The Maasai have several dances but the most common is Adumu, which many outsiders describe as the ‘the jumping dance’. In Maa, adumu means to jump up and down in a dance and it is no misnomer. It is especially popular with the Maasai warriors who are often photographed mid jump, several feet off the ground. In the performance of Adumu, the dancers stand in single file, or form a circle. Alternately, each dancer takes turns gracefully leaping high into the air as the other dancers raise the pitch of their voices to match the new heights that he reaches. Maasai warriors have been known to dance for several hours as they compete on who can jump higher.

Adumu also doubles as a courtship dance among the Maasai when boys that have completed the rituals that complete their transition into men attempt to impress prospective brides with how high they can jump.

Even though leaping up and down for hours on end sounds extremely exhausting, Maasai dancers are rather relaxed, smoothly bouncing off their toes for each new leap and even chatting among themselves as they dance. What is really special about Maasai songs, and something that sets them apart from most East African tribes is that they are not accompanied by any instruments, instead focusing on to the emotional medley of voices each with their own role.

Masai Dance

Even though leaping up and down for hours on end sounds extremely exhausting, Maasai dancers are rather relaxed, smoothly bouncing off their toes for each new leap and even chatting among themselves as they dance.

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