- – They believe in one god who dwells in all things and can manifest himself as either kindly or destructive. When god is good he’s black. When god is bad he’s red. They’ve never heard of a white god.
- – They also conveniently believe that god gave them all the cattle on earth. And consider nothing wrong with raiding cattle from others: they’re just taking back what’s theirs in the first place.
- – Their spiritual leaders have earned a reputation of best healers in Tanzania, despite the abundance of doctors practicing western medicine.
- – They never had, or been subjected to, slavery.
- – They are most feared for throwing spears, which could be accurately thrown from up to 100 meters.
- – I haven’t seen a single fat Maasai. They get fat and get caries only when they move to the cities.
- – Babies are not recognized as living beings until they reach “3 moons old”. Due to high infant mortality.
- – They don’t have funerals. The dead are left for scavengers. Instead of autopsy doctors they rely on hyenas – if they don’t want to eat the body, it means something’s wrong with it.
- – Their delicacy is considered to be fresh cow’s blood mixed with milk. That’s what makes them strong, they say. Quite a milkshake, I say.
It was getting dark and time to go home. Or in my case, to my camp site. But before I managed to make my way to the car, the guy with the groovy face decided it was time for him to take another wife. “Where do you think you’re going, woman” – he said. Or something like that in the Maa language.
The Maasai love to sing and dance. Which is fascinating because no instruments are used, apart from blowing into kudu horns. But they are quite the vocalists and dance to the sound of their voice. Their songs don’t really have any meaningful words, but rather repetitious rhythmic syllables. I didn’t try to sing, but gave it a go at dancing. After all, I do have a few good yeas of clubbing behind me. So there we were: women – to the left, men – to the right, and me – on the side.
The Maasai are tribal people located mainly in Kenya and Tanzania. It is estimated there is 1 million of them. However it’s just a rough number. According to the government “some people want to be counted ten times while others refuse to be counted”. They also have a good sense of humor.