The Maasai people are an ethic group inhibiting Southern Kenya and Northern Tanzania, and are regarded as the most ethnic tribe in Kenya. They are famous for their very fearsome reputations as being cattle rustlers and WARRIORS. The Maasai warrior is of great importance and source of pride to the Maasai culture, it is one of the greatest warrior cultures in the world. They are known as tall and fierce warriors. They are historically nomadic and semi-nomadic people (if you remember watching the movie “The Ghost and the darkness” with Michael Douglas)
The Maasai people have clung to their traditional way of life despite western cultures and civilization influences. Most live in the Maasai Mara Reserve in South West Kenya and it was named after the Maasai people. They rely on local and available materials to construct their homes. They live in an enclosure called a Enkang, which normally has between 15-20 small huts. Maasai huts (manyatta) that are built from branches and trees are very small and normally only have one or two rooms and not high enough for these tall people to stand in. They do not have windows or chimneys in it, nor do they have electricity or running water, so their homes are very dark inside. The fence around their homes is made up of thorns protecting them from wild animals. When water and food has run out the Maasai pack up their homes and walk across the lands to where their is food and water readily available.
Maasai women are responsible for cooking, milking cattle, building their homes and collecting fire wood and water. The Maasai men carry spears to protect their families from wild animals such as lions and also herd the cattle. Maasai men also hunt for male lions, they do not hunt female lions, these men that hunt lions are seen as very courageous and are given celebrity status in their communities. Hunting lions is a past activity as it has been banned, yet lions are hunted when they kill Maasai livestock. Unfortunately there is a high infant mortality rate among the Maasai, which has led to babies not being truly recognized until the age of 3 months. The Maasai people stood against slavery, and outsiders looking to enslave avoided the Maasai. Many Maasai have also adopted Christianity and Islam. Cattle and children are the most important aspect of Maasai people.
In most recent years, Maasai boost their incomes by selling curios, beads, masks and carvings to tourists. The women make beautiful bead jewelry, sandals and many other bright colored treasures.