We sent our honeymoon testers Denise and Mark to have a Masi style wedding in Kenya!
Here’s their report:
When we arrived in Tipilikwani in the Masai Mara, the camp manager Evans told us that he had arranged for us to do a ceremony here at camp in traditional African robes.
Little did we know what he had planned. After our morning safari, three Masai men came to our tent to dress us. Jackson Naimoodu, a Masai dressed us and painted our faces with red ochre.
The outfits were muli-layered cloth in red and yellow, some with checked pattens and others plain. I had a purple skirt on underneath, and we were both laden with beaded belts and necklaces. Mark also wore a goat’s skin wrap over his robes.
A gourd was put down the back of my robes to signify the children that I would carry for my new husband, and Mark was given a horse hair swish and a short spear.
The Masai led us down the path to the garden behind the open air restaurant. There we were suprised to see an entire tribe of Masai, all dressed traditionally and waiting for us. Not knowing what to do, we were pretty nervous and overwhelmed by the spectacle.
The men and women lined up on different sides of the path, with us between them. Jackson led the way towards a big circle of chairs. We had to cross between some of the tribe elders, who blessed me before I joined Mark. They put grass in my shoes, and then took turns spitting it on my feet for good luck.
Thus blessed, I joined Mark inside the circle as everyone took their places in the circle around us. The three elders took seats in front of us, and Jackson as our best man beside us. John Ole Tome, the compere explained what was going on in English for us, and told us what we had to do.
The whole thing was so overwhelming and magical, especially when the Masai men did their traditional jumping ritual, then the whole group got up to dance and sing.
Finally there were speeches, where our compere thanked us profusely for being involved in their culture, and encouraged us to talk about the famous Masai tribe all around the world. We were so touched. We couldn’t believe that they would include us in such a traditional and beautiful ceremony and he was thanking us?
Luckily, Mark as the new husband made a lovely speech thanking everyone for suprising and including us.
Truly a memorable experience. The Masai are a very proud and beautiful tribe of people, with great traditions and culture, and we thank them for sharing this experience with us.