Maasai are a Nilotic ethnic group inhabiting central and southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. They are among the best known local populations due to their residence near the many game parks of the African Great Lakes, and their distinctive customs and dress.The Maasai speak the Maa language. It is estimated that 1 million Maasai people live in Kenya and Tanzania. Please note that Most Maasai doubt these numbers. Many Maasai see the national census as government meddling and often miscount their numbers to census takers. Some people want to be counted ten times while others refused to be counted. Tanzania does not conduct census based on ethnicity, which makes it difficult to estimate Maasai living in Tanzania. Popular tourists destinations in East Africa such as the Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Maasai Mara, Amboseli, and Tarangire game reserves are located inside the Maasai region. The reserves are now considered protected areas set aside for conservation, wildlife viewing, and tourism. Maasai people are prohibited from accessing water sources and pasture land in game reserves.
The Maasai live in Kraals arranged in a circular fashion. The fence around the kraal is made of acacia thorns, which prevent lions from attacking the cattle. It is a man’s responsibility to fence the kraal. While women construct the houses. Traditionally, kraals are shared by an extended family. However, due to the new land management system in the Maasai region, it is not uncommon to see a kraal occupied by a single family.
The Maasai are a semi-nomadic people who lived under a communal land management system. The movement of livestock is based on seasonal rotation. Contrary to many claims made by outsiders, particularly the Hardinian school of thought, this communal land management system allows us to utilize resources in a sustainable manner. Each section manages its own territory. Under normal conditions, reserve pastures are fallowed and guarded by the warriors. However, if the dry season becomes especially harsh, sections boundaries are ignored and people graze animals throughout the land until the rainy season arrives. According to Maasai traditional land agreement, no one should be denied access to natural resources such as water and land.