A Once in a Lifetime Ceremony…

At the beginning of this month, we were incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to witness one of the rarest Maasai ceremonies in history…

The current Maasai warrior  age set was being appointed a chief. A ceremony such as this one happens approximately every 15 to 20 years. A truly remarkable opportunity to not only be around to witness, but to invited to be a part of!

The ceremony began at sunrise and lasted a mere few minutes. The purpose of the ceremony was to bless the new chief his power! He was walked into the compound of the manyatta (where the warriors are living), surrounded by hundreds of people. As you can see below, it was nearly impossible to capture a photo of the blessing due to the number of people surrounding the new chief. He was blessed with the gifts of a traditional stool (to sit on when he is having a meeting with the warriors), and a “rungu” (talking stick/chief stick – in which he will hold when he is hosting meetings, showing others than he has the power to speak).

The blessing was done by an elder from the community, who also happened to be one of our guides here at Campi ya Kanzi – Pashiet! He was chosen to complete this blessing due to his wisdom, and dedication to the local community. 
The blessing was a very quick process. The new chief was then swept away into his home, to relax, and speak with elders who would provide him with wisdom throughout this special day.

The morning continued with hours of dancing, singing, festivities, and gift giving! Hundreds of warriors gathered from all over the Group Ranch, as well as much further areas. 

The kudu horn was blown throughout the morning and could be heard miles away

We were fortunate enough to enter into the home of the new chief where he was relaxing with a few of his fellow warriors and elders. We were able to provide him with kind words of congratulations, and had the chance to ask his a few questions. When asked what the main message was going to be the main message that he communicated to his fellow warriors – he replied with an overwhelming passion in regards to respect. He wanted his warriors to first respect him as their leader, and then to learn to respect the environment, the wildlife, and the wilderness in which they are a part of.

Mamas from neighbouring villages present gifts by walking into the manyatta singing
There are not many words to describe the energy at this celebration. Fortunately, pictures are able to capture the vibrant colours, the joy of celebration, and the uniting concept of community on this special day in the Maasai history of this community.