The complete six-part documentary series on six DVDs.
Filmed in the Rift Valley, Kenya, Maasai: Film Essays includes a series of six films, which investigate the contemporary influences that are shaping Maasai culture today.
These remarkable films, in which the Maasai describe their culture and the ways in which a rapidly changing world continues to impact their way of life, bring the viewer close to an extraordinary and semi-nomadic Indigenous world.
The Maasai films contained in this DVD set are:
1. Women at Work and Women at Home
In this film, Maasai women describe their way of life and we visit a Maasai hut, a medical dispensary and go shopping in a Maasai market. In Maasai society, women are responsible for carrying water, for cooking, looking after the children and building the huts. Maasai women create the intricate and colourful beadwork jewellery that make Maasai dress so distinctive.
2. Enkang Life
Enkang Life documents the daily activities in Olmaroroi Village in Kenya's Rift Valley. The women prepare a donkey transport, the men light a fire and a Maasai bride leaves the village.
3. Changing Times
Changing Times explores some of the more confronting issues and challenges as Maasai society adapts and deals with the pressures of change. A group of Maasai girls recite a poem about the changes they want in their own lives, including the right to marry a man that they love and the opportunity to attend higher education.
Please note: This film contains discussion about female genital mutilation and other matters relating to sexual relationships in Maasai society.
4. Food and Celebration
Following a male circumcision, an important ceremony in life's journey, the village gathers to sing and dance and celebrate the event. The women prepare the food as the men attend a goat slaughter.
Goats and cattle are a source of wealth in Maasai society and the animals are looked after with great care. There is a very great difference here from the industrial farming of western society.
Please note: This films contains a sequence showing a goat slaughter.
5. Keeping Knowledge
Keeping Knowledge explores the ways in which Maasai believe they can preserve their precious cultural heritage while at the same time considering new ways of community development.
Drought has a severe impact on the community's capacity to maintain traditions and crafts, yet it is these traditions and crafts that provide an opportunity to develop other sources of income.
6. Birds Sing and Lions Roar
Birds Sing and Lions Roar explores the relationship between the Maasai and the environment. As the drought deepens the men travel further and further in search of pastures.
Dependent on their cattle and goats for survival, like all Indigenous people, Maasai are in the front line when it comes to the consequences of climate change. This time the rains come and we make a dash to cross the rapidly rising rivers and we meet a group of Maasai warriors.
Running time: 180 mins