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Maasai art themed lamp shades by Maasai accents-Half Cone shape
Maasai are best known for their beautiful beadwork which plays an essential element in the ornamentation of the body. Beading patterns are determined by each age-set and identify grades. Young men, who often cover their bodies in ocher to enhance their appearance, may spend hours and days working on ornate hairstyles, which are ritually shaved as they pass into the next age-grade.
Maasai are the southernmost Nilotic speakers and are linguistically most directly related to the Turkana and Kalenjin who live near Lake Turkana in west central Kenya. According to Maasai oral history and the archaeological record, they also originated near Lake Turkana. Maasai are pastoralist and have resisted the urging of the Tanzanian and Kenyan governments to adopt a more sedentary lifestyle. They have demanded grazing rights to many of the national parks in both countries and routinely ignore international boundaries as they move their great cattle herds across the open savanna with the changing of the seasons. This resistance has led to a romanticizing of the Maasai way of life that paints them as living at peace with nature.
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