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The Kid Should See This

Adumu, the traditional Maasai jumping dance

In Ewangan Village of the Maasai Mara National Reserve, young Maasai warriors demonstrate adumu, their world-famous jumping dance, most likely performed for visiting tourists. The adumu is a part of Eunoto, a long-observed coming-of-age ceremony that includes 10 days or more of singing, dancing, and traditions.

“It might look easy, but reaching heights like this takes immense strength and fitness,” explains this educational feature by Reuters, sponsored by Kenya’s Narok County:

Dances are a big part of Maasai tradition. There are dances for all kinds of important social occasions… Men and women prepare for the dance by painting designs on their faces and bodies with a red, earthy pigment called ochre. They wear intricate, colourful beadwork necklaces and shawls…

One at a time they go to the centre, jumping in time to the rhythm. It’s important to keep the body as straight as possible and heels shouldn’t touch the ground between jumps… The women dance too. Mothers sing about the courage of their sons. The girls sing to encourage their favourite warrior.

Maasai demonstration of Adumu
the adumu
Watch more dance tradition videos, including:
• Zaouli de Manfla: The Zaouli dance of the Ivory Coast
• Buffalo Dance by the Serpent Trail Dance Group
• The Westerly Morris Men celebrate the vernal equinox
• San Francisco’s Kei Lun Lion Dancers

Bonus: Widow birds bounce and leap for attention.

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