The traveler shared his impressions of the African wedding.
Masai — a tribe of proud warriors, one of the most ancient and numerous throughout Africa.
About the wedding ritual of the tribe says photographer and adventurer Denis Knyazev.
It’s rather private people, and be a guest at a traditional celebration may not every lover of travel and adventure. However, I did it, and today I am sharing with you photos from a real wedding Maasai, who I miraculously managed to get. Helped me specialist in Kenya Vyacheslav Kulikov who live there.
Due to the identity of people and its pristine customs of wedding ceremonies is preserved in the form in which he conducted many hundreds of years in a row. This is a colorful and interesting spectacle, filled with ritual dances and conveys the spirit of the people, their life principles and core values.
Most members of the Masai tribe living in the border areas of Kenya and Tanzania near mount Kilimanjaro — the highest point of Africa. This peak Maasai considered the dwelling place of Ngai, the husband of the goddess of the moon and Creator of all things, including the tribe itself and the cattle, which they valued so highly.
The Masai village is a few dozen huts arranged in a circle and enclosed by a fence of thorns that protects from attacks by lions, leopards or hyenas. In this area live the bride and groom, to the wedding where I was able to get.
House in the village of the groom, in which he will lead his wife after the marriage rituals. Maasai dwelling built of branches, obmazyvat walls with clay mixed with cow dung. All household work — building a house, cooking, caring for children and the elderly — are performed by women.
Friends of the groom help him and each other apply cosmetics of ochre and sheep fat. Every warrior always carries a small mirror.
In the photo, the groom near his home. As they grow older male tribe climbs the ladder: a young man — a warrior — elder. The harsh laws of their ancestors are respected Maasai and now, but on a much smaller scale. Previously, for example, be considered a true warrior could only he who slew the lion. Has the right to marry only a warrior with experience. Maasai can have several wives, and their number depends on the number of livestock.
The beliefs of the Maasai state that God himself has entrusted them to the care of the herd all cows in the world. Livestock is the only livelihood of the tribe, he gives the horns, skin, meat, milk, blood, manure for building houses. Cows graze children from the age of five and teenagers who have not yet passed the rite of circumcision. These boys can always be distinguished for your long hair with braided pigtails and colorful decorations. Cattle as the bride price that the groom pays.
The main food of the tribe is cow milk. In modern times taken in the milk add the flour and cook porridge. Meat is eaten only on occasion of special celebrations — in normal times, cattle are considered too valuable to kill.
A long time Masai drink bull’s blood, sometimes mixing it with milk. It is believed that it helps to preserve and to multiply the strength. In the neck the cow shoot special thick arrow with a small iron tip, which pierces the jugular.
Blood fills the substituted vessel of hollowed-out pumpkins. The animal is not killed, the wound is carefully treated clay with manure, and she heals quickly. The Masai passion for the red color associated with the color of animal blood. Blood is the source of life and an important staple food.
17-year-old bride is preparing to meet the bridegroom. The Masai tribe girls of marriageable age can be recognized by a rigid flat collars made of beads strung on wire. Jewelry that the girls make themselves, play an important role, not only decorative, but also social. The decoration itself is, how and where it is worn, the choice of colors and combinations — all this carries the meaning, tells about the age and status of women.
Girls are considered ready for marriage after undergoing the rite of circumcision. According to the beliefs of the Masai, this cruel ritual compulsory, and a man has the right to refuse women that this procedure has not passed, or to take a bride for a very low fee.
The girl first saw her future husband who came to pick her up from father’s house — she’s never coming back. According to tradition, the bride choosing the groom’s parents in advance and discuss the ransom with her father. In the future, if the husband wants to find new wives, we choose them to be the first wife.
By the decision of the bride’s father the ransom was ten cows. In Maasai wealth and earn — sell daughters. So a man with more girls, has a high status. The bride’s family near his home.
The blessing of the father of the bride. The family members together sing a parting prayer. From the Masai tribe there is no divorce and all family disputes decided by the elder.
The groom leads the bride to his village, where they are waiting to commit other wedding ceremonies. With them is the groom’s brother by initiation.
Married women meet bride welcoming songs and escorted to the center of the village, a corral, for a meeting with all residents.
The welcome dance performed during the meeting of the bride in a village where all the inhabitants. Your dexterity young warriors show, performing jumps up. It is believed that one who is above all jump, the more skilled and strong hunter and he will have good luck. Maasai are the only tribe in Africa that does not have drums. The music they create rhythmic throat singing.
The blessing of pumpkin milk vessel all present at the wedding under the loud songs.
The colors used in the jewelry symbolizes the attitude of people to animals.
Red is the power color of the blood of the cow, which is slaughtered for ceremonies.
Blue represents the sky, the giver of water for livestock.
Green is the color of the grass, grazing for cattle.
Orange is the color of hospitality.
Black is associated with difficulties through which people in your life.
White is the color of milk given by the cow, a sacred animal of the tribe, the Masai.
Blessing milk a Bridal father of the groom.
The house of the mother of the groom, where the bride will remain alone until the next day. The wedding night the couple will be only on the second day after the wedding. In this house they would live until the moment you build your house.
After marriage rituals it was about the time of the meal. Men drink home brew homemade.
The children of the village.
Women eat separately from men. In the boiler, brew tea, cook rice.
In the wedding the duties of the young men included the preparation of sacrificial goats or sheep for a feast.
Men go to the place of sacrifice. To make fire by friction here — the usual case. The sacrificial animal is cut quickly: remove the skin and literally dismantled piece by piece. Fried liver of goat men, presented as a gift to the bride.
In this scenic Savannah now has a new family — the successors of the family of Masai tribe.