Recreation in Longido

Recreation in Maasai culture invlolves story telling and community engagement. The men spend their days herding and tending to livestock and cattle. When they return home they often tell stories of their adventures. Women and girls find joy in dancing and singing songs. Elders will often invite their peers to their homes for drinks; sometime the men and elders will gather for socialization and drinks in pubs known as Muratina Manyatta. (Every Culture, n.d.)

Singing  and story telling are also very common. The Maasai keep an oral history and pass information from one generation to the next through story telling. Their stories include mythology, legends, folktales, proverbs and riddles.  Songs are used to tell stories, and the Women play a strong role in composing melodies. "They also improvise teasing songs, work songs for milking and for plastering roofs, and songs with which to ask their traditional god (Enkai) for rain and other needs." Larger celebrations and parties are held for special ceremonies and tend to occur only in relation to traditional rituals or rites of passage. The Eunoto, for example, is held when a Warrior becomes a Man (Every Culture, n.d.).

Western sports such as soccer and basketball is common in school or similar settings. But in a typical community environment, children enjoy games such as X-bamboucha and tag. Adults are not as likely to participate in games such as sports, though warriors consider warding off enemies and lions a form a sport in its own way (Every Culture, n.d.).

The Maasai do not have games of chance, but do participate in some physical-skill games and activities. One study suggests that tribes living in areas close to the equator, such as the Maasai in Tanzania, participate in fewer physical-skill game due to extreme heat (Roberts et. al., 1959). This is consistent with a more recent study that suggests that the Maasai have a relatively low-physical-intensity lifestyle, using moderate activities such as walking, over running. They do move quite frequently albeit at a low intensity, spending many hours a day walking (Peterson, 2012).

The Maasai are also noted to participate in Games of strategy, games which represent social systems and interactions. The Maasai are said to have no social stratification --with classes based on formal age groups and wealth distinctions rather than hereditary aristocracy-- but have complex enough social interactions to merit the development of strategy games (Roberts et. al., 1959) .

Finally, other activities include crafts such as beading. Jewellery such as necklaces, bracelets and anklets use traditional beading techniques, however, the style changes to reflect the popular style of the time. "It is possible to identify the year a given piece was made by its age-group design." Other artforms include wood carving. Arts and crafts are often also used as a source of income - the Maasai have begun selling their crafts to tourists (Every Culture, n.d.).

Why this is important:

Recreation plays a large role in understanding the social interactions of the culture. Furthermore, when designing play spaces and community areas, it is key that we have an understanding of the types of games and recreation that is common among the people of Longido.


Every culture (n.d.) Maasai. Retrieved October 8, 2014, from:
Roberts, J. M., Arth, M. J., & Bush, R. R. (1959). Games in culture. American anthropologist, 61(4), 597-605.

Peterson I.B.(2012) The Maasai Keep Healthy Despite a High Fat Diet. ScienceNordic. Retrieved: October 8, 2014 from:

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