Maasai Wear

Maasai are best known for their beautiful beadwork which plays an essential element in the ornamentation of the body. Beading patterns are determined by each age-set and identify grades. Young men, who often cover their bodies in ocher to enhance their appearance, may spend hours and days working on ornate hairstyles, which are ritually shaved as they pass into the next age-grade.

Maasai Jewelry

The Maasai tribe of Africa is well known for its traditional handmade bead jewelry. Beadwork has been an important part of Maasai culture for many years. Maasai women set aside time every day to meet and work on beaded jewelry which includes colorful necklaces, bracelets, and pendants. It is considered the duty of every Maasai women to learn the jewelry making craft.

All the tribes beadwork is made by the women but is worn by both women and men.

The colors used in the beadwork are selected for their beauty. The colors are also symbolic and have important meanings understood by the tribe. Often these meanings have an association with cattle, which is the Maasai’s main food source and for which they have a deep connection.


Maasai Accessories

A Rungu (Swahili, plural marungu) is a wooden throwing club or baton bearing special symbolism and significance in certain East African tribal cultures. It is especially associated with Maasaimorans (male warriors) who have traditionally used it in warfare and for hunting. It is a commonly encountered tourist souvenir in that part of the world.

The Seme (sime) is the constant sidearm of the Maasai (Masai) man.  It is a light short sword with a double-edged, leaf-shaped spatulate blade, made from spring steel.  The Maasai use this blade for everything from clearing brush, butchering cattle, to peeling fruit.  They also use it for self defense.

Maasai Shoes

Maasai footwear used to be made out of cow skin. Nowadays the leather has changed into rubber. Rubber tires to be exact. More and more Maasai are moving to the big cities and need stronger and more durable footwear, hence, the tire came in handy! Bicycles, motor bikes and car tires are used to fabric these very strong and durable shoes. Not only do they serve their purpose but are also proven to be very good for the body and the spinal cord.

The Maasai often travel and move around a lot and they are aware of footwear. Throughout the last 10 years they must have been experimenting with different tires and how to make proper and supportive shoes out of them. They have definitely succeeded in this!