Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Tanzania, Africa - The Maasai Tribe members

This week, I am changing things up a bit and not sharing images of the animals of Tanzania, but instead the people from the Maasai tribes that we visited on our two photo tours.  They are an interesting group of semi-nomadic people with a primitive way of living. Some of the tribes will open up their homes to us (for a fee) so that we can learn how they live. It is so different from the western civilization that it is fascinating.


When you visit Tanzania, you will likely be drawn to the bright blue and red colors that these people wear.






Many of the tribes are nomadic, but now that some have built school houses and other hard-walled facilities, this is not always the case. The women are tasked with most of the hard work, such as building the homes (made with mud and cow dung), getting the firewood and water, and doing all the cooking. The Maasai men traditionally have more than one wife, and visit them in each of their own huts when they desire.



It is very common to see the Maasai woman wondering through the area gathering water while the boys tend the goats and cattle. The Maasai people typically live off of their cows. They eat the meat, drink the milk and even drink the blood at times. The amount of cattle and children determines the wealth of the male owner.



As you can see from these photos, even the young boys are put to work at a very early age. I asked our guide if these young children are ever in danger from the wild animals which roam the area and was told that this can be a problem for these youngsters out in the open.


Here you can see the Maasai women in their traditional clothing and the jewelry made from beads.



I have visited many Maasai tribes in the past, and always carried my Canon 5D Mark IV and Canon 24-105mm lens. This time I decided to bring my Canon 5D Mark IV with the longer Canon 100-400mm lens to get tighter shots of the people. Here you can see this woman who has stretched her earlobes, which is another common practice amongst their people.



The Masaai were doing their traditional dance while our guests were taking photographs. The Maasai men are more attractive to women if they can jump high. It is also a way for the men to make themselves look bigger and stronger in the face of wild animals.


While the others were photographing the dancing, I looked around and took photos of the children who were watching the elders' performance.


The beautiful young girl was taking care of this toddler. I saw all the flies on the little one's face and wanted to shoo them away.


Here is a mother and her daughter. The babies are not recognized as people until they are 3 months old. This is mostly due to the high mortality rates (in previous generations) when many babies failed to survive past the first 2 months.


All the youngsters were smart enough to stay in the shade of the hut.


As I mentioned, the women do most of the work in the Maasai culture. The men "retire" at 35 and let the women do everything from that point on in their lives. And the work is not easy, with the women having to carry large loads very far distances.


This young man is wearing a traditional Maasai blanket, which can be purchased in most stores.


The tour company that we work with in Tanzania is very generous and had donated money to this particular Maasai tribe to build a school house. I was in that building and took this photo of the teacher. Perfect catch light in his eyes.



This little one was so cute. I captured this shot of him as he clapped his hands to a song.


Mike sat down with the kids and took some selfies with them...


...while Rachel (sporting her awesome hat) made a new friend.




Glenn (another one of our guests) let this young Maasai boy try his camera. I think I need to work on his hand positions, but that will be on the next visit. :)


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1 comment:

David Arthur said...

Jeff,
Thank you for the great images and storytelling. You make a good ambassador.