The Maasai are a tribe of people who live in parts of Tanzania and Kenya and are known as tall and fierce warriors. They can be recognized by the special red cloth they wear which is called a Shuka. The Maasai Shuka has become their trademark and they wear it with utmost pride and elegance. Dominated by the color red, other primary colors used in different prints of the Shuka represent different aspects – or elements – of the Maasai culture.
RED is the most important color for the Maasai community. It represents cow blood – which the Maasai drink mixed with cattle milk for added nutrition, power and strength – especially in times of famine. It is also considered important for Maasai warriors to wear it as a way to protect themselves against wild animals. It is held as a sacred color, and is always the basic color of the Shuka, or blanket worn around the shoulders by both men and women.
The Maasai community believes that raising these cattle was a heaven-sent gift, and that the cattle were brought from the sky by God. Therefore, BLUE represents the sky that provides the water and rain for the cows which are an important source of food.
GREEN characterizes nourishment and production. It represents the land that provides food for the Maasai and their livestock. Green also represents the need to protect territory, and to be rooted in a place.
ORANGE represents hospitality, warmth, friendship & generosity. While YELLOW is symbolic with fertility and growth, it symbolizes the sun which sustains life by helping the grass grow which cattle eat. As in Western cultures, to the Maasai community yellow is considered to be a sign of happiness and prosperity – and sometimes a warning.
Your choice of color is significant to your surroundings and how you live your life IN those surroundings. And, you may require more than just one color – a color palette – for your home. The best color combinations can have a remarkable impact on how you feel, the value of your home, and even your health. For your right colors, contact us to bring science, craftsmanship and artistry to your next painting project.