|Maasai boma seen from the air.|
Photo courtesy of Al Crawford.
|Solomon, Javin, and George greet our tour members.|
|Maasai dancers in the Sentrim Mara Lodge dining hall.|
|Cattle returning to the boma in the evening.|
|Solomon tells us about the Maasai culture|
|Cosmas discusses the life of the Maasai as we drive to Tarangire National Park|
|A typical Maasai home|
|Village children watch over the herds and flocks.|
|An animal enclosure in the center of the boma.|
|The young man in the black feathered cap was recently circumcised.|
|This group of boys outside of Ngorongoro Crater had just entered adulthood.|
A Visit to a Maasai Boma
One of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences of our trip was a morning with a Maasai family in their boma outside of Tarangire National Park. With Cosmas translating, Chief Lobulu welcomed us into his village and the villagers greeted us with song. Then his three wives and other extended family members took us each by the hand and draped us in shukas, lesos, and beaded jewelry.
|Chief Lobulu with Rob|
|The women of the village drape us in their traditional clothing.|
|Lani enjoys her new look.|
|Some of our tour members in their finery.|
|Maggie, Samantha, and Kayla were the youngest members of our group,|
and we all enjoyed their enthusiasm.
|Anna and me (with guide Cosmas in the background).|
|Charlotte and Laura weave strips of bark.|
|Our group learns to make beaded jewelry.|
|Bob and Rob pound the maize.|
|Samantha and I balance long wooden poles on our heads.|
|I learn to thatch the roof...|
|while others re-plaster the mud walls.|
|Laura and Mary show off their muddy hands after helping with the plastering.|
|Some of the women of the village|
|Pounding the maize was one of the childrens' chores.|
|This activity went on throughout our entire visit.|
|The kids keep an eye on us visitors.|
In addition to the chores, there was plenty of time for social activity and fun! The men of our tour group joined the men of the village to learn the jumping dance, while we women sang and danced in a circle.
|The men demonstrate the aduma, the jumping dance|
|Rob enjoys the dancing.|
|The women join in the dancing.|
|And we end with the entire village dancing together.|
After the activities, we entered the home of Lobulu's first wife, where he told us more about village life. Each of the wives has her own house and does her own cooking for herself and her children. The chief rotates from one house to the next each night so that no one is favored.
|The three wives of Chief Lobulu|
As we questioned each other, I noticed that, while we westerners might find some aspects of the Maasai society to be unusual, the women clearly thought the same of some of our practices. One of the wives asked each of us how many children we had. One of our group said, "I have two and my husband has three." The Maasai woman looked surprised and asked how it was that they didn't have the same number of children. When our tour member said that her first marriage ended in divorce, the wives frowned and shook their heads. We learned that divorce is almost unheard of. Women who are widowed do not remarry, but that they are welcome and encouraged to have more children.
|Our visit ended with an opportunity to purchase some of the crafts made by the women of the boma.|