Travelogues

Trip Information

ケニア
Morning Ride
Morning Ride (8)
Trip Date:2001-07-01 - 2001-07-21
# Photos:8 [View]
Countries visited:ケニア
ページビュー: 4571
The Masai Mara is Kenya's finest wildlife sanctuary. Everything about this reserve is outstanding. The wildlife is abundant and the gentle rolling grasslands ensure that animals are never out of sight. Birds, too, are prolific. Including migrants well over 450 species have been recorded, among them 57 species of birds of prey. The climate is gentle, rarely too hot and well spread rainfall year round. Rain, when it falls almost always chooses the late afternoon or night. Between July and October, when the great wildebeest migration is in the Mara the sensation is unparalleled.

The Maasai or Masai, an indigenous African tribe of semi-nomadic people located primarily in Kenya and northern Tanzania, are probably one of the most familiar tribes of East Africa. Despite the growth of modern civilisation, the Maasai have largely managed to stay out of the mainstream and maintain their traditional ways, although this becomes more challenging each year.

The ability to graze their cattle over large territories has diminished considerably in recent years, due to increased urbanisation and the declaration of the Maasai Mara and Serengeti game reserves, which was all formerly Maasai grazing land.

Despite their reputation as fierce warriors, Maasai culture revolves around their cattle. One of their spiritual beliefs is that their rain god Ngai gave all cattle to the Maasai people, and therefore anyone else who possesses cattle must have stolen them from the Maasai. This has led to some fatal altercations with other tribes of the regions over the centuries when the Maasai attempt to reclaim their "property". The huts of the Maasai are built from dried cattle dung, and certain sacred rituals involve the drinking of cow blood.
There are numerous traditions and ceremonies performed by Maasai men. Perhaps best known is the warrior "jumping" dance, where young Maasai morani (warrior-youth) leap into the air from a standing position, in order to demonstrate their strength and agility. Until recent times, in order to earn the right to have a wife, a Maasai moran was required to have killed a lion. Officially this practice has stopped, although there is evidence that it continues in the more remote regions of Kenya. Also in earlier times a group of young boys were required to build a new village and live in it for a lengthy period (often years) as part of the passage to manhood. This practice is dying out due to lack of land.
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