Phillip Martin Art

The Africa Collection

Maasai Young Man

As with many of the tribal groups in Africa, when a young man or woman reaches a certain age, there are traditional rites that usher them into adulthood.  For Maasai males, the most celebrated age-group is the Morani, or warrior group. The initiated belong in this group for approximately 10 years, beginning in their late teens or early twenties.

It's not all that common to witness the celebration.  I traveled with a small group as we zipped past about half a dozen young men, dressed in black with white designs smeared across their bodies.  The van sped by before I could grab my camera.  Well, I made sure that if we ever saw this again that the driver knew this was a photo opportunity not to be missed. 

Sometimes I get embarrassed about asking strangers for photos.  However, these boys were thrilled.  Actually, they waited along the roadside for interested tourists just like me to stop.  They knew that they would attract attention -- and -- that they would get good tips.  Everybody was happy.

Continue on to Africa Image 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 or back to the Portraits Home Page.