Rhythm and strength

Masai performance in Tanzania, January 2018

Masai warriors demonstrate their strength and skill with their jumping dance, or adumu. Straight, narrow, and immobile, apart from their feet and legs, is key to this competitive dance. The height and style of the jump is the way to show their warrior strength and, of course, attract the women. They take it in turns to perform, with each man normally only jumping two or three times in sequence.

The Masai provide the music in vocal form, and sometimes add a horn, but other instruments are rarely used. The tone of the voices often rises to match the height of the jump.

As the jumper lands, he bends his legs to take the impact and prepare for the next rise, but their heels never touch the ground.

The Masais often dance for tourists, and I’m sure these affairs are more relaxed than when they are part of a tribal ceremony. Their performance is important in achieving and maintaining position in the tribe.



Copyright Debbie Smyth, 28 May 2019
Posted as part of Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge


9 thoughts on “Rhythm and strength

    1. Yes, I’ve seen them in Kenya too. This group came from a village we had visited earlier that day, and they came over to our camp in the evening to dance and sing for us. They were very proud of their traditions and happy to talk to us. I was invited to stay in the village to learn their language

      Liked by 1 person

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