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Cultural Safaris of Kenya

Kenya has a culture born of countless sources, from the coastal swahili culture to the Northern Frontier of  Njemps tribesmen. This region has been crossed by the paths of a long and complex history. From the prehistoric records of early man to the present day, Kenya has been a land of unending change, contrasts and diversity.
Kenya has drawn on all of these influences to develop its own unique cultural safaris and adventures. This is the nations greatest strength- the ability to blend the best of many worlds into a strong, singular identity. Today, Kenya welcomes the world to its shores, parks and continues to evolve a modern culture that is born of endless variety, and yet purely, proudly Kenyan. We will look be exploring the world renown Maasai and Samburu tribesmen Cultural safaris.

The Maasai 

The Maasai have come to represent Africa at its most primal, a fiercely independent tribe of legendary courage who sternly shun the modern world in favour of traditional rites and customs. The Maasai are undoubtedly one of the most famous traditional cultures on earth if not in Kenya and Africa.
In recent years, the distinctive Maasai beading and decorative jewellrey have become a fashion item in the West, and remain one of the most popular items taken home by visitors to Kenya. So popular has Maasai beading become that many modern functional items, including watchstraps, belts, handbags and even mobile phone covers are being produced in Maasai designs. The Maasai are indeed a truly independent and proud with a culture more complex and interesting than popular imagination would suggest. They once ranged widely across much of Southern and Central Kenya, extending north to Laikipia, and South across the border into Tanzania. Today most of the Maasai population lives throughout the South West of the country.
The Maasai have ancestral ties to the Samburu and the Njemps  in the North Kenya with whom they share a language Maa, from which the name Maasai comes. The Maasai are completely nomadic cattle herders, and it is only very recently that any move towards agriculture has become evident.
Cattle are very important to the Maasai, and are the subject of mystical beliefs and reverence. Maasai mythology tells of a time when the earth and sky were joined together, until they were suddenly torn apart, with only the wild fig trees left as bridges between the two. As a gift to the Maasai, god – called Enkai sent herds of cattle down through these trees to earth. To the Maasai cattle are sacred and a direct gift from the heavens. Grass is also considered a blessing and sacred. When passing a fig tree, it is customary for the Maasai to push handfuls of grass between the roots, as homage to the source of their herds. One of the more common Maasai greetings is “I hope your cattle are well”.
Victory in a lion hunt was always great cause for celebration, and the returning hunters would perform a spectacular dance called the Engilakinoto. This dance is based a deep rhythmic chant accompanied by a exaggerated thrust of the chest. As the dance progresses, moran display their strength with a series of powerful vertical leaps. This dance is a remarkable sight, with gifted moran having been known to leap up to four feet clear of the earth. Similar dances such as the Eoko ( a dance to bless cattle) and the Eoko oo’njorin(a war dance) are cause for the same exuberant displays of strength.

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