The Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania have a reputation as great warriors. They are known for their exceptional height, often over six feet. The shuka or draped cloth that they wear around their waists is usually red, the primary color of the tribe. It can also be in red patterns. The tribe originated in the Lower Nile valley, and arrived in Kenya via the Sudan, in a migration that began in the 1500’s. The tribe now numbers about 500,000 people. The tribe speaks the “Maa” language. Swahili and English are also spoken. The Maasai live in homes made of mud, sticks and cow dung, usually arranged inside an enclosure. At night the cattle are gathered into a prescribed area, and they are protected by a barricade of thorn walls. At night, warrior guards oversee the safety of the community from strangers or wild animals. The communities are under the direction of an elder. Their regular diet consists of milk, raw meat and blood from cattle. Because of the protein in blood, it can also be used to restore the health of the weak or the sick. Some of the tribes, especially after the demise of many of their former grazing grounds, have abandoned herding and resorted to small farms where they grow maize, potatoes and rice.