Take a moment to think about what this word means to you. What do you associate with it? And are these associations based on accurate sources?
By definition a tribe is ‘a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect’.
Imagine being submerged into a tribal way of life such as this and having to let go of all those things we thought were a necessity in our daily lives. How would I provide for my family? How would I cook? Clean my teeth? Brush my hair?!
A way of life that is so distant from our own is sometimes hard to comprehend. What we generally know of tribal life comes from TV programmes, fictional books and films, which although may be based on actual experiences, are these really an accurate portrayal?
Perhaps on one level we don’t know much about the ins and outs of the word ‘tribe’ itself because it is such a broad term in itself. Many different tribes by definition exist on our globe, but all have such distinct beliefs and ways of life that by putting them all under an umbrella term is somewhat naïve. For example, the Amazon Rainforest alone is home to 400 different tribes, each with their own culture, beliefs and language.
One tribe who have somewhat opened their gates to visitors are The Maasai People. As such, our knowledge of their way of life is perhaps broader than that of other tribes worldwide.
The Maasai People, who occupy East Africa’s Great Rift Valley in Kenya and Tanzania, are famed mainly for two skills: being highly efficient cattle herders and tall fierce warriors.
Cattle herding is hugely important in Maasai society as the size of a man’s herd (along with the number of children a man has) determines his status and importance. This makes sense since the survival of the community depends on the strength and fitness of the cattle. Family members recognise this importance of the cattle and bond emotionally with them. The Maasai do not eat the animals they farm, except for on special occasions, they only trade them for crops.
Warriorhood prepares young males of the Maasai tribe to be responsible people for their community. They protect the homestead, maintain water sources for the community, and protect the livestock from wild animals and theft. There are many different skills that are involved in being a warrior; these are honed over many years with the help of more experienced warriors.
As a result of the Maasai People opening their doors to visitors, they have been left open to influences from the modern world, with the risk of losing some of their unique traditions. Moreover, the tribe have been subjected to local governmental programs that have been put in place to encourage the Maasai People to leave behind their traditional semi- nomadic lifestyle.
Despite this, they have still maintained their rich dynamic customs. This really reflects the power behind their traditions, with each having a significant meaning that has been shaped by their ancestors for centuries. There is a huge importance placed on passing down such traditions and skills to the younger generation, as this ensures the longevity of the tribe over many generations to come.
It’s these traditions that people are hugely intrigued by, and the Maasai People are willing to share these secrets with us.
Through many personal experiences with a specific Maasai tribe in Kenya, The Adventure Boutique has been lucky enough to experience the wonder of being intertwined into the tribe’s way of life. Via the relationship they have developed with this tribe, they have developed ‘The Maasai Way’ itinerary that can offer you the chance to gain similar experiences for yourself.
The Adventure Boutique is really creating a whole movement of people who are starting to think twice about how to spend their holidays. Perhaps this is your year to join this movement and use your holiday to really discover the world around you. No matter what your age, you haven’t missed your chance on doing something adventurous like this. This is your time to discover the world around you.
Exploring the rich culture and nomadic life of these extraordinary Maasai People could be one of the most distinctive and remarkable journeys you’ll ever make. Who knows what you may even learn about yourself.
Just to dampen one main concern that people have when considering a trip of this nature- this is not a ‘gap-year’ like trip. The Adventure Boutique molds the general itinerary around you and your preferences and makes sure elegant luxury aspects are implemented throughout. From local chefs, guides and highly skilled Expedition Leaders to look after you, to exclusive camping that includes four-poster beds and your own shower facilities in the desert, The Adventure Boutique team really ensure you are looked after.
‘The Maasai Way’ week- long itinerary aims to gradually immerse you into cultures of the Maasai People. You’ll be introduced to the tribe warrior members who will guide you into their world each day. You’ll be given the opportunity to learn and practice Maasai traditions such as their medicinal secrets, weaponry powers, traditional dressing style and animal tracking techniques. This week will give you a real feel of life as a Maasai warrior at a pace that suits you. Who knows what hidden Maasai Warrior skills you may have hiding away!
For more info on The Adventure Boutique visit their website here.