The story of Loita Forest

Riri Signature Half Sun NeckpieceLong before our grandparents were born, there lived a lively young daughter of the Maasai whose name was Nasira. Every evening she would sit with her grandmother around the fireside listening to the age old stories which had been handed down in just such a manner for many generations.

Many of the stories Nasira was told recalled the creation of the Maasai people, how they got their cattle from Enkai(God) ,the cunning nature of the wild animals ,the brave deeds of men and the wicked deeds of ogres.

There was one particular story that Nasira liked about the forest. This huge forest lay at the edge of the Maasai lands and many tales were told about its mysteries. According to the story, a group of Maasai morans made camp in the middle of the mysterious forest. On their way back from a cattle raid, some of the morans got lost in the dense forest. The lost morans beat the trees with their clubs to make an echo so that their colleagues could find them. When, however, the search party reached the spot from which the noise came, there was no sign of the lost morans. They had totally vanished! Since that time, those poor morans were never seen again.

Nasira grew to be a hardworking girl and did all her chores diligently, she was always attracted to the mysterious forest. One day, her curiosity led her to wander too deeply into the forest and just as the lost morans from her grandmother’s story, Nasira, after countless searches was never to be seen again. This saddened her entire community and then on, this mysterious forest was named ‘Enaiminie Enkiyio’-The Forest of The Lost Child which is the present day Loita Forest .

It is found in the Narok District of Kenya. It remains an area of undisturbed nature in the wide lands of the Maasai and is much valued for the many benefits it bestows: water, wild fruits and berries, honey and lush grass can be found there at even the driest times of the year. In addition, many of the trees have valuable medicinal properties which can be exploited. Unlike the mysterious forest it was once believed to be, children at times neglect their grazing duties in search for special fruits in the forest.

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