The Maasai (also Masai) are a semi-nomadic people located in Kenya and northern Tanzania. They are among the most well known Indigenous People in all of Africa, due to their distinctive customs and dress and residence near wildlife areas in East Africa which are now considered game parks.
The Maasai speak Maa, which is a member of the Nilo-Saharan language family. The Maasai population has reported as numbering 840,000 in Kenya in the 2009 census, compared to 377,000 in 1989.
The Tanzanian and Kenyan governments have instituted programs to encourage the Maasai to abandon their traditional semi-nomadic lifestyle, but 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. Many Maasai tribes throughout Tanzania and Kenya welcome visits to their village to experience their culture, traditions, and lifestyle.
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