PHOTO: Maasai Moran My Hair Dresser
In this picture, Maasai Moran plaits a woman’s hair with African braids as his Moran medicine man friend looks on. To twist the braids, the Moran rolls the braids on his thigh, a technique that needs lots of practice to master.
I remember the days when I would go to the estate salon and the salonist would thrust the braids into my hand, “Gawa!” Only for my tinny hands to fail at splitting the braids into plait-able strands. Frustrated, she would retort, “Si ugawe vizuri!” Then she would shove your head back and forth and finally sandwich it between her thighs! And you would be obediently suffocating in there.
The 21st century Maasai Moran: The hair stylist and medicine man
Barely a few decades ago, this Maasai Moran would be on the hunt fending for his family. He probably would have needed to kill a lion along the way.
Enter the 21st Century and he has to fend for a living otherwise. While his fellow Moran is a traveling medicine man peddling a concoction said to cure and heal all, ingenious him draws from his roots to earn extra coin.
Maasai Morans are known to style their natural hair is somewhat similar fashion (twisting by rolling it between the palms of the hands) though this time using animal fat and red ochre to hold it together and for the dye effect respectively.
Away from the hair, this picture is wrong in many ways. At least by conservative African standards. Trust us to raise a ruckus for the apparent shoving of loins on faces. If we raised a storm over the sitting arrangements on boda bodas? Trust us with this one too.