Tanzania

Life on the Ngorongoro Crater looks like a small Eden for both Masai and their animals. Taking advantage of the “cave” that offers water and food, the Tanzanian creatures, speaking or not, spend their lives there protected by the influences of the industrial modern world under the eyes of a slightly more “wild” god. The Ngorongoro Crater is a refuge for thousands of animals living in it and not migrating. About 25,000 large animals live in the Ngorongoro crater of 7,000 of which consist of a rare species of antelope that does not move but instead remains in the crater.

As you leave the crater and go out into the countryside, you see Masai tribe indigenous people transporting their animals to the crater for water and food.

Masai are famous for the courage of their warriors and their mastery of cattle raping. Noble and decent people have proudly preserved their traditional way of life and their cultural identity despite the pressures of the modern Western world to modernize. They live nomadically and breed antelope and sheep. They are dressed in handmade clothes and live in small circular villages called manyattas, which consist of small sludge huts.

Masai girls do a closure between 11 and 13 years of age, and then they marry a man who chooses the father in exchange for an antelope or money. A Masai woman is forbidden to divorce her husband, except for the most outrageous cases of physical violence. Also, Masai woman has no right to commit a second marriage even if the husband chosen by her father is elderly and dies and she is still a teenager. Instead it remains the property of one of the deceased husband’s brothers. She will become one of the many companions and will have many children regardless of her state of health or the ability to grow them properly. He wakes up early in the morning to milk the cows and spend the day walking for miles to find drinking water or to collect the amount he needs to fill the pots that will wash the clothes. He will look for even big pieces of wood that will go back to the house for fire.

Masai are scattered in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. They are among the best local populations due to their presence near the Great Lakes amusement parks and their distinctive clothing.

The Masai Mara area hosts most migratory breeds. Here, millions of antelopes following the monsoons begin their historic journey. They move to large groups looking for green. The journey is tiring and many die during injury, drowning or burnout. For unknown reasons the antelope crosses the River Mara from different points making it extremely difficult to be in the right place at the right moment to capture this drama in a camera.

Marina Vernicos

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