Doug Going Photography

Maasai Children near Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Heirs To Tradition

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Masaii in Ngorongoro Crater, TanzaniaFor centuries, the Maasai have managed to survive living in one of the harshest climates on Earth. But they have also achieved a different kind of survival. While other tribes have adopted Western traditions, the Maasai remain steadfast in their efforts to maintain their way of life. This is due to their very strong sense of community and family values. This makes their children grow up well trained and respectful of their elders. In addition, despite their position at the very bottom of the social hierarchy, children contribute in important ways to daily life, such as tending livestock. They also hold pivotal positions as learners, and are regarded as inheritors of tradition. However, with the continued encroachment of Western influences, the ability to hold on to honored traditions becomes increasingly difficult, leaving one to wonder, what remnants of culture will today’s Maasai children be able to pass on to theirs?