Tanzania – The Maasai Tribe

The last tribe we visited was the Maasai tribe.  The Maasai are cattle farmers and measure their wealth by how many head of cattle and how many children they have.  This is one of the larger tribes in East Africa – they are mostly in Tanzania and Kenya.  Since we missed out on the Maasai market the day before, we were very happy that we would still get to interact with this tribe.

The chief of this particular tribe of Maasai actually spoke English, so all of us were asking more questions since we didn’t have to have a double translation like with the Datoga and Hadzabe.  The chief was SO nice and welcoming to our group.  He invited us into his boma (house) and even had a flashlight for us because our eyes do not adjust like theirs do.  Their homes are completely dark – two very tiny windows and the door are the only places where light comes in.  It took a good several minutes for me to see anything in there.  The chief invited us in and showed us where to sit and started talking about how their homes are built and why they are so dark.  Since the cattle invite flies, the homes are kept dark so that the flies don’t come into the house.  As we’re sitting, I start hearing little animal noises – the chief heard them too and shined his flashlight against one of the walls and there were like SEVEN BABY GOATS making little bleats.  I squealed (obviously) and the chief explained that when their animals have babies, the babies stay inside their homes until they are big enough to fend for themselves.  There is a separate room in every house that is for the baby calves.  They bring the calves in at night until they are big enough to stay outside at night.  There are lots of natural predators and their animals are very important to them.  In fact, the night before, the tribe had lost one donkey to a hyena and another donkey had a sizable hyena bite on its hindquarter.

After we visited with the tribe for a little while, the chief told us that his boys were preparing a goat barbecue for us.  The chief led the way and took us to a separate area where the goat was being cooked.  After the baboon the day before, I was very sure that I would not be sampling any goat.  But, again, I was so moved by how this tribe was sharing their food for us, that I did take a piece and I actually ATE IT!  It wasn’t bad, but it’s not something that I’d go back for seconds on.  The boys had also prepared goat’s liver, which I ALSO ATE.  I don’t like liver in general so I don’t know why I tried it.  Maybe I was just feeling adventurous?!  They had also prepared a broth made from boiling all the insides of the goat and adding some herbs to it.  Mike tried that – I had reached my limit of adventurous eating for the day.  He said it just tasted very fatty.

Once we were finished eating, we walked back to where we started.  The Maasai performed for us and let us take more pictures before it was time to leave.

 

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Patiently Waiting, Tanzania, 2018

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Puppies, Tanzania, 2018

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Freeing the Cattle, Tanzania, 2018

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The Stare, Tanzania, 2018

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Boma, Tanzania, 2018

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Grazing Time, Tanzania, 2018

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Contemplation, Tanzania, 2018

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Making Soup, Tanzania, 2018

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The Boys, Tanzania, 2018

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Joy, Tanzania, 2018

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Maasai Wife, Tanzania, 2018

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The Chief, Tanzania, 2018

This was the end of the cultural part of our trip, so we said goodbye to Lema.  Everyone was sad to say goodbye to him and his team!  Mike and I enjoyed our time with all the tribes – they were all so welcoming and so happy and proud to show us their ways of life.

When we got back to our lodge, we had the rest of the afternoon free.  Our group was invited to go on a hike along the rim, but we didn’t have to.  Mike and I decided to go and it was so neat!  We were escorted by a Maasai warrior, too, which was so cool!  Our tour guide was amazing and we learned so much about the local geography and the crater itself.  And the pictures weren’t too bad either!  I made this panorama on our walk:

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Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania, 2018

We saw some flowers and a dung beetle, too!

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Pastel Flower, Tanzania, 2018

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Rollin Rollin Rollin, Tanzania, 2018

At the end of our walk, we got to plant a Cape Ash tree!  Conservationists are trying to bring more native plants to the area, so after each walk, the group is encouraged to plant a native tree.  Here is Mark with our tree:

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Creative Photo Academy Cape Ash, Tanzania, 2018

The next time we are in Tanzania, we’re excited to see how our tree is growing!

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