Building Manyattas with the Maasai – 1 Day Signature Experience


Building Manyattas with the Maasai – 1 Day Signature Experience

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Meet members of one of the most well-known surviving tribes in the world, the Maasai, and learn a quirky new skill in the process. Ever built a hut before?! Well, you will find out how to do just that on this tour, picking up tips from the Maasai masters themselves. You will spend the day in the beautiful Kenyan countryside, getting to know some of the friendly members as they teach you how to build manyattas; mud and thatched homesteads usually surrounding a cattle enclosure. Most are built by female family members and are a vital source of income for local women. A traditional lunch is included on the tour, which will offer another chance to chat to your hosts and compare life stories. This is a unique opportunity to spend a day with the Maasai, a proud semi-nomadic pastoral people who have age-old traditional cultural practices and rituals. Build a home the Maasai way Your One Horizon guide will pick you up from your hotel for a scenic hour-long journey to a Maasai village in the hills around Kiserian, a settlement in the Great Rift Valley southwest of Nairobi. You will be introduced to the elder Maasai women who will be supervising the day’s events and will also meet the women of the family whose home you will be helping to build. Over a cup of delicious Kenyan tea, they will share with you what it’s like to live in a village, Maasai tribal values and how the Maasai manage their environment. Once we’re all acquainted, it’s time to get stuck into your project for the day—building a manyatta. You’ll be shown all the skills that are required including how to replicate the intricate weave of the branches, sticks, and thatch, and make walls and ceilings out of mud. These instructions are very special as you will see and take part in traditional home-making skills that have survived for centuries and are passed down through generations. After also building up an appetite, enjoy a hearty lunch of local ugali, (a maize flour porridge), vegetables and fruit, eaten with your hosts, giving you more time to get to know them and find out more about their way of life and how it might compare to your own. The afternoon continues with the building of the manyattas, and while a home like this can take up to three weeks to build to wait for the materials to properly dry out, you helping the women can reduce this time significantly. Before returning to Nairobi, they will dress you in traditional Maasai-style in a red shuka cloth or ‘African blanket’ and you will be treated to an infectious display of singing and dancing.

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