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Get Inspired by Virtual Learning. Join us for Webinar Series on Maasai Culture in Tanzania

Päivitetty: 7. marras 2020

If you're bored with lockdown strolls, we have amazing live travel experiences for you that you can take part in your home. When you can't travel to us, we come to you. Visit Natives is hosting a series of webinars focused on indigenous cultures and wisdom. Each month, we will be collaborating with respected elders and other indigenous community members, who will be sharing their experiences and wisdom from various perspectives. Hang on to your hat, and let us take you to the UNESCO World Heritage Site and admire the beautiful nature of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, where our new webinar series is streamed live with the Maasai. You can choose between indigenous Maasai wisdom and holistic healing, where you can meet the spiritual leader and Maasai medicine man. Or you can choose a more general webinar on Maasai culture and traditions where you can attend Maasai warriors bush camp and have a look at Maasai women's daily life. Our exciting online live courses provide you the opportunity to learn and advance your knowledge about the contemporary Maasai way of life and their fascinating culture in Tanzania.

Indigenous Maasai wisdom and bush medication

For thousands of years Maasai people have used medicinal plants to cure illnesses and they recognize the value of our natural world and the importance of community. Maasai concept of health doesn’t mean the physical wellbeing of an individual only. Holistic health refers to the social, emotional, and cultural wellbeing of the whole Maasai community.

"When I was a child, Maasai cured all the diseases with bush plants. If I had malaria, my father collected a particular plant from savanna, and he boiled it in hot water. Then I drank it, and fewer were gone the next day.” 

says Olopiro, who is a native Maasai from Ngorongoro Conservation Area. He spent his childhood following his father’s footsteps, who was a laiboni, a respected Maasai spiritual leader and a medicine man. Maasai place great faith in their traditional healers, many believing they can cure many ills, be they mental, spiritual, or physical. Laiboni is a traditional Maasai healer and a medicine man who uses bush medicine. The curative powers the Maasai laiboni rely on are no bush voodoo. Instead, they use medicinal plants. The herbs are used in humans and animals for a wide range of illnesses. Olopiro was the oldest son, and he came to know many bush plants and how his father used them to cure people. When Olopiro became a Maasai warrior, he spent his warriorhood in Ngorongoro Conservation Area as well, learning essential skills in how Maasai live in balance with wild animals and nature. Now Olopiro coordinates and plans Visit Natives' trips to stay with Maasai in Tanzania. He also makes sure that Maasai benefits from our sustainable tours and that Maasai women's voices are heard in our social projects.

But what can we learn from Indigenous healing traditions? Maasai people have successfully used bush medicine and holistic healing for thousands of years. Many of these practices continue to be used today. Maasai wisdom is oral, and this indigenous knowledge is passed from generation to generation. Bush medicine is used by most traditional healers in the prevention and treatment of a variety of illnesses. It’s primarily plant-based, using native barks, food, seeds and leaves as remedies. Bush medicine is made and applied in a variety of ways. It can be crushed, heated, boiled, smoked, inhaled and applied directly to the skin. If you walk with Olopiro in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, he can tell you in detail which medicine tree works best for what symptoms and how Maasai use them. Join our webinar with Olopiro and discover the art of indigenous wisdom and holistic healing.

Contemporary Maasai culture and traditions

More than a hundred years ago, the Maasai ruled over much of East Africa. Their feared warriors were renowned for their bravery. In the past, every Maasai warrior was obliged to kill a lion, as it was symbolically a rite of passage. Until these days, the Maasai have a special relationship with their land, the wild animals, and cattle. The Maasai are pastoralists who have adopted a revitalized approach to preserve their culture in modern times. The Maasai traditional diet consists of almost entirely on the meat, blood, and milk of their herds. Their way of life is deeply rooted in traditions that have been practiced in the same way for hundreds of years. The Maasai are known for their age-set system that is united around prophetic leaders or diviners. There are about 430,000 Maasai in Tanzania who live along the Great Rift Valley on semi-arid and arid lands. 

Maasai livelihood is based on herding cattle, goats, and sheep. Maasai living in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area are used to co-live with wild animals. You hear stories of the Maasai warriors who take you to herd cattle in the beautiful plains of Ngorongoro. Maasai culture is rich in traditions. The rites of passage are mainly practiced by young men of the Maasai community aged between fifteen and thirty, but women also undertake specific tasks. Join one Maasai tradition and understand the meaning of rituals in Maasai culture. Maasai women are responsible for building and maintaining the houses as well as fetching water, collecting firewood, raising the children, milking the cattle, and cooking for the family. Meet the Maasai women and learn more about the purpose of gender roles in Maasai culture.

You can make an impact that lasts

Visit Natives' mission is to preserve indigenous cultures through small scale sustainable tourism that benefits the indigenous people directly. The majority of the payments go to the Maasai community. The webinar series is designed and presented by the Maasai from the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. As Visit Natives has canceled all the tours this spring due to the Coronavirus outbreak, we continue supporting the Maasai to get additional income from online learning courses.

We also support the broader Maasai community by purchasing health insurance for Maasai families. Attend this webinar series, and you become part of an effort to preserve indigenous wisdom, improve their socio-economic conditions, and to protect the fragile nature that has medicine for future generations. We continue to support indigenous communities, and with every single purchase of our webinar series, we buy health insurance to a Maasai family. When you have accomplished the webinar series, we'll send you a certificate together with a proof that we have purchased health insurance for one family. At this time, we need each other's support more than ever. Many Maasai families live in remote locations with limited access to health services that are not free. Your purchase can change someone's life for the better.

Register now to the Maasai Webinar Series

Webinar: Indigenous Wisdom and Bush Medication: Introduction to Holistic Healing in Contemporary Maasai Culture. Time: 24-26 April 2020

Webinar: Introduction to contemporary Maasai Culture and Traditions

Time: 28-30 November 2020

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