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Maria, the camp chef, invited me to a ceremony at her boma in Olibili. As well as being an amazing cook, Maria also helps with different aspects of the Lion Guardian program in my absence, including sending air time to the Guardians while they are out in the field and entering Lion Guardian data into the computer.

The ceremony was to mark the graduation to being a murran. When one graduates to being a murran a big feast is prepared, two big cows are slaughtered and some local brew is prepared called Emomoi. This brew is made from the pods of a tree known as Kigelia Africana, mixed with honeycomb. People also use it as a medicine, as well as a drink on big occasions.

The climax of the ceremony is when the murrans gather together and dance in the centre of the boma to welcome the new murran. Young women also dance, and show off their expertise by shaking the beads around their necks, and the murrans compete to see who can jump the highest to attract these women.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/KHl9xxpiBXs" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
Here is a photo of young women at the ceremony. Unfortunately Maria is not in the photo, as she was the photographer, while I took some footage of the dance.
women.jpg

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Showing 10 comments
  • Reply

    I’ve always admired the colorful dress and beads worn, absolutely beautiful! You mentioned once before, the initiation age, is it seventeen? I’m also curious what this drink tastes like.

  • sauwah
    Reply

    theresa, they make good beads! i bought some on my last safari for my friends back in las angeles. they were so impressed. the men sure can jump high. this is great because no lion was speared for this murranhood!

    i wonder what was in senator oboma’s mind while he was hearing tales of lion hunting by murrans in kenya in the ninties. he did not have any reaction at all in his book.

  • Joy
    Reply

    Nice Clip! What is the significance of the color red in Masaai culture? And don’t the throats get hoarse after singing for that long??? Sounds great tho’

  • Lisa, Seattle
    Reply

    Wonderful video and picture. So beautiful. It’s nice to have these little peeks into your culture Antony. Thank you for sharing.

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