with brand marking their livestock. The clan of blacksmiths provides women with brass rings are placed in rows on the arms The Maasai political system is decentralized; elders meetings and public discussions to decide on the broader issues are made. What prevailed and continues to prevail is the importance they place cattle. Some of their representatives have been seen in democratic meetings in the capital, Nairobi, wearing suit, and some of the young tend to play pool and watch TV in the nearby villages are not always well received due to cultural differences. Blacksmiths are the lowest in the Masai clan society, having a bad reputation. For example being a neighbor of a kraal of smiths attracts death, or the woman who lives with a blacksmith just losing my mind, and if you have children they will be invalid because of multiple circumstances.
Social classes in Maasai society are related to age, rather than the established social position. A first class of children is established between birth and the age of fifteen. At this stage children live a carefree childhood in which they learn to take care of livestock. The second class or stage ranging from fifteen years to turn thirty and are warriors. The third class corresponds to the period in which it ceases to be a warrior to death, and is the class of the elderly. The intervals between classes are set in cycles of 7 ½ years. The Masai Mara was opened in 1961. Located west of the Rift Valley and is the natural continuation of the Serengeti plains in Tanzania. The winding, dark waters of the Mara River crossing the reserve from north to south to continue their journey west to Lake Victoria and in Tanzanian land. Elephants walking across the plains of the park. This nature reserve in Kenya is ranked among the best in Africa by the large number of birds and mammals that live inside. There are tourists who share the ascent of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, a Kenyan safari land.
The age groups are the social base of the Maasai. The transition from one age to another is celebrated with rituals that grant new rights and duties among the participants Maasai perform various ceremonies or rituals, strongly related to age. One is the initiation rite, which makes the boys (16 years) in young warriors or moran. During the important ceremony, young people are circumcised at dawn and held together (manyatta) to spend a period of convalescence. When the wound is healed minors engaged in hunting birds with which to decorate his head, which has been properly shaved. But still not be considered warriors until your hair grows and can be picked up in small braids. Since this time, and warriors, live together in their own villages. This period strongly reinforces ties between the boys who are the age group , union to be respected for life. In these villages may be visited by young people who wish to maintain relations with them, but they will not marry until about fifteen years later , come into adulthood. During this stage, learning the traditions dwell and exercise in strength and courage . To the Maasai these are very important qualities. Achieve the warrior who killed a lion with his spear , styling the hair of the animal and be respected (currently forbidden to kill lions in Kenya , but there are still engaged in this type Masai initiation clandestinely ) . Formerly the Masai were considered the most fearsome warriors of the African continent . Today, in addition to hunting , are responsible for the toughest jobs grazing , although some return to school after circumcision Backlight of a giraffe. The Masai Mara National Reserve, also known as The Mara, is the largest park in Kenya and captivates visitors with its evocative plains where wildlife abounds. No trip to Kenya would be complete without first performing a safari here.
A pair of elephants walking across the plains. This typical African landscape served detelón background to films like "Out of Africa" or "Mogambo". It is a country of contrasts, where the traveler is transported to another bygone era. An ox is slaughtered in an enclosure surrounded by shacks they have built the mothers of warriors and festive dances are held. The celebration reaches its high point when mothers have to cut the hair of their children. This symbolizes that leave the status of warriors and the maternal bond is broken to start a new life, after which an old man will give them the first tip of adults: "Now that you're an adult, you throw your weapons and instead uses head and wisdom " A cheetah is prepared for hunting. In this park, wildlife is beyond question. The lion is found in large herds and not difficult to find leopards and cheetahs.
A cheetah hunting a gazelle just. The park abounds with elephants, buffaloes, zebras, giraffes, baboons, hippos, antelopes, gazelles, impalas, topi and wildebeest. It is more difficult to observe the rhinos, as there are few examples. A typical open vans to observe wildlife live without any risk ceiling. Sometimes animals are close to incredible distances. The women are subjected to male dominance in a strong patriarchal society. To become eligible for marriage and procreation in his rite of passage ( at age 15 ) women suffer clitoral excision (removal ) and then taught to herd cattle . Until now married living maintained in the clan of the father. Their marriage is usually decided in childhood, but when this is not some kind of fair marriages in which the wife is celebrated young looking . The start phase relationships between the young or the "heart " occurs within very materialistic criteria and attraction is important because of physical beauty. For women communicate their matrimonial intentions , man chimes sounded many times as livestock has his father. Marriage dowry consists of three cows, oxen and two sheep . Once the wedding is held , she becomes part of the heritage of man becoming good staff it.
Thousands of buffalo and wildebeest Masai Mara newcomers to graze on the savannah, mientrasleopardos and lions lurk. Normally after the wedding the woman becomes pregnant to have children, but can also be the case that the birth takes place before the wedding. When a Masai woman becomes pregnant, intercourse are prohibited until the child can walk. Give birth in their own cabin, which the husband may not come until after 10 days after delivery. Nor is it possible to eat at home until your child has taken the first steps. If it appears an elderly bless the child spitting on his head or chest. After birth a party in which two oxen are sacrificed is celebrated. The woman is considered a personal right of man to the extent that it is offered as a sign of hospitality and may be owned by any warrior friend of her husband who is passing through the village. One of the characteristics of the physical appearance of women is that they have a shaved head. Cows are sacred , and therefore their land and so are all the other elements concerning their livestock. Livestock provides all needs to Maasai milk, blood and meat to your diet ( a kind of yogurt produced by fermenting milk with animal blood ) and leather and fur for ropa.Su power is based almost exclusively on milk and the blood of oxen also sometimes mixed with animal urine . How to draw blood from the horse is very particular : first swell the jugular artery of the animal, for it used a club that always carry , then fire a dart or an arrow at close range , the tip of the arrow is the blunt tip not to bleed and hurt the ox . Usually extracted each time two liters of blood, then close the wound by a filling with soil and manure. The Maasai rarely eat meat and even less if they drank milk. Only eat meat for festive reasons , when performing the sacrifice of a bullock . They also occasionally eat vegetables, but they never come from land or trees cultivated by man . Plant foods are consumed seeds or fruits of wild plants. The diet of the warriors has a number of privileges, estándoles prohibited drinking mead and chewing snuff.
Two lionesses resting on the plains of the park. The attack usually lionesses males to defend their cubs. The villages inhabited by the Maasai resemble African kraal, consist of huts arranged in circles and constructed on the basis of a structure composed of branches and trunks of trees, giving consistency to the frame embadurnándolo manure to cover it completely, let it dry up harden. The shape of the cottages is similar to the igloos of the Eskimos, also having a very small access door, no opening windows in any case. All cabins together form a circle called "boma" that serves as a storage yard overnight cattle herds. The head of the family has always owned a cabin, lifting left and right of his huts women. All the people in turn is protected by a fence or wall, also built of branches and trees, in order to keep out vermin and wild beasts overnight. A lion roars and shows his sharp teeth.
Permanent coexistence, even in the village of the Masai with their cattle , makes these smell like oxen , so what makes them feel proud . The Maasai religion is monotheistic and austere . The main manifestation debondad Ngai is the rain, has a magical origin. Also grass pastures has this dreamlike quality . The herb is also sacred and in female circumcision grass spreads over his head . A child about to be beaten by an angry adult can escape the beating to boot if a handful of grass . Logically as rain develops pastures and they are feeding livestock , on which base their entire life and economy. When ensuing droughts the Maasai pieces to clothes to reclaim rain are tied , but if the situation persists turn to magicians ( " oloiboni " ) that queried everything. But magicians have no political power. According to their beliefs, very few people are worthy of eternal life and the bodies generally are left to the mercy of scavengers. The spectacle of the Masai Mara in Kenya is not only the wildlife, but the overwhelming sense of freedom that comes over you, in saffron sunsets, in the vastness of the horizon, in the lonely acacias that seem petrified by a god vindictive. Airkenya flies three times a day throughout the year from Wilson Airport in Nairobi to Masai Mara.