Maasai Clothing & Jewelry: What Do The Colors Mean?

The jewelry and attire of the Maasai are among the most visually remarkable aspects of their culture. The traditional robe known as the Shuka is primarily crimson in color. No one is certain where the traditional plaid pattern came from, despite the fact that many have recognized similarities to Scottish tartans. Depending on age and social standing, different colors and styles of clothing are worn.

Similar to this, the traditional Maasai beaded collars let people know their age, social standing, marital status, clan, and more by using different colors!

The most significant hue is red, which stands for strength, bravery, and courage. Additionally, according to the Maasai, crimson may deter lions from a great distance. Because animals are killed when communities join together to celebrate, red also stands for unity in Maasai tradition.

Since white is the color of cow’s milk, it stands for vitality and purity. Green also represents health and well-being because it is the color of the grasses that cattle eat. Together, the sun and rain—blue for the sky, which produces rain, and yellow for the sun—produce the elements required for life. Black is a representation of the people and the struggles they face, while orange is a symbol of hospitality, friendship, and charity.

If you want to see and learn more about traditional Maasai clothing from a Maasai, make sure to let us know when you book!

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