Maasai professionals have joined cultural leaders in a move aimed at safeguarding the community traditions and passing down the traditional knowledge to the next generations as they are faced with modern challenges.
Led by Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina, media personality Linus Kaikai and Solomon Letangule, a professional from the Ilchamus community, they echoed the Maasai traditional chief’s efforts in seeking support in preserving the community’s threatened heritage.
Preserve Maasai heritage
Speaking in Maasai Cultural Manyatta for Ilkileku age group at Osinoni Transmara West, in Kilgoris constituency on Sunday, the leaders said cultural heritage gives people a sense of identity, unity and belonging and must be protected for future generations.
They echoed Maasai leaders from Narok, Kajiado, and Samburu calling on the Maasai Community to continue preserving their culture alongside upholding education for prosperity.
“I owe everything I have to the cultural training that my community the Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania put me through from childhood to adulthood and the rite of passage for young adults is paramount to the maturity of our young Maasai men,” Ledama said.
The outspoken senator celebrated the young men from one of the clans for walking with one foot in the modern culture and the other foot in the traditional culture as they prepare to face the world.
“Today, I spent my afternoon with over 1,500 Maasai Warriors – our age-mate, sons who are graduating from boyhood to adulthood through a cultural ceremony called “Eunoto Oor Muran.“I am happy to have had an opportunity to share with them my experiences in life and a few words of encouragement,” he added.
On his part, Kaikai emphasized the importance of maintaining the Maasai cultural practices and specifically the Maa dialect should be taught to the young generation who are losing it due to western languages and intermarriages.
“Let us train our children to speak the ‘Maa Language” we call on the leaders, to strictly protect the culture and community traditions for the next generations,” Kaikai noted.
Last week, Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary, Soipan Tuya, Narok county governors Patrick Ole Ntutu, and his Kajiado and Samburu counterparts Joseph Ole Lenku and Jonathan Leleliit toured the same Manyatta and said Maa community has a rich cultural heritage that should be preserved for posterity that gives people a connection to social values, beliefs and customs.
Emanyatta Eunooto ceremony is a Maasai rite of passage during which the Maasai Morans transit from adulthood to manhood.
This year’s ceremony was organized in honour of the Ilkileku age group to usher them into elderliness and into a new level of responsibility in society.
The Ilkileku age group brings together a group of young Maasai men drawn from different schools, universities and colleges as well as graduates and professionals.
The ceremony is conducted every five to seven years during which the initiates receive their final blessing from their elders.
This year’s colourful event began on November 20, 2022, and will end on January 10, 2023.