Culture in Masai Mara National Reserve
Culture is Masai Mara national reserve is dominated by the Masai locals that leave around and inside the reserve. The Masai Mara National Reserve, unlike other protected wildlife areas, was named in honour of the local Maasai people. The reserve is one of the most famous protected areas not only in Kenya but in entire Africa. It’s the largest game reserve in Narok county commonly known as the pride of the Masai. The reserve is very unique in that the Maasai locals are the ones who are directly managing the reserve unlike other national parks of Kenya. The Maasai have left together with the wildlife for decades in good harmony making it one of the few protected areas in the world where both humans have left with wildlife in good terms.
The local Masai people are pastoralists by nature and practise small farming hence giving chance for the wildlife great leaving conditions. The locals under their management council the Narok County Council and the Trans-Mara County Council overlook on the daily management of the reserve. This close good relationship between the people and the wildlife has boosted tourism in the reserve through diversification of activities that include game viewing and Culture.
The Maasai tribe is one of the tribes in Africa that has remained stodge to their cultural beliefs despite the world’s modernization. They belong to the Nilotic ethnic group alongside other tribes in Kenya. The Maasai occupy mostly the Southern part of Kenya where they spread across the Northern part of Tanzania. They mostly leave along with the Great Rift Valley areas which are dominated by hot and dry climatic conditions. The semi-desert areas favour their live style of pastoralism where they can freely move from one area to another in search for green pastures and water. The population of the Maasai people is still low with an estimated population of about 1,500,000 people that occupy an estimated land area of 160,000 square kilometres. The majority of these Maasai Population stays around the famous Masai mara national reserve. The Masai of Kenya are made up of 16 communities that are also called Iloshons. They are : Iloitai, Ilkankere, Ilkeekonyokie, Ilmatatapato, Iloitokitoki, Ilwuasinkishu, Isiria, Ilkisonko, Iloodokilani, Kore, Ilarusa, Ildamat, Parakuyu, Iloitai, Ilmoitanik and Ilpurko.
The Masai Mara National Reserve is a land of the Masai culture where the Maasai warriors has left for long as they practice pastoralism. They are recognized with their red and blue robes that is wrapped on the body. The robes are used as clothing during day and bedsheets during the night time. The ladies are decorated with colourful beads and jewellery. The Masai Mara national reserve Culture has benefited not only the tourists but also the locals who organise different cultural activities for entertaining the guest during the visit to the local communities around the reserve. The culture has put the Maasai people on google maps where the whole world is a were on the presence of the Maasai people in Africa. It has exposed the locals to different people from different places in the world though they learn their culture has never been changed.
Masai Mara national reserve Culture is one of the great activities that guests come to enjoy during their visit to Masai Mara national reserve. The warm welcome that most camps and lodges have put place and they are done by the local Maasai people. Missing Maasai culture during your trip in Masai mara makes you fill incomplete tour in African land. They have their own local dance format of jumping up nicked named seeing tomorrow. The culture of the Maasai especially the Kraal settlement pattern. Families are leaving in extended families with all the members leaving together in locally gazetted or traditionally fenced areas with thorns to avoid the wildlife attacks.
According to the Masai culture women do most of the homework like house construction, fencing, milking and all household work. Men are a source of security, leaders of the society and looking after the cattle. The men also make Kraals for the herds using the Acacia thorn trees. They make it to the extent not even monitor lizard can pass through the kraal.
Dressed mostly on red or blue shuka clothes with an unforgettable wooden stick in their hands always lead the guests inside their villages. The guests are led with ceremonious local dance pattern led by the leaders of the clan. Some guests can be shocked with great spoken English from the locals. The ground mothers always speak in Maa which is translated by the young ones to the guests in English. Maasai people are traditional polygamous families that form the village with the descends of one person even summing up to 100 descendants. The Maasai warrior marries up to 5 or 6 women and produces a dozen children. They don’t even know family planning methods.
The Masai Mara national reserve Culture highlights the feeding nature of the Maasai people. They depend mostly on their cattle as sole source of livelihood, getting meat, fresh milk and fresh blood from their livestock. Its their sole dependency on the livestock has made it possible for the Maasai people to leave in harmony with wildlife with little competition but only tight protection. They eat communally in a group which are arranged according to the ages. The houses which are called Inkajijik are round grass thatched houses that are mostly constructed by ladies. They are made up of a mixture of mud, cow dung, sticks, human urine and grass. The inside part of the houses are made up two rooms with a kitchen inside it, store where all the family utensils, food, fuel, firewood and other home items are kept.
Thanks to the Narok Council and the Government of Kenya through Kenya wildlife services for the great involvement of the Local Maasai people to directly managing the Reserve. At first, the grandparents of the Maasai used to kill lions when they attack their cattle but now government compensate them making them not to hunt the lions but only report to the park reserve authorities hence good conservation of nature.
A visit to Masai Mara national reserve Culture is unique and must experience for more details about African culture. The Masai people have managed to conserve their culture amidst this world of dot com where modernization is on high speed.