The Maasai are an indigenous African ethnic group of semi-nomadic people located in Kenya and northern Tanzania.

Due to their distinctive customs, the way they dress, and their residence near the many game parks of East Africa, they are among the most well-known African ethnic groups internationally.

They speak Maa a Nilo-Saharan language related to Dinka, Nuer, Turkana, and Songhai.

The Maasai population has been estimated as 841,622 in Kenya with a total population of over 1 million.

Estimates of the respective Maasai populations in both countries are complicated by the remote locations of many villages, their semi-nomadic nature and they’re being the only ethnic group allowed free travel over the Kenyan-Tanzanian border.

Maasai society is patriarchal with the elders deciding most matters for each Maasai group.

The laibon (spiritual leader) acts as the liaison between the Maasai and God, named Enkai or Engai, as well as the source of the Maasai herblore.

The Maasai are mostly monotheistic in outlook, but many have become Christian under the influence of missionaries.

Traditional Maasai lifestyle centers around their cattle which constitutes the primary source of food.

They also believe that God gave them his cattle to watch over. Women can only marry once in a lifetime, although men may have more than one wife (if enough cows are owned, they may have more than one at a time).

In the area of Lake Natron, there are Maasai bomas spread around the area, but the main central village is several kilometers away to the west at the base of the escarpment.

The village is named Ngare Sero. which means dappled water or black-and-white water.

This village gets its name from the river flowing out of the escarpment through a spectacular gorge that is both arid and lush.

The source of the Ngare Sero River is groundwater originating from the Ngorongoro highlands.

Masai Photos