by Christy Ihlo -- June 29th, 2012
(Note: I did receive permission to take pictures at this event.)
Tapping their walking sticks on the ground, the young Maasai warriors circled together, chanting and leaping into the air in a show of celebration. Children gathered at the circle’s outskirts, watching the display. A short distance away, a group of elders gathered under a tree to partake in the festivities, washing down the traditional roasted cow with sodas. Groups of women, adorned with beautiful headdresses, sang traditional Maasai songs, both rhythmic and exotic. Smiles were abundant on this day of great celebration, the Coming of Age of the next group of young Maasai men.
I was very fortunate to be able to attend such an event, to experience true traditional Maasai culture in its essence. It was overwhelming and exhilarating– I could have taken pictures for hours and never tired of catching the perfect pose or expression. Traditions like this are so rare in our modernized Western culture and it is refreshing to experience a moment so steeped in history. It is certainly a day I won’t soon forget.