Often standing over 6ft tall the Maasai warrior with his beaded hair and red checked blanket (shuka) blowing in the high wind against a backdrop of endless green pastures, is an unforgettable sight on your way to Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti. Occasionally, teenage boys who are in the healing process after circumcision walk along the highway, their face painted with white markings.
The Maasai live in the semi-arid Rift Valley region of Tanzania. They own large herds of cattle, sheep and goats which they follow around seasonally in search of new grazing grounds and water sources.
The Maasai is a polygamous society. Men are warriors. They protect their tribe, cattle and grazing lands. Maasai boys go through a circumcision ceremony at the age of 14 and then traditionally spending up to 8 years looking after livestock far from their villages. They become warriors upon their return to the village and get married.
Women are responsible for domestic tasks which include making their homes, collect water, cook and look after the children. The Maasai women are as impressive as the men in their looks. Tall, slender and bedecked with large beaded necklaces and long braided hair, they are a favorite among tourists taking their holiday snapshots.
Traditionally a proud and independent tribe, their lifestyle has undergone some changes in the past three decades. However, their strong social traditions remain intact. The Maasai welcome visitors with traditional dances and visits to their homes to learn about their traditions and culture. A Maasai village tour is something not to be missed during your adventure in Tanzania.