Masai PeopleThe Masai people immediately capture our attention with their distinctive, strikingly tall, slender bodies swathed in brilliant red cloth called ‘Shuka’, beaded and metal jewelry hanging from their drooping ear lobes, hung from their necks, and wrapped around their arms and legs.

The Masai are traditionally a warrior tribe of nomadic pastoralists who live in the areas near the border of Kenya – Tanzania, though now you will also see them scattered through the central regions of each country.

They are descendants of Nilotic and Cushitic people originally from north of Lake Turkana, Kenya, over ten centuries ago.  They have fascinating traditions from their age-old culture, many of which are continued today. Historically the Masai lived a nomadic pastoral lifestyle based on the pursuit of migratory wildlife.

Today their lives are typically dominated by treasured herds of cattle and goats, with nomadic Masai often moving hundreds of kilometers in search of water and rich pastures to sustain them.   Some have changed from their nomadic lifestyle to settle in small communities.

The traditional Masai diet is a simple one consisting of the milk and meat of their beloved cattle and goats.  During ceremonial rites Masai drink a mixture of cattle or goat blood mixed with milk.  The blood is drawn by firing an arrow at close range to puncture the animal’s jugular vein.

A combination of education, new laws, projects, jobs and money economy are changing the lives of the Masai people. Don’t be surprised to see Masai herding their livestock on the savannah plains while talking to a friend on their mobile phone!