Celebrating Rites of Passage with the Maasai

Celebrating Rites of Passage with the Maasai
  • Hotel

  • Meals

  • Transfer

  • Staff Guide

  • $265pp Adults

  • $132.50pp 7-16 years

  • Free 6 years and under

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Overview

Rites of Passage day tours are experiences about as grass roots as they can ever possibly be and One Horizon are honoured to invite you to special days to celebrate important life events with our Maasai friends.

The Maasai are proud semi-nomadic pastoral people who have age-old traditional cultural practices and rituals. The core values embedded in their rites of passage are respect and responsibility, safe guarding the lineage of their clan, transferring powers from one age set to the next, and teaching of indigenous legends, traditions and life skills. Important occasions could include:

  • Maasai weddings
  • coming-of-age events that mark the transition from a young boy to a moran, or warrior
  • naming ceremonies

One Horizon invites you for the day to attend areal Maasai ceremony at a real Maasai village with us, and the experience is not only lots of fun but gives you a unique insight into the traditional Maasai way of life and the rich culture of Kenya’s peoples.

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Celebration of Maasai Life

Highly-celebrated life event ceremonies are an intricate part of the Maasai culture, and on these special days we drive you to a village in a rural area on the outskirts of Nairobi. The village elder will give you a tour and explain how the Maasai have managed these precious lands for centuries, andyou will be dressed in a traditional Maasai shuka cloth or ‘African blanket’ in preparation for the ceremony that is taking place that day.

Celebrations - Maasai Males

Severalrites of passage relate to males as they go through the stages of being a Maasai moran, or warrior,between 14—30 years-old.These brave and strong young men defend their families, village and cattle, and three of the important ones are: Enkipaata, the induction of boys leading to initiationof being a moran; Eunoto, the shaving of heads of the morani paving the way to adulthood; and Olng’esherr, the meat-eating ceremony that marks the end of being a moran and the beginning of them engaging in the community’sdecision-making to prepare them as future elders.

Celebrations - Naming Ceremonies

Also important is the Maasai baby naming ceremony, known as Enkipukonoto Eaji. When a child is born, he/she is not given an official name and for up to the first three years is called the embolet, meaning ‘an opening’. In the ceremony, which bestows a great deal of honour on the mother and child, the new name is based on the baby’s personality from birth.

Celebrations – Weddings

And then there are the weddings, and marriage in Maasai culture is a very important and elaborate affair that incorporates many traditional customs. The female family members of the bride dress and adorn her in beautiful beadwork, there’s a procession from the girl’s home to the husband’s enkang (enclosure), the bride and groom are blessed and washed with milk, and the families share ceremonial honey beer. There are also pre-wedding celebrations roughly equivalent to bachelors’ or hens’ informal get-togethers.

Which ever ceremony you attend, you can expect a fun-filled day, try some delicious Kenyan food, listen to the Maasai’s stories, beliefs and ideas, and join in the lively and infectious singing and dancing, which includes the extraordinary jumping dance or adumuas the morani demonstrate their prowess. You will learn so much from participating in these events, and enjoy the party as the Maasai respectfully honour their strong, wise and highly revered members of their community at these life-affirming rites of passage.

Inclusions

  • Air-conditioned transfers. We'll meet you at your Nairobi hotel at 9am and drop you back at about 5pm. Along the way we'll show you some amazing sights as we journey through suburban and rural communities that tourists rarely see.
  • A light lunch.
  • Unlimited fruit, tea, coffee and bottled water.
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Your Stay In Nairobi

Your Stay In Nairobi

We are happy to recommend alternative accommodation options that meet your
requirements during your time with us in Nairobi. Our preferred hotels
are Palacina and Hemingways - If you would like us to explore other options please contact us.

Testimonials

Beata

Beata, AUST

Immersing in amazingly interesting but most of all genuine Maasai culture of East Africa for one day
Been welcomed at airport by amazing Nairobi lady who introduced us to the Kenya way of life straight away. We have an amazing discussion comparing life of western and African educated and advanced women. We have also enjoyed the cheerful one hour bus ride with other tourists from other corners of the world to the Maasai land out of Nairobi. The time with the Maasai group of men and women of all ages dressed in their traditional attire taking us to their huts and showing us their daily routine looking after cattle, making fences from the local tough plant and making jewellery for their colourful head dresses seemed like a dream. It was very interesting to listen to one wise Maasai mother of four how the lives are changing for their offspring’s even for girls who have less rights than boys and she dreams about the time they get western education too. It was interesting to also talk to a Maasai teenager who very skilfully was able to merge both cultures to his full advantage, studying in Kenyaat college and living Maasai hunter and cattle hoarder life when home. I am richer for getting to know the true Maasai people. Thank you Colin for your vision to make it possible for us.

Jan

Jan, AUST

The most inspirational moving experience ever
I booked 2 full day experiences in Kenya and both days far exceeded my expectations. My first day was just me and my guide and we visited the Grandmas Project.i was so inspired with One Horizon and all they do on their programs to make the participants self sufficient. I met with and shared lunch with the Grandmas and listened to their remarkable stories. I will never forget them.
My second day there were 3 of us plus our guide and we visited a Maasai family and once again sat with them and listened to their incredible stories. I have such admiration for these wonderful people. For me the fact that I had actually helped these families by my visit made me feel good. I cried both days and have so much admiration for them and the amazing work One Horizon do. This us a MUST DO for everyone heading to Nairobi.

Danielle

Danielle, USA

A Must Do Day
We travel to many places and I find it important to not take but also give back to these amazing cultures and people. We cannot truly appreciate other cultures without a local to explain it to you and without seeing and giving back in a way they request. This experience was invaluable to meet Kenyans that don’t work in ‘tourism’ but rather dedicate their lives to connecting those in need with outsiders who want to help but don’t know how. One Horizon offered my child and I a way to connect with Kenyans that multiple safaris and camps and tours could not do. I’m in awe of their dedication and tireless work.

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