Meeting the Masai

Serengeti, Tanzania

As we drove through the Serengeti we saw bright red and blue specks dotting the landscape. These were the colourful wraps of the Masai people, herding their cattle and goats, or walking from village to village. We had been told not to take photos unless we asked first, there was also an expectation that we would pay for photos. This was a bit awkward, and I certainly didn’t fancy bartering over pictures! In the end, we had an opportunity to visit a family village and pay a contribution, which was a fabulous chance to observe and learn about these fascinating people. Some facts….the chief had 14 wives and 60 children. There were 120 family members living in the village; there was a prep classroom for about 40 three to six year olds; the diet consists of milk, millet, animal blood and meat; the houses are very compact and take about two weeks to build; each wife has her own hut; only about 9 people (I’m guessing men) speak English, the rest speak only Maa. We were paired up with a family member and invited into their home to sit, have a chat and ask questions. We visited the classroom and could buy beaded items from the women, Matt and Noah were encouraged to join in the jumping competition, while Natalie and I joined in the dancing. A very memorable and humbling hour…and yes we were allowed to take as many photos as we liked.

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