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Maasai Emanyatta Head Shaving Ceremony

Head Shaving Ceremony in East Africa

Maasai People Time Honored Traditions.


Magadi, Kenya, Maasai

Learn about African Maasai Emanyatta Head Shaving Ceremony.


Maasai Words of Wisdom.

It takes one day to destroy a house; to build a new house will take months and perhaps years. If we abandon our way of life to construct a new one, it will take thousands of years. - Maasai People Proverb.

Head Shaving Ceremony in Africa like many other Maasai cultural customs, the traditional ending ceremony of the emanyatta warrior's camp head shaving is disappearing because of the controversy of circumcision, which is very painful yet deeply rooted in Maasai culture.


Maasai society of men.
Maasai men.


Maasai Emanyatta Ceremony African Tradition and Ritual.

After circumcision, the next step is to form the Emanyatta or warrior's camp. Emanyatta contains twenty to forty houses randomly selected by warriors. Warriors will choose certain mothers to relocate at the emanyatta for the duration of its existence. Each Maasai section has its own age-set. The two most common camps are Ilaiserr and Irmolelian or clans; however, it is common for a section to have more than two emanyatta camps.

At the climax of the Emanyatta ceremony, each Maasai Warrior initiate has his hair shaved by his mother. At the climax of the Emanyatta ceremony, each Maasai Warrior initiate has his hair shaved by his mother. This is one of the most poignant moments of his life, as he now leaves the peak period of warrior-hood behind and prepares for the responsibilities of adulthood.

With their heads newly shaved and their bodies rubbed with glistening red ocher, the initiates gather to receive the final blessings of the elders. The elders walk among them, chanting prayers and spraying them with mouthfuls of milk and honey beer. A typical blessing is “May Enkai give you many children, many cattle and a long healthy life.”

Maasai Words of Wisdom

Did you know? Enkipaata, Emuratta, Eunoto, Eokoto e-kule, Enkang oo-nkiri, Olngesherr, are the most popular rite of passages and ceremonies in the Maasai society.

Wise African Proverb

Wise African Proverb

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