Kenya is one of the most beautiful countries in the world with miles of short grasslands and vast forests. Home to a wide number of animal and bird species, the country is also home to some of the world’s oldest tribes, including the Maasai Tribe.
For every person who visits the beautiful country, the trip is absolutely incomplete if you have not met the maasai people or experienced their lifestyle. Well, you may not know a lot of things about the Maasai people, but there are a lot of facts about this beautiful tribe that are still not known by the world. So, here are some unknown facts about the Maasai tribe that will surely hike your interest in them and their life.
FACT 1 – MAASAI POPULATION
There are just about 1 million Maasai people living in the countries of Kenya and Tanzania.
FACT 2 – HEIGHT OF A MAASAI
The average height of Maasai men is 6 feet. It is believed that their height is contributed due to their great genes and their high calcium and dairy based diet. They can jump as high as 80 centimeters.
FACT 3 – MAASAI AND THEIR CATTLE
The Maasai people believe greatly in god. They think it is God who gave them their cattle and hence, cattle theft is just a matter of taking back cattle which belongs to them and there is nothing wrong in it.
FACT 4 – MAASAI GODS
Humble in their nature, the Maasai people believe in just one God, Enkai / Engai. They believe that their god has a duel nature: Engai Narok, the Black God who is generous in nature and Engai Nanyokie also called Red God who is revengeful in nature.
FACT 5 – 3 LANGUAGES OF THE MAASAI
The Maasai people originally speak in their Maa language, while they are schooled in English and Swahili, the official language of Kenya and Tanzania. Hence, they are multi-lingual and can nicely communicate with people outside their tribe.
FACT 6 – MAASAI BODY ART
Maasai people are very traditional and follow their cultural practices with pride. Body piercings and also stretching of their earlobes are considered as their common practices. You will meet mostly every Maasai with either body piercings or enlarged earlobes. It is a way of enhancing their features.
FACT 7 – RELIGION OF THE MAASAI
Over the years, a large number of Maasai people have converted into Christianity, while some of them have converted into Islam. However, their faith remains undeterred from their God, Enkai.
FACT 8 – ROLE OF CATTLE IN THEIR LIFE
Cattle play a very important role in the lives of the Maasai people. The wealth of a Maasai man is measured based on the amount of cattle he owns and also the number of children he has. Also, cattle are the most primary source of food for them. Right from drinking their raw milk and blood, they also eat their raw meat, thus making the Maasai people highly dependent on their cattle.
FACT 9 – RITUAL OF DRINKING BLOOD
The Maasai people drink blood of their cows on special occasions such as girl’s marriage, birth of a baby and the circumcision of a young boy. The Maasai people also give cows blood to men who get highly intoxicated or feel hangover. They make a small hole in the neck of a cow with their arrow and drink the blood directly from it.
FACT 10 – DEATH AND BURIAL
The Maasai people believe that burial of the dead people only harms the soil. Hence, in order to preserve the purity of soil, they leave the dead bodies of their tribe members in the open for the scavengers to feed on. However, only the tribe chiefs are buried as a sign of respect.