Travel tips

Published on March 24th, 2014 | by Ella Benjamin


How to be a Masaai warrior (in 5 easy steps)

Read time: a bit over 2 minute

The Masaai people are an ethnic tribe known for their fearlessness and physical beauty. Their culture and traditions have remained relatively untouched for centuries – save for the travellers who frequent their company – and spending a night in a Masaai village is one of the coolest things you can do in Kenya and in life in general. Here’s what we reckon it takes to be a badass Masaai warrior:

Must love cows

Masaai Cows

The Masaai are often referred to as the “people of cattle” and believe that God made all the cattle in the world just for them. That’s right, all of the cows in the world. It is the duty of the men to protect the cattle and their wealth is measured in terms of their cattle and children. Cattle are also the dowry payment used to secure a marriage. Want a wife? Gotta get some cows.

Must face a lion

Masaai lion

The lion hunt is a historical rite of passage for Masaai Warriors. The young warriors set out in groups to spear a lion in order to prove their bravery and strength. The Kenyan government has ruled that only one lion can be killed for this purpose in each generation. So you basically there’s some serious competition to get that lion. The warrior that spears the lion first is considered to be the bravest of all the warriors and gets a sweet hat made out of the mane (see above).

Must jump for joy

Masaai jump

Another way the warriors prove their strength/general badassness is through dancing. Dancing is supposed to give the warriors courage before a hunt. It also is an excellent opportunity to impress the ladies. The higher a warrior jumps, the more ladies he impresses.

Must love making babies

Masaai women

When the warriors aren’t herding cattle or spearing lions, they’re basically just trying to get laid. Men must wait until they are twenty six (after prime lion-hunting age is over) in order to marry. At minimum, a man will have two wives and will spend most of the evening going between the huts of his wives getting them pregnant.

And the Masaai women are an impressive bunch; they are in charge not only of raising the children but also for building their huts, milking their cows and cooking.

Must know how to wear an outfit

Masaai dress

The picture says it all really. Badass.

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About the Author

My travel highlights include: climbing Mt Kinabalu in Borneo, sand boarding in Peru, eating Brazilian BBQ in Rio, sleeping in a monastery in Japan and cruising next to hippos in Kenya. I’ve lived in the Middle East and in America’s deep south, and one time I met Prince Harry in Las Vegas. The end.

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