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Dr. Lorna Wánosts’a7 Williams, Chair of the First Peoples’ Cultural Foundation, giving a stirring keynote speech. Photo: Julie Elizabeth Photography provided by the First Peoples’ Cultural Council

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Nebulisi, Ole’s niece, drinking water from a yellow jug. I was taken by how easily Nebulisi held up the 20-liter water container, sucking every drop of water out of it.


Left: Ngalai, from a neighboring boma, hand-stitching engoti, jugs made from gourds to carry water and milk collected from cows. Women gather with children during the day and stitch beadwork jewelry and engoti gourds. Right: The gourds are collected in the fields, where they grow wild. They are scraped of seeds and pulp, dried, and then sealed.


I met Matagoi with her baby Nginyikelai at Ole’s boma. During the day, the women and children gather to talk, help each other, make jewelry, and share in child care.


Ole, who invited me to visit his boma (cluster of huts where the Maasai live).


Most Maasai still choose to wear their traditional cloth called ormisimbiji, beaded jewelry, sandals, and hairstyles.