Africa is blessed with so many tribes, each with a peculiar but very interesting culture. One of the most popular tribes in Africa is the Maasai. They are simply extraordinary, the culture, the people, their story, altogether mind-blowing.
The Maasai are known to have taken parts of Tanzania and Kenya as their home for several centuries and till date, they are still resident of these countries. Their history dates way back and the way they live till date is still representative of how they lived a long time ago.
A lot of people see their story as extraordinary and it truly is, but in this article, we’ve brought you a few facts to help you know and understand the Maasai a bit more.
You probably will expect this, the Maasai have a very large population. Presently, we have over a million Maasai inhabiting both Kenya and Tanzania. Almost exact figures tell us that about 430,000 Maasai inhabit Tanzania, and 841,622 are present in Kenya. Asides having a high population, they also have a very high population growth rate. Despite their growth rate, they have been able to effectively pass down their culture through generations mostly orally.
Maa, the tongue of the Maasai
This tribe has a very strong dialect known as the “Maa.” It is so strong they had to name themselves after it. the language is mostly oral and not written, why would write when you have such a strong oral tongue? Maa is so strong that a couple of other tribes have abandoned their own languages to adopt it. Isn’t that amazing?
They cherish their cows above everything else
We are accustomed to “BAE” which stands for “Best Above Everything.” For the Maasai, it is “CAE” which is “Cows above Everything.” They cherish their cows a lot, they are the most important possessions and aspect of their lives. Cows are used as a symbol of wealth and also as a means of trade.
They are semi-nomads
The Maasai are known to move around with their livestock and their movement is dictated according to a communal land management system which is based on seasonal rotation. Their way of life is very similar to the original way humans lived before urbanization and permanent settlements became the order of the day.
They are lion hunters
Another aspect of their lives which they take seriously is hunting of lions. They never hunt female lions and never hunt just for fun. It is not rare to have hunters being killed on a hunting expedition but going on a solo hunt is seen as a sign of great courage. The Maasai have however established a new rule since the reduction in lion population resulting from disease. Now they only hunt in groups, a practice which is still strange to many other African tribes.