Monday, November 4, 2013

Young Warriors Dancing

Over 1,000 young warriors (morans), near where I was living, got together to elect a leader for their age group. These young men are warriors in training.

At first I felt uncomfortable taking photos, unsure how that would be received. I soon found that most morans welcomed my presence and camera.

Here the morans are seeing how high they can jump. They jump up and down as a warmup for dancing or war.

After this warm up Jumping I got to see group dancing. The Maasai do not use musical instruments. They use their voice and bodies for sound and rhythm.

I, also, was unsure of participating in their dance. But found myself welcomed. Some even thanked me for coming and participating. I thanked them for continuing their traditions which are slowly disappearing. As the young Massai go to school more and embrace the modern world many let go of tradition. This is a struggle for the Massai. Taking control of the changes which are happening in their world and adapting. One elder warrior told me that he thought there  may be no more Massai warriors being trained in 10 years.   I do  not know if this  is true or if many hold this view but it was one offered me. I feel it is sad if they lose their tradition in an effort to embrace the modern world. Their dancing is fun and a great workout for the spine and legs. My legs and hips were sore, for a few days after, from joining them. But I'd do it again if given the chance.
At first I did not recognize any of the  young warriors. There were so many. Then I started seeing young men from  our village.This photo is of a neighbor, Patrick Sipoi, who I saw at the gathering who was showing a bit of exhaustion when the photo was taken. Their dance and election went on for 3 days and two nights without sleep. He usually has a great smile but it slipped away at the moment this photo was taken. He had been dancing for 48 hours by the time the we posed for the photo. Everyone there had lots of fun even if then were a bit spent from the experience.

As the sun went down on our day, we could see Mt Kilimanjaro hilighted in the Kenyan sun set. We drove back to our village as the warriors continued their Dancing for another day.