Old Masai (Maasai) Shield – ELONGO – Kenyaamazigh
Early to mid 20th century. Buffalo hide, pigment, goat sinew, wood handle and frame. Cm. 88,0 high x cm 47,5 width (34.65″ x 18,70″). Excellent general conditions.
The Masai were known for their bravery and being superior warriors. A headdress, spear and shield are essential art forms carried and worn by a Massai moran (warrior).
Maasai are a Nilotic ethnic group inhabiting central and southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. The Maasai speak a Nilo-Saharan language. They inhabit the African Great Lakes region and arrived via the South Sudan. Most Nilotic speakers in the area, including the Maasai, the Samburu and the Kalenjin, are pastoralists, and are famous for their fearsome reputations as warriors and cattle-rustlers.
The Maasai and other groups in East Africa have adopted customs and practices from neighboring Cushitic-speaking groups, including the age set system of social organization, circumcision, and vocabulary terms.