Masaai initiates
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Tanzania’s Masaai initiates

Tanzania is such an incredibly beautiful country, and its people are friendly and forever smiling. Spending time finding out about new cultures is part of any trip and I was really looking forward to finding out more about the iconic Masaai tribe. They’re depicted in all the photos of Tanzania with their brightly-coloured blankets and I’ve seen so many videos of their ritualistic jumping dances that I felt like it was all too good to be true.


Driving out of the Serengeti National Park, our game ranger pointed out these two boys waiting nearby in the bushes. They were cloaked entirely in black and their skin had been blackened with paint. There were no embellishments on the blankets they wore and the only detail in the garb was a headdress and the stark, contrasting white geometric patterns spread across their foreheads.


Our ranger explained that the boys were in fact Masaai initiates and would be expected to dress just like this throughout their initiation period, which includes a circumsion ceremony that signifies reaching adulthood and becoming men destined to be Masaai warriors.


The appearance of these boys was just so entrancing that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it and the significance and cultural weight their appearance held for me. Can it be likened as coming into the light after being cloaked in darkness? I don’t know, but it sure made me think about how important a life with colour is. This intriguing attire is also the reason I’ve chosen to post these pics instead of any with Masaai warriors in all of their wardrobe, the simplistic black and white of it all says so much about their culture for me.


Masaai initiate


My trip to Tanzania was courtesy of Fastjet and Asilia Africa. As with all my posts, editorial control remains with me.

Travel & food blogger helping adventurous South Africans find their next escape.

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