The Sign of the Masai

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Photo Credit: Lynne Yuan

Drawing from Ms. Hartman’s travels in Africa this past summer, the Masai project asked students to research and design Masai warriors.

by Lynne Yuan, Staff Writer

Can you imagine living in a place where cattle is currency and jumping is actually a type of dance? That is the way of the Masai Warriors. The Masai are the people of East Africa who live along the Kenya-Tanzania border. They are widely known as the “noble savage,” often depicted as “fierce,” “proud,” “handsome,” “graceful,” and “elegantly tall.”

These were the very people that Ms. Linda Hartman, media center specialist, had the honor of meeting last summer. Ms. Hartman was so inspired by the Masai’s way of life and their culture that she decided to start a project to teach students about this culture.

After all, these people are the Masai.”

— Ms. Hartman

The first part of the project involved making a sign for the display case in the Media Center, replacing last years “Terracotta Warriors” sign. The new sign reads: “The Masai: Tribe of Warriors” in red letters surrounded by a white border backed by a deep blue background. These three colors are of the few representative colors of Masai tribe.

Red symbolizes danger, bravery, strength, and unity. The Masai people wear the color red on their traditional clothing, called shukas, and smear red ochre into their hair for protection against wild animals – as well as serving religious purposes.

Blue represents energy, and white represents purity and health.  As for decoration, the sign’s red borders display a dash of the remaining colors of the Masai tribe: green for land, yellow for fertility and prosperity and orange for friendship and warmth.

“I’m very happy with how it all turned out,” said Ms. Hartman, “the sign is very colorful and it fits the theme very well, after all, these people are the Masai.”