Maasai, in accordance with their belief that Engai (God) gave them
all the cattle on the earth, eat only the meat and fat of sheep,
cows and goats, and drink their milk and blood.
Yes, blood. It's highly nutritious, you know.
A former vegetarian, I consider myself brave to have tried goatblood
(in a cup of sweet tea), but can report only that I found it to
be an 'acquired taste'
one I have yet to acquire.
Livestock is auctioned and goats slaughtered and barbequed every
Wednesday at the Maasai cattle market.
Maasai are famous for their brightly-coloured shukas
used to distress me, I must confess, but lately I am learning to
adopt a much more circle-of-life philosophy.
From the school I can see the morani gathering in their hundreds
with their cattle.
It's a riot of colour; Maasai shukas (a toga-like garment) are red
and purple and orange and the warriors' braid-and-beadwork headdresses
rival my mouse-plough-plaits in their prettiness. I never felt so
plain as I do standing next to a Maasai warrior!
The sale of a cow is often celebrated by a visit to a 'kilabu',
a shebeen selling 'pombe' (local brew), an astonishingly potent
libation made of bananas and millet. I haven't tried it myself,
but by all accounts it is fairly psychotropic stuff.