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Maasai Boy Survives Buffalo Attack

The African buffalo is the second most dangerous animal in Africa.

Buffalo’s are quite heavy, weighing in at 1.5 tons and, stand tall at 1.7 meters high and approximately 2.8 meters long. When these animals feel that they are in danger they attack head on, using their extremely sharp horns.

This is what happened to Lection this summer in Tanzania.

Lection was going about his daily business herding his cows when he stumbled across a herd of Buffalo.

The buffalo herd got startled and immediately went into defense mode and ran after Lection.

A buffalo can easily out run a human, and can get up to speeds of 35–40 miles per hour.

It hooked Lection with it’s horn in the inside of his leg throwing him to the ground. It then proceeded to stomp on his leg, crushing all the bones.

Lection had been herding his cows with some other boys, they also had with them a few dogs.

The dogs went into their own frenzy and miraculously scared the buffalo away.

By this stage Lection’s leg was severely damaged, but he was alive.

He was then taken to Meserani Snake Park to be cared for.

Meserani Snake Park is situated 20 minutes out of Arusha in Tanzania.

Here they have a free medical clinic that treats over 1000 patients per month all free of charge.

Lection was quickly evaluated, his leg was so badly damaged it was decided that he needed to be sent to the local hospital in Arusha for his leg to be amputated.

The procedure took place, Lection was then sent back to the Snake Park to recover and be cared for my the medical team at the clinic.

I meet with Lection not to long after his operation, he was in good spirits.

We took him soda’s and reading material, stuff like that.

Ma and BJ the owners of the park, kindly organized for Lection to get a prosthetic leg. Just one example of the fantastic work the people at the Snake Park do!

Lections only concern was that he wouldn’t be able to herd his cows.

So we sat with him and showed him some videos of other people that have had limbs amputated, that live a completely normal life.

He was amazed when we showed him, big smiles from ear to ear and then he asked, “Will I be able to bend me knee?”

He went for a few fittings and here is the end result.

Yes Lection can bend his knee.

One happy boy. He has made a full recovery and is looking forward to getting back to his daily life.

Lection is extremely lucky to be alive, and I do feel if it wasn’t for those dogs the outcome could have been far worse.

Please remember buffalo’s are aggressive, they may look harmless, they should not to be looked upon as an over sized cow.

Great work to the Snake Park for giving Lection a new start to life.


Tania Bale

African Art Online.Com

Filed under african buffalo tanzania maasai

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Circumcision in the Maasai Culture

Circumcision  is part of the Maasai Culture, known in Maasai as (Emurata.)

In Maasai culture a boy only becomes a man once he has been circumcised. and a young girl may only get married once she has been circumcised.  Circumcision of boys is carried out every seven year period, each seven year period is given a name eg Nyangusi the next seven year group Seuri the next group Makaa etc.

Once a boy reaches a certain  size he is asked by an elder if he is ready to be circumcised if he agrees preparations are made brewing beer (Anaiho in Masai) which is made up of honey, sugar and water this is left to ferment for three days then aloe roots are added the brew is then left for a further two weeks. When preparations are complete the celebrations start one day before circumcision day in the afternoon the warriors sing and dance with the boys to be circumcised known as ( Layoni ) this carries on through out the night then early in the morning.

The Layoni are taken to the bush by the Moran or warriors and washed with cold water this is known as (Engare Endolu) once they have been washed they return in silence once they reach home the boys are taken to the entrance of the cattle kraal (cattle boma) where the Witch doctor (Olakitoi) is waiting while one boy is being circumcised the other boys are guarded by the Moran in side the Boma. Circumcision takes place on a cow skin placed at the entrance of the boma. No antispetic or anesthetic is used.

Boys are circumcised by the witch doctor using a sharp knife. The boys who do not cry out while being circumcised are honored by the relatives giving them a cow or a goat. It is classed as a sign of weakness if the boy cry’s out while being circumcised. This rarely happens as they are outcast. Once circumcised they are taken inside the house and put to bed to wait for blood diluted with milk which helps the boy to recover his loss of blood, when the boy (Skolio) has had enough he is left with one Moran ( warrior) to tend to him till he gets better which is about seven to ten days. The celebrations continue to the evening, Moran and young girls sing and dance drink milk and eat meat while the elders drink beer and eat meat. The Skolio circumcised boys (pre warrior)  spend the next seven months or a year recovering, singing and enjoying them selves in this period they only wear black and paint their faces with white chalk, during this period the warriors and woman are not allowed to eat in front of the Skolio however the elders may. After this period there is another celebration as the Skolio now become Moran and change from wearing black to wearing red cloths at this stage they have very short hair for a period of six months then they are allowed to have long hair.

Female Circumcision:- Is carried out once the girls are mature and not by age. Preparation for circumcision is carried out much the same as for boys. The girls are washed by the elder woman relations, they are then taken to their mothers house were they will be circumcised  by a female Witch doctor (Engakitoy). During the circumcision the senior Moran will appoint two warriors who will watch the girl being circumcised, the other moran dance behind the two morans watching. Once she has been circumcised the two warriors will enter the house and hand the girl their spears, handing the girl their spears is a sign that all is over and she must now getup.  The two morans then leave the house and join the dancing morans out side where they continue dancing. The girl then comes out with the two spears and hands them back to the morans, she then returns to the house to rest but the calibrations continue all night much the same as for the boys. The girl the same as the boys must wear black. During the recovery period they are called (Eskolio) Once they have fully recovered they can then get married.

Female circumcision is illegal in Tanzania, unfortunately this still takes place underground and is very hush, hush.

It was really interesting talking to these six young men. This is myself and my daughter with six young boys after their ceremony. They would normally not agree to such photo’s being taken, but kindly agreed.

A moment I will never forget.



Tania Bale

African Art Online.Com

Filed under maasai traditions maasai warriors Tanzania maasai Circumcision in the Maasai Culture