World Cultures: The Maasai

July 02, 2009
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In Tanzania alone there are more than 30 ethnic groups, and International Expeditions' East Africa safaris are the perfect time to glimpse the daily lives of the Maasai tribe.

The Maasai occupy most of the grasslands in northern Tanzania, including the area around the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater. These pastoralists migrated southwards along the Nile into East Africa some 300-400 years ago. By the middle of the last century they had established themselves as a powerful and ferocious people: their warriors raided hundreds of miles into neighboring territories capturing cattle and spreading terror wherever they went. War was life for them and before a raid they would sing:

Oh dear bird flying in the air,
Let us meet at the battlefield
In the land of the enemy's striped cattle
And there you will feed well
For if I am not killed, I will kill.
You will feast either way, on my body
Or on the body of my adversary.