Sunday, December 09, 2012

Maasai Women welcome us . . .

Maasai Women welcome song

One of the most moving experiences of the trip to Tanzania was our welcome to a Maasai village. Apparently, someone had forgotten to tell someone that we were coming, so when we did arrive, the Maasai men, wrapped in red robes, took us to their corral to admire the cattle. We then returned to the village to find the women streaming out of their houses into a formal line, to sing this welcome song.

I never learned the words, but I was overwhelmed by the sheer exuberance of this welcome, this music which so warmly invited us to share a bit of the Maasai culture.

Together, we women brought straw for thatching the roof of this round Maasai home. Rain intervened, so we were put to work, hands on, for plastering the walls with a mix of dirt and cow dung.

Later we sat inside the headman's house for some discussion of serious matters, as three elders attempted to explain the complexity of their culture and their resistance to change. The afternoon ended with more songs, dancing, and an impromptu market of elaborate beadwork. I've carried these memories home, having found much more to research, yet grateful for these experiences.

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