The Massai tribe is found in Kenya and Tanzania and two of their customs make them enter this list of strange African tribes. The first is their greeting, member of the tribes spit as a way of saying hello. While the English man would say hello, a Yoruba man prostrate, spitting is a way of greeting.
Aside playing the role of greeting, when a baby is born, it is the custom of the men to spit on the newborn and refer to him as bad, they believe this would protect the baby from evil spirits. It is the belief of the people that if a baby is praised, then it is cursed. Maasai warriors also spit in their hands before shaking the hand of an elder. Furthermore, the Massai tribe is also famous for its drinking of fresh animal blood.
Maasai tribe, the name itself blends an image of a pastoral tribe famous for their authentic culture, picture perfect portraits of tall lean warriors dressed in red and beaded jewelry. As narrated to us the Maasai are considered to be the progeny of the ‘Maa’ speaking tribes who migrated to the land of Kenya and Tanzania from the lower Nile valley during the 15th century.Astonishment knew no bounds for us after knowing that the Maasai’s are polygamous in nature and attach devout prestige towards childbirth.
As per their belief the Maasai measure a man’s status and wealth by the amount of cattle and children he is having.It was told to us that even if a maasai’s wife happens to be pregnant by another man the child is brought up by the man married to the woman. The Maasai’s are a blend of culture, tradition and belief. What’s surprising about them is that there is not even a single person in the Maasai tribe who would be found suffering with high blood pressure, cholesterol and obesity.
The secret of their health lies in their food habits.The intake of salt for the Maasai’s is 2.5 gms a day only as compared to 7.5 ? 12 gms of salt of an average man. Apart from this the Masai consume about 2-3 litres of cow’s milk a day as against 200 ? 500 ml of milk consumed by us.Apart from cow’s milk the Maasai’s consume yoghurt made by natural means. Not only the food habits the Maasai’s have some very interesting tribal ceremonies which is an added attraction for tourists and visitors like us.
The tribal ceremonies of the Maasai’s as that of the warrior jumping dance is of utmost importance. Here the young Maasai warrior youths jump as high as possible into the air to show off their strength and agility.
This ceremony was also accompanied with the hunting down of a lion to earn the right to marry.This practice of slaughtering the majestic endangered species was stopped by the Kenyan Govt until recently.
The story doesn’t stop here as the Maasai’s tribal history is said to be passed on orally by the male elders. This is called as the Emanyatta ceremony which takes place every one or two years with a generation grouping of seven years. The Maasai tribal men could be easily identified amidst a group, especially for their red blanket drapings and the long spears in their hands with their hair colored with red dye.Maasai women are also dressed up in a similar way but the only difference being they are dolled up with lot much of beaded jewelry.