It is with tear drops and sadness that today I am saying goodbye to my dear friends the Maasai.
Over the past two months, they given me their trust and love and allowed my lens to take an intimate journey into their lifestyle, challenges, passions and sadnesses.
My journey through our rich world must continue.
I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed our jaunt into the up close and personal life of this very special African culture.
In January, we embark again.
The small innocent children of the Maasai villages out on the vast Serengeti send their love, happiness and smiling joy to all of you.
As I reflect on my Maasai series of images on Through Harold’s Lens over the past few of months, I realize how happy a child can be in with only love and care from family and just a few simple items of life. Being responsible for taking care of a newborn baby lamb. Drawing with a crayon. Playing Tic, Tac Toe in the dirt. Tickling each other with feathers. Creating music with the small harmonica I gave them.
Another Maasai 15-year old I found spending his six months alone out on the Serengeti.
Through rituals and ceremonies, including circumcision, these Maasai boys are guided and mentored by their fathers and other elders on how to become a warrior.
Although they still live their carefree lives as boys – raiding cattle, chasing young girls, and game hunting – a Maasai boy must also learn all of the cultural practices, customary laws and responsibilities he’ll require as an elder.
TANZANIA Through Harold’s Lens:
The rhythmatic beating of the drums suddenly pierced the air. From where I did not know. Quickly looking around, multiple sets of feet began to appear from behind a mud walled, grass thatched hut. To the shock of the Maasai, I laid down in their village dirt floor to capture this shot. Against the roasted brown backdrop of the African veld, the unfolding, stomping line of bright colors of the Maasai dancers were quite a sight.
550 Pounds Of Hungry Meat Eating Beast.
4’ feet high.
8’ feet long.
Kills by strangulation.
Eats 15’ pounds of raw meat a day.
Stalks your livestock and family outside the open door of your hut every night.
You protect yourself from the Lion with what nature provides. Cutting branches from acacia trees, with their 3” long thorns that do not bend, the Maasai weave a 6’ tall thorn fence around their villages on the Serengeti.
Out on the Serengeti, I found the draping of the Maasai beaded jewelry to be works of art.
Dressed in red sheets, (shuka), wrapped around their bodies with loads of beaded jewelry placed around their necks and arms, their appearance was one of regality. The beaded jewelry is worn by both men and women and may vary in color depending on the occasion.
I feel truly honored today to have been selected Aboard Blog of the Week .
Open this Aboard Blog of the Week link and you’ll discover the interview Through Harold’s Lens did with Aboard Blog of the Week.
There are thousands of Blogs out there. They asked me to be their participating guest this week and to answer a few questions. In answering them I learned more about myself and was able to take readers behind my lens with experiences as to what makes me click and how I do it.
Hope you enjoy.
Thank you Aboard Blog of the Week.
This little Maasai is a cute story.
After I took this photo, he followed me everywhere in the Maasai village out on the Serengeti. I asked my Maasai guide about him. He said he loved my camera. The Maasai see mostly small point & shoot cameras. Mine is an SLR with a large lens. I shot a few more images of him. Then hung the camera strap over his neck and showed him how to click the shutter and shoot. Wow! All his buddies came over and he photographed all of them.
Fun for him! Fun for me! Great memories for both!
The Serengeti’s late afternoon sun cast long black shadows through the sharp thorn fence surrounding her village.
Menacing black spikes grew in front of her on the vast bare earth.
The Maasai woman stood absolutely iron statue still for hours outside the front door of her one room circular home built with mud, grass, wood and cow dung. Her eyes were focused to the East.
She was waiting for her warrior husband to return from the veld.
The Maasai people reside in both Tanzania and Kenya.
They are a small tribe, accounting for only about 0.7 percent of Tanzania’s population, with a similar number living in Kenya.
Maasai speak Maa, a Nilotic ethnic language from their origin in the Nile region of North Africa.
A small warrior.
I found him out on the Serengeti with five of his buddies. They were all 15-year old warriors to be and of great importance as a source of pride in the Maasai culture.
To be a Maasai is to be born into one of the world’s last great warrior cultures.
From boyhood to adulthood, young Maasai boys begin to learn the responsibilities of being a man (helder) and a warrior. The role of a warrior is to protect their animals from human and animal predators, to build kraals (Maasai homes) and to provide security to their families.