On a very overcast Saturday, a group from Viva Tanzania gets into their car and head on over to the Maasai land for the day, unaware of just what the day will bring.
When they arrive, they are immediately welcomed by the women and children of the village with a welcome song. As you watch the older girls and women sing and dance, the younger children walk through the crowd and find someone whose hand they want to hold. Visitors are a regular sight here on weekends, but this doesn’t affect the warmness of the welcome they receive upon arrival.
This Maasai tribe is one of about 500 in the local area, with each tribe usually being made up of one big family; it’s common for Maasai men to have at least 10 wives, and 10 children per wife!
The day was a busy one, with the Maasai showing the team many traditional customs firsthand; starting with welcome dances, followed by a tour of their village, explaining the roles of each person in the village and households; tall stories of epic bravery by the men who fight with lions to save their cattle, or prove their manhood, as well as a graphic but honored tribute of slaughtering a goat in welcome of the groups arrival, in which they witnessed how the Maasai prepare their food and use every part of the animal (including a crazy ritual of drinking the blood!).
This epic day was rounded off by the Maasai dancing, leaping and reveling in tradition for over an hour, as our volunteers joined in and lost all their earlier shyness.
If you ever find yourself in Tanzania; witnessing a Maasai village up close and personal like this is a must!