The Ultimate Guide to The Maasai Shuka Cloth Throw - The Warriors Cloth
Maasai warriors are easily recognized by their tall, slender build wrapped in red patterned Shuka cloth and their long large blade spears.
The Maasai are viewed as Africa's last great warrior tribe that has thrived in the great rift valley region of East Africa for well over 2000 years.
Their unique and rather simple nomadic way of life includes an unusual diet of milk and cow's blood and traditional rituals deeply embedded in their slow-evolving culture, which has kept them firmly tethered to the land they inhabit.
Contemporary Maasai dress code enforces their cultural heritage as a warrior tribe, and Shuka cloth plays a prominent role in their clearly defined life milestones.
The use of Shuka cloth as the main Maasai warrior garment has gone through a slow but steady metamorphosis over the last few centuries that finally culminated in patterned red, blue, and green cotton Shuka cloth emerging in the 1960s.
Maasai warriors and the lions of East Africa.
As part of the Maasai coming of age ritual, a young warrior would have to earn respect and acknowledgment of the tribe by hunting and bringing down a lion.
This ritual was always an integral part of being recognized as a true Maasai warrior; however, the declining lion population raised concerns among conservationists, who figuratively managed to pull a rabbit out of a hat to save the East African lions.
The Maasai tribe inhabits a sizeable geographical region covering southern Kenya and the northern part of Tanzania, which coincidentally eclipses several game conservation areas.
International tourists are in absolute awe about everything to do with the Maasai people. In turn, the Maasai have graduated the term "pay for play" by having tourists pay for their selfies with this unhinged warrior tribe of Africa.
Interestingly, the Maasai people's end of life was not ritualized with formal funeral ceremonies. Burials in the past were reserved for great chiefs only, and subjects who died were left in the open fields for scavengers.
The Maasai believed that burying the dead was harmful to the soil, which showed just how much reverence they have for nature
Ian Macharia@macharia- Took this on a trip to Kargi, a remote nomadic settlement in Kenya. It’s been a while since I got to experience a people so constantly happy and full of joy as the people of here.
Other great african tribal blankets
Maasai Shuka cloth, the symbol of a nation
Against the backdrop of dry red-brown savanna plains, the predominantly red shuka cloth drabbed around the body of a Maasai warrior stands out as an epic statement of bravery and courage.
Yet only over half a century later did the Maasai transition to using cotton fabric which many interpret as their unwillingness to transform to western norms. Either way, the Maasai were more concerned with a few primary colors related to their culture and traditions.
Maasai Shuka cloth colors and patterns.
The primary color of shuka cloth is red, with blue, green, and black being widely used. There are also multi-colored designs available that sport the typical square tartan pattern and include striped designs.
This indicates a shift toward aesthetics while still trying to represent or stay connected to traditional values.
Jewelry plays an essential part in Maasai culture for both men and women as it too signifies the status of the person in society.
Blue is the color of the sky which provides water in the form of rain, and white is the purity of milk, whereas red represents blood and signifies the unity of the tribe, courage, strength, and protection. Green stands for the land, which nourishes the cattle, and yellow is for the sun, making life possible.
Orange depicts the hospitality, friendship, and generosity of the Maasai.Shuka cloth is a thick, hardy cotton blanket wrap worn by the Maasai, sometimes around the waist but mostly over one shoulder and draped around the body.
The cost of a Maasai blanket, also known as a shuka or Masai shuka, can vary depending on several factors, such as the material's quality, the blanket's size, the design's complexity, and the location 4 is sold.
In Kenya, where the Maasai people are primarily located, a basic shuka made of cotton or wool can cost between 500 and 1500 Kenyan Shillings, equivalent to about 5 to 15 US dollars.