What you need to know:
- The Maasai, who originated from the northern Tanzania regions of Arusha, Manyara and Kilimanjaro, have lately become famous and easily recognizable thanks to their brightly coloured robe.
Arusha. Members of the Maasai community say they are keen to preserve their rich cultural insights.
They have also appealed to the government to assist them grapple with increasingly worrying impacts of climate change.
Representatives of members of the nomadic tribe from several regions who met recently insisted that nothing would distract them from upholding their culture.
These include giving due respect and listening to the advice given by their traditional elders on how to live in peace and harmony with other communities.
The meeting, which took place at a ritual site in Siha District, Kilimanjaro Region was convened to discuss emerging challenges facing the community.
Those in attendance include the community leaders, commonly known as Laigwanan, the elderly and representatives of women and the youth.
One of the speakers at the meeting Eva Tisho from Chamwino District, Dodoma Region regretted that some of the cultural norms of the Maasai have been eroded.
He said it was a high time that the youth are reminded on maintaining discipline by listening to the advice of their community leaders and elders.
Mr Bahati Baraka from Mbarali District in Mbeya Region castigated people who abuse the Maasai culture, saying their traditions were promoted good behaviour.
The community leader who identified himself as Jeremia Sendui Laizer said the meeting was convened to discuss challenges facing the nomadic tribe.
He cited climate change as the most burning challenge as three consecutive years of inadequate rains have impacted heavily on their livestock keeping economy.
The vagaries of weather has not only led to diminishing pastures for their large herds of livestock, but also scarcity of water and by extension food production.
Additionally, climate change impact has gone further as thirsty and hungry cattle invade protected areas, triggering to human and wildlife conflicts.
When seized grazing illegally in the protected areas such as the national parks, the livestock owners are fined up to Sh500,000 per head.
The meeting also discussed the importance of rangelands under which specific areas across the country are designated as grazing land for the livestock keepers.
The Maasai, who originated from the northern Tanzania regions of Arusha, Manyara and Kilimanjaro, have lately become famous and easily recognizable thanks to their brightly coloured robe.
Maasai ‘shuka’ is predominantly red or blue cloth, wrapped around their lean and slender frames.
Red symbolizes Maasai culture and it is the colour believed by these people to be able to scare off lions even from a great distance.
Maasai jewellery, created with beads and metal wire, are just as famous: men wear wrist or ankle bracelets, and sometimes belts and necklaces to