Besides our Maasai activities, we also have other educational cultural experiences. From our philosophy to connect; experience and learn. A wish from your study, profession, hobby or general interest… we would like to hear that we make it happen for you.
Our customers often rate these activities as one of the highlights of the holiday.
Many maasai experiences are organized from my home village near the Ngorongoro Crater. It is very worthwhile to get acquainted with the contemporary Maasai community. Getting to know the surrounding bomas will teach you a lot about old traditions.
Depending on the offer, you can experience Maasai rituals or passage festivals. ( see below photos of customer visits at a ritual, birth and market. )
A village tour past school , listen to the story of young maasai girls who escaped early marriage and found themselves in school. If you want you can volunteer a few days at a maasai school or orphanage .
In our culture, a girl can be married at the age of 15.Marriages are arranged by the elders. A Marriage is conducted after initiation of the boy and girl and during the marriage ceremony, a big sheep or a bull is brought from the groom’s home and slaughtered. On the next day, everyone in the groom’s family gives them a cow, sheep and goats.. Polygamy is an ideal that is achieved by most older men.
Vegetables & Fruits:
A large portion of Tanzanian cuisine is vegetarian or even vegan-friendly. Those abstaining from meat products can find many healthy and hearty meal options during their travels in Tanzania.
Mboga Majani refers to any ‘greens’, and are a popular side-dish throughout the country. Spinach, Kale, Collards, Watercress and more are used as greens for a simple, but healthy side. Ugali and greens make for a light, simple dinner, or add greens to any other main dish to make it a well-rounded meal.
Beans and rice
Maasai people, believes in traditional herbal medicine which includes plants, roots of certain tree, leaves. They can treat different disease including stomach aches, arthritis, malaria,obesity,and all other disease, you name them. First, the patient may come to the healer and tell them they have a problem, but they may not divulge all the details. After some time – perhaps even a night’s sleep – the healer will come back to the patient with a treatment plan. The traditional healer will heat up stones to place in the pot with the herbal treatments. The patient puts a blanket over their heads and inhales the steam as treatment. This process can take several days, one can move to a healer’s house for one or two weeks depends on one’s problem. Sometime they also trat family curses and sort of things. These healers are so much respected within the community. Come and have a day to experience this practice within our culture.
The International Bagamoyo Arts Festival is the largest and most important cultural festival on the Tanzanian mainland. It takes place annually in autumn and is a colorful mix of music, theater, dance, acrobatics, discussions and exhibitions.Several dozen cultural groups from all parts of Tanzania take part in each festival. There are also groups from other black African countries and occasionally guest groups from Europe.
Sauti za Busara music festival in Zanzibar.Sounds of Wisdom is a pan-African music festival centred in Stone Town, Zanzibar each year during February, attracting thousands of music-lovers from near and far.
A day drive to Lake Eyasi. A home to the Hadzabe bushmen. Lake Eyasi is one of the few places remaining in Africa where tribal life is still maintained relatively untouched by the development of the region. The Hadzabe people have called Lake Eyasi home for more than 10,000 years, and still retain their hunter gatherer lifestyle; making them one of the last bastions of ancient African tribal life. A visit to the Hadzabe lands offers a unique and unforgettable glimpse into an ancient culture. This is the only place to find Bushmen a Tsar family of the Sahara Desert who moved to south Africa, but few remained in Tanzania practicing Hunting and gathering and now live at Lake Eyasi
Dar es Salaam
Stay a couple of days in Dar s Salaam. We will arrange a hotel or even an Airbnb approved by us . We have our own drivers wo will drive you around the city and beaches.
The city is loved by travellers for its seaside setting and eclectic vibe thanks to the mix of African , Arabic and Indian cultures
Places to visit :
Kiyukoni Fish market
MAASAI RITUALS AND CEREMONIES
There are many ceremonies in Maasai society including Enkipaata (senior boy ceremony), Emuratta (circumcision), Enkiama (marriage), Eunoto (warrior-shaving ceremony), Eokoto e-kule (milk-drinking ceremony), Enkang oo-nkiri (meat-eating ceremony), Olngesherr (junior elder ceremony), etc. Also, there are ceremonies for boys and girls minor including, Eudoto/Enkigerunoto oo-inkiyiaa (earlobe), and Ilkipirat (leg fire marks). Traditionally, boys must undergo through these initiations for minors prior to circumcision. However, many of these initiations concern men while women’s initiations focus marriage. Men will form age-sets moving them closer to adulthood. An age-set is a group male Maasai who have an alliance within the community.With own ceremonies and rituals.
Women do not have their own age-set but are recognized by that of their husbands. Ceremonies are an expression of Maasai culture and self-determination. Every ceremony is a new life. They are rites of passage, and every Maasai child is eager to go through these vital stages of life. Come and you will learn and experience one of these rituals….
The first boy’s initiation is Enkipaata (pre-circumcision ceremony), and is organized by fathers of the new age set. Enkipaata can only happen, when the senior warriors are settled. More on senior warriors will be discussed later in this page.
A delegation of boys, aged 14 to 16 years of age, would travel across their section land for about four months announcing the formation of their new age-set. The boys are accompanied by a group of elders spearheading the formation of a new age-set.
A collection of 30-40 houses are built for the initiating boys. The houses are located in one large kraal chosen by the Oloiboni (prophet). This is where all boys across the region will be united and initiated. Before the ceremony, the Olopolosi olkiteng, chief of the boys, must be chosen. Olopolosi olkiteng is a position not desired by anyone because it is considered unfortunate. The new chief is to shoulder all of his age group’s sins. The day before the ceremony, boys must sleep outside in the forest. When early dawn approaches, they run to the homestead and enter with an attitude of a raider. During the ceremony, boys dress in loose clothing and dance non-stop throughout the day. This ceremony is the transition into a new age set. After enkipaata ceremony, boys are ready for the most important initiation known as Emuratare (circumcision).
Circumcision ceremony is the most vital initiation of all rite of passages in the Maasai society. Men of the Maasai society are traditionally eager to undergo through circumcision. This initiation is performed shortly after puberty.
Young men to be circumcised become warriors. Once the boys become warriors they resume responsibility of security for their territory.
Circumcision initiation elevates an individual from childhood to adulthood. In order for the boy to be initiated he must prove himself to the community. The boy must exhibit signs of a grown man, by carrying a heavy spear, herding large herd of livestock, etc.
A few days before the operation, a boy must herd cattle for seven consecutive days. Circumcision would take place on the eighth day. Before the operation, boys must stand outside in the cold weather and receive a cold shower to cleanse himself. As he moves towards the location of the operation, his friends, age mates and male members of the family shout encouragement along with nasty looks and sometimes threats. For example, people would tell the boy, “If you kick the knife, we will kill you! If you run away from the knife, your society will disown you. Women are luckier and are spared of such comments. Needles to say, circumcision is not pleasant. No pain relief drugs such as anesthesia, and you cannot flinch your eye. Circumcision is painful yet means a lot to every Maasai.
Time and Place of Circumcision
Circumcision takes place shortly before sunrise. It is performed by a qualified man with many years of experience. After the operation is successfully completed, the boy would receive gifts of livestock from his relatives and friends. He would also gain a tremendous amount of respect for his bravery.
The healing process will take 3-4 months, and boys must remain in black cloths for a period of 4-8 months. After they are healed, they have become a new person and receive the status of a new warrior.
After circumcision, the next step is to form the Emanyatta (warrior’s camp).
Emanyatta contains twenty to forty houses randomly selected by warriors. The selection of this camp is sometimes a bit of a challenge. Not every elder would like his wife to be in an emanyatta, because it is a free visit zone for everyone. Jealous husbands are more likely to refuse to participate in the camp; they think that their wives’ former lovers will take advantage of her. Therefore, warriors sometimes fights with their jealous fathers. Weapons such as spears, clubs and shields are carried by warriors during this time because, occasionally, the battle can get very serious. Warriors will choose certain mothers to relocate at the emanyatta for the duration of its existence. Each Maasai section has its own age-set. The two most common camps are Ilaiserr and Irmolelian (clans); however, it is common for a section to have more than two emanyatta camps. A clan is a sub community within the total Maasai community. The five original clans are sub-divided into sub-clans or sections distinguished by their cattle brands.
A special pole, planted in the middle of the camp, is used as a flagpole. The white and blue colored cloth, the Maasai nation’s flag, is tied to the pole before planting, and remains there as long as the Morrans (warriors) are still in the camp.) Two morran chiefs are chosen to lead, guide and represent their camp. The purpose of the camp is to keep men of the same age set together and fulfill their role as a military force. This is where the warriors learn about the age set brotherhood, the art of oratory skills and animal husbandry. They will spend up to ten years in the emanyatta before the Eunoto ceremony (senior’s warrior initiation).
Like many other eroding Maasai cultural customs, the emanyatta is not left unscathed. Many attempts have been made by the outside world to end this traditional custom because it is seen as backward. However, even though the government frowns on warrior hood, it also uses its image to attract tourists. Fire stick, honey and blue beads are other rituals performed in the Manyatta (warriors camp) and play an important role in the Orporror (morrans age group). After the emanyatta camp the warriors would head for eunoto ceremony (senior warrior’s initiation).
The Eunoto ceremony is performed by members of the age set, ten years after warriorhood. It marks the status of a warrior transitioning to a senior warrior. This initiation also permits senior warriors to marry, which in turn prepares them to become future fathers. The ceremony takes place in another specially chosen camp that includes a total of forty-nine houses. The forty ninth house is known as Osinkira, a large mud hut made specificaly for the Oloiboni. Warriors on a daily basis will entertain the Oloiboni until the event is over. Every graduating warrior must shave his long ochre-stained hair, which is done by the warrior’s mother. During the festival, warriors are prohibited to carry weapons such as sticks, spears, knifes, etc. Also, during this event, an animal horn is set on fire and warriors are forced to take a piece out before it is completely burned. No one wants to take the piece out, because whoever takes the horn out of the fire will suffer misfortunate throughout his entire life. However, if warriors refuse to take the horn out from the fire, the entire age-set will be cursed. It is better for one person to be unfortunate than many.
Warriors must raise eight bulls, before the ceremony, to be distributed to the elders at the graduation day. Three important leaders must be chosen by the warriors before the ceremony; Olaiguanani lenkashe, Oloboru enkeene and Olotuno (the initiate one). No one would like to be one of these leaders, particularly the Olotuno. This person shoulders all of his age set’s bad and good deeds. The Olaiguanani lenkashe is honored with a specially chosen female cow; Oloboru enkeene is honored with a leather strap with a knot that symbolizes his age set. By the end of warrior-hood, this knot will be untied to free the warriors from their isolated world. The knot allows warriors to do things independently from other age mates. This stage of life is a transition to an elder.
A few months after the Eunoto, warriors form a small camp for Enkang e-kule, the ,milk ceremony
Before the Eunoto ceremony, warriors are prohibited to eat alone without the company of others. Excuses are not accepted; even the sick must obey the requirement. To drink outside the camp is allowed but only if women are not present. Such social taboos are established by the Maasai to teach young men to be self-reliant rather than dependent on their mothers who mostly prepare food for her husband and the young ones. Also, such taboos train and prepare warriors to adapt to harsh environmental conditions such as famine etc. The milk ceremony requires the entire age set to shave their red ochre stained hair. It is the mother’s role to shave her graduating son. No warrior will shave his hair before his highly respected age set chiefs. Many of them prefer to graduate on the same day as their chiefs. For the first time, warriors feel awkward and shameful to eat in front of their female lovers. It takes a while for them to get used to this. After the milk ceremony, warriors undergo minor bouts of emotional stress, because they are disbarred from the world of warrior hood.
The next initiation is Enkang oo-nkiri (meat ceremony/initiation camp), which is performed in a selected camp that contains ten to twenty houses. The selected houses are from wives of the initiating junior elders. This camp is located in a convenient location near the home of a friendly age mate. The age-set is allowed to have as many meat camps as they need throughout the region.
The meat ceremony permits warriors to eat by themselves meat prepared by women of the homestead. Every graduating warrior is anxious to see this date. A specially chosen bull is slaughtered for the ceremony. A wife must prove to her husband that she hasn’t engaged in an illegal sexual affair with a man of the younger age set. Whether this has occurred or not will be revealed by participating in the bull’s skin ritual. Men wrestle with themselves to get near the bull’s skin to see if their wives have been unfaithful to the age-set. It is right for a wife to have affairs with men of the same age set but not outside the age set. If a woman is found guilty of violating such a commitement, she will be disrespected by her husband and by her entire age set.
For a woman to regain respect from her husband, she must go back to her father or relativ’s home to obtain a female cow. No man would refuse such an apology; however, the man might not keep the cow. he would then give the cow to his friend as a gift.
At the end of the meat ceremony, men and women fight against one another for the specially roasted meat. Warriors who violated their age set taboos and laws are punished before this event takes place.
The last age set’s initiation is Orngesherr (junior’s elder initiation) and marks the status of a junior elder. It is performed in a selected camp that contains twenty or more houses. Every one in the age set looks forward to this final initiation. Every man is honored with an elder’s chair in this ceremony. In the early morning of the day of the event, he will sit on the chair and be shaved by his wife. If a man has more than one wife, it is the older wife’s responsibility to shave the husband. This chair becomes a man’s friend until it is broken. If a man dies before the chair breaks, his older son will adopt the chair. After this ceremony, a man would become an elder and would assume full responsibility of his own family. He is now allowed to move away from his father’s homestead and form his own homestead. However, even though the man is now an indipendent man, he would still have to rely on his father’s advice. A man would assume total responsibility of his family at the age of about 35 years.
It is important to note that many of these initiations and rituals have been eroding due to outside influences. We are told to abandon our way of life and to embrace western ways of life, which has been deem reliable and sufficient to ours. Our culture remains uncertain in the face of modernism, western religion, and environmental challenges.
“It takes one day to destroy a house; to build a new house will take months and perhaps years. If we abandon our way of life to construct a new one, it will take thousands of years”, Maasai belief.
There are also various options on the way between the parks or in the parks.
Examples are :
– walk safari
– hikes to waterfalls
– bike or walk through the village of Mto Wa Mbu
– city tour Arusha
Ritual ceremony known as “ Orkiteng Lor Bar” which means moving to another age set. A cow has to be slaughtered,A Man’s wife has to sit on top of a cow’s intestine to ensure to her husband that she did not engage (cheat) to him with other men younger or older than her husband. Very interesting event.
Like many other families, maasai has their own way of receiving babies and new born within their culture. It is a culture in Maasai that,after a woman is pregnant, that woman has to be carefull,clean and taking care of the baby for the 9 months. It is with this reason, that a pregnant woman is not expected to meet her husband until the birth of the child, that’s another reason why Maasai men has multiple wives.
When a woman is in labor, she is surrounded by older women with the traditional midwife.A question here is why surrounded by all these ELDERLY WOMEN?
The main reason is to receive a “clean newborn”. A clean New born means, after a baby is born ,they will look at the newborn, make sure that she is only covered by the really “Vernix”,and this baby will be clean. How do they know it is really? According to them ,it has no any smell. So ,by any chance the baby is covered by a vernix that smells ,that will tell the older women that this baby is not clean and a woman will be asked who did the dirty to the baby….if it is the husband ,then that husband(who is seated outside during this process) will be beaten by the ladies. If the dirty is from another man ,then the woman will be beated, sent away to her parents and she will bring back a baby cow for restoration of her marriage……A Very interesting thing……
If the baby is Clean, then ALL the ladies will shout loud, celebrating the new born. After birth, two goats has to be slaughtered for the women around to eat and celebrate. A woman can be in maternity for 2 to 3 months, and goats and cows will be slaughtered and she drinks soups and traditional medicine for restoration of her strength.
This is a local market in endulen village in Ngorongoro area where it comprises hundreds of people selling livestock, foodstuff, clothing and footwear, jewelry, souvenirs, decorations, tools, local beers,traditional medicines etc. This market happens twice a month and it is also a good experience to meet the locals.
Copyright © 2022. tanzania wildtouch adventure