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Culture of Maasai (vol.4)

Updated: Jan 11, 2023

Maasai Manyatta and the Dressing

Homestead (Maasai Manyatta): Maasai homes are traditionally built by the women, constructed of branches woven together with grass and smeared with cow dung on the walls. The homes are built in a large circle that serves to protect an inner kraal, where the cattle and goats lay for the night. The entire perimeter is fenced with sharp, thorny branches that protect both the Maasai and their cattle from marauding hyenas, leopards, and lions.

Dressing: Their dress is wonderfully colorful. Women commonly adorn themselves with great circular plate-like beaded collars and headbands of many colors. Arms and ankles may be wound tightly with thick strands of copper coils. Both men and women often elongate their ear lobes by fashioning them with heavy earrings and beaded ornaments. Ocher, a red mineral ground to a fine powder, is frequently mixed with cow fat and artfully applied to the body.

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