In a Massai village in the north of Tanzania
Wolfgang Praegler & Gudrun Mirbach-Praegler
We visit this Massai village near the small town of Mto wa Mbu at Lake Manyara. The Massai are a people originating from what is nowadays central Ethiopia. From there they migrated south in the 15th century. They are nilohamitic people, and they generally are slim and quite tall. Their god Engai, who  is living in the volcano Ol Doinyo Lengai, has endowed the Massai all cattle in the world. Still nowadays they mostly live a nomadic life, following the good grazing grounds and waterholes with their cows and goats. Their temporary villages (Enkang), have simply constructed huts (Enkaji) of twigs that are plastered with mud and cow dung. As protection against beasts of prey the huts are surrounded by a hedgerow of thorny branches. When the grazing ground has run out, the whole group moves on. Typical of the Massai is the jewelry of the women and of the men as well. Singing is done by men and women, but only men do the jumping dance: The dancers do standing jumps as high as possible to show their strength. Other dances are running dances: A whole group of men runs in a nearly military formation back and forth.