The Maasai are an indigenous African ethnic group of semi-nomadic people located in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. Due to their distinctive customs and dress and residence near the many game parks of East Africa, they are among the most well-known African ethnic groups internationally. They speak Maa, a member of the Nilo-Saharan language family that is related to Dinka and Nuer, and are also educated in the official languages of Kenya and Tanzania: Swahili and English. The Maasai population is estimated at about 0.9 m in total, divided roughly 50:50 between Kenya and Tanzania. Accurate estimates of the Maasai populations in both countries are complicated by the remote locations of many villages, and their semi-nomadic nature.
Although the Tanzanian and Kenyan governments have instituted programs to encourage the Maasai to abandon their traditional semi-nomadic lifestyle, the people have continued their age-old customs. Recently, Oxfam has claimed that the lifestyle of the Maasai should be embraced as a response to climate change because of their ability to farm in deserts and scrublands. ** Clothing / Traditional dress: Maasai women typically wear vast plate-like bead necklaces, and colourful wraps called kanga. The men are famous for wearing a red-checked shuka (Maasai blanket) and carry a distinctive ball-ended club. For Maasai, red clothing stands for power. Many Maasai wear simple sandals, sometimes soled with pieces of tires. When males become ‘morans’ (warriors), around age 14, they traditionally dye their hair red with ochre and fat. Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maasai