Today’s featured dolls are from The Masai Maara Tribe in Kenya, Africa, from our trip there.
We visited the Masai Village on our trip to Kenya, a couple of years back. These dolls are from there.
We spent a fascinating afternoon learning about the Masai Tribe, that has lived in Africa for centuries. Their culture runs wide and deep, and is steeped in a lot of beliefs.
The Masai live in settlements called ‘Manyatas’ or villages. The village is surrounded by a bramble bush and stick fence to protect the tribe from wild animals.
The Masai men performed a welcome dance for us and crowned each of us in turns, with a top-hat made of lion skin.
The Masai have stopped hunting wild animals, as hunting is banned in Kenya. However, they do kill the odd wild animal, if their cattle or tribesmen are threatened.
The Masai guide ‘Philip’ wore a chain that had a lion tooth pendant. He claimed to have killed a lion; the pendant was a souvenier.
The guide spoke good English, the result of a drive by the government to make education mandatory.
The Masai are mainly cowherds, and each village has sheep, goats and cows. The village we visited had 67 tribe members and over 300 cattle. The central village enclosure is where the cattle stay at night. The place is filled with cattle manure, used extensively by the Masai.
Men mainly graze cattle, build fences and protect the village, while women fetch water, cook food, build and repair the house, care for the children, and make jewelry.
Polygamy is an accepted practice, with a man having about 6 wives. The man pays a dowry to win his woman – 10 cows per woman.
The main diet of the Masai include milk, blood and meat. Their main tools are the sword, the spear and poisoned arrows.
The Masai houses we visited were made up of tree branches and cow dung. The houses are tiny and have areas earmarked for various activities.
The houses have a small opening to sky to let light in. At night, they use a kerosene bottle lamp.
The Masai make fire using the branches of the olive and acacia trees. It was amazing to watch.
After this, we were taken to the village handicraft exhibition, where we bought these dolls and some lovely bracelets and chains.
A piece of another culture added to my Golu through these dolls. So many memories here!