A maasai wedding soon: the most spectacular event of african culture

A Maasai Wedding Soon: the Most Spectacular Event of African Culture

The Masai are among the forty-two tribes of Kenya. Unique about the Masai community is that while the majority of the other tribes of Kenya have embraced the western culture in terms of religion, clothing and their way of living, the Masai have stuck to there culture. Another unique factor about the Masai is that they live among the wildlife national reserves and game parks in Kenya. Due to their unique way of dressing they have become an attraction in themselves. The wildlife of Kenya is the biggest tourist attraction in Kenya. The second are the Masai.

The Masai have form time been exploited by a various tour operators, for example Tourists always want to photograph the Masai when they come across them and as it is always polite to request someone before taking their photo. As many of the requests are communicated in English, a language that most Masais do not understand then, the tour driver becomes the translator and in the process grabs and opportunity to make a quick buck by tripling the quote to taking a photo of a Masai. While the Masai would communicate to the tour driver as to how much in Kenya shillings he would wish paid to have his photo taken, the tour driver would communicate to the tourist in form of dollars. Since there are no exchange bureaus in the bush the driver once more offers to convert the foreign currency to shillings hence making as much as three times what he would pay the Masai.

The Masai people are the only ones allowed to carry weapons such as machetes and their famous rungu (a short wooden stick carved in ball like finish at one end and can be very lethal when one is hit with especially on the forehead). Being one of the warrior tribes of Kenya, it is part of their culture. Other tribes of Kenya are afraid of the Masai but that does not stop then taking advantage of their illiteracy and more so when it comes to the tourism industry.

During the late 80s and early 90s, the tour drivers started noticing the interest that tourists were showing in the Masai community by the kind of question they were asking. Despite tourist being warned that the Masai are a fierce tribe and that their young man are known to kill lions as a passage to manhood, this did not scare some tourist and they wanted to visit this community and learn more. This was therefore arranged privately between the tour driver and the tourist but at the tourist’s own risk. Visit to the Masai village therefore become a commercial venture but in a disorganized way. Tourist are mobbed up by the villagers as every one wants a cut of the pie and this really scares some tourists that upon going back to the safety of their country, they narrate this nasty experience to the travel agent who had organized their tour. The driver at the other end losses his job but this has not stopped the practice.


Safaris, an indigenous tour operator in Kenya decided to take the initiative of putting some order in one Masai village in Ambsoli national park and included a visit to the Masai village in all their programmes. To avoid a sudden crowding around tourists, all members of the community are given a role to play in ensuring tourists feels welcomed in their village without exploitation or extortion. The young warriors perform their dances to welcome the tourist in their village. After the welcome dance, all kneel down and pray in the Masai language, which is an experience in itself, and then the tourist is allowed to get in the enclosure where the mayattas (huts) are. Inside the enclosures, elderly Masai women would display their wares of beaded work and tourist may make their selection in a very orderly manner. They are then given a tour of the village and the tourist is then allowed back and negotiates the prices of the wares they have picked. The children stand in corners of the huts and are not allowed to mob the tourist. Photos are taken at no extra charges, as a visit to the Masai village is inclusive in the tour package apart from the gifts the tourists buy.

This kind of arrangement has become very popular and was duplicated to other Masai villages in Kenya. Due this initiatives, Woni

Safaris is very popular with this particular village and this year an invitation for the company to attend a traditional Masai wedding has been extended to them and their clients who will be taking a safari during this time. The wedding will take place at Amboseli National Park on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the largest and highest mountain in Africa.

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Опубликовано 19 Mar 2009 в 11:26 am. Рубрика: A. Вы можете следить за ответами к этой записи через RSS.
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