What You Probably Didn’t Know About the Maasai People

Most people recognize this famous tribe by their signature red, blue and green clothing and their jumping performances. However, there are some things that most outsiders assume or just don’t know. Here are some things about the Maasai that you probably didn’t know.

Maasai woman smiling

Maasai woman smiling

The Maasai Women build the houses they live in

“Inkajijik” is a Maasai hut and it is built by the Masaai women. It is made out of sticks, grass, mud, and cow dung. The children may help out in the construction but it’s strictly not the responsibility of men.

The don’t reside in Kenya only

Most people associate them with Kenya. However, they also live in the northern part of Tanzania. There is no major difference between the Maasai from Kenya and those from Tanzania. They both live in game parks and reserves and have the same traditions.

They drink raw cattle blood 

This is one of the most intriguing and at the same time strange traditions of the Maasai. To them, it is an honorable tradition and is often reserved for special occasions such as childbirth, circumcision. The elders also drink it to nurse hangovers.

They have unique inheritance practices 

Masaai men standing

Masaai men standing

Every son in a family is given a portion of the father’s wealth which is usually in the form of cattle. After the father’s death, the sons then go ahead and give a portion of their inheritance to the eldest son so as to avoid “engooki” (curse), which may result from benefiting off their father’s death. The eldest son then becomes the head of the family.

They practice predator burial

They believe that once someone dies they have completed their journey and therefore they need to give back to the Earth. They bury the dead by smearing cattle blood or fat on the body and leaving it in an open field.