Google Arts & Culture ( GA &C) has today unveiled an online exhibition ‘Maasai: Wisdom of a Community’, that shines a light on a nomadic community living in parts of East Africa. The GA &C project includes 5 exhibits about the Maasai community and legends by the National Museums of Kenya enabling audiences from across the world to learn more about the community’s rich cultural heritage through over 430+ high resolution images and 55+ exhibits.
Hon. Peninah Malonza, OGW, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife & Heritage in Kenya says, “This online exhibition is an immersive experience into the heritage and wisdom of one of Africa’s most resilient and iconic communities – the Maasai. This body of work is yet another demonstration of how collaborating on digital transformation is making Kenya’s culture and heritage universally accessible while preserving it for future generations and driving greater interest in tourism”.
The online archive provides visitors with different ways to get to know more about the Maasai i. e learning to speak and count in Maa through audio-narrated stories that guide you through the Maasai way of life. The exhibition also walks you through sustainable architecture practices and the symbolism behind the colours and patterns of Maasai jewellery and the history behind the material of Maasai jewellery.
The Country Director for Google in Eastern Africa, Agnes Gathaiya says the online exhibition gives a glimpse into the livelihoods, architecture, craftsmanship, jewellery, folklore, language, mythology and rituals as practised by the Maasai community. “I invite you to discover more about the Maasai in East Africa, and learn about their legendary Maasai warriors, Senteu, Mbatian, and Lenana. From the iconic red of their Shuka cloth, to their ‘adumu’ dance ritual (a leaping dance performed by the Maasai Moran warriors), the Maasai community has lived in East Africa for hundreds of years. People from all over the world have been curious to explore their way of living and we’re excited to be able to showcase their heritage on our Google Arts & Culture platform,” she says.
The project, commissioned by Google Arts & Culture with partners, Project Fuel, a non-profit working with local communities and the National Museums of Kenya, includes 7 exhibits on Maasai folklore and mythology as well as 29 illustrations completed by Indian artist Advithi Emmi.