African Poems

Oral Poetry from Africa

Tag: Masai

The Cattle Raid

A Masai poem from Kenya, describing a raid on the cattle of the Somalis. The first half boasts of the raiders’ skill in evading detection – by the Europeans playing golf, by the police askaris and by the night watchman who snored ‘like a hippo‘. The second half rejoices over the beauty of the cattle they have seized.

The Europeans playing golfu,
Ho! We saw them!

Cattle Songs

Ten Masai cattle songs, this time from Tanzania. These songs are from the Baraguyu dialect, and reveal an intense love of cattle and enjoyment of raiding.


The Europeans of Kilosa are proud of the police there,
But we, we are proud of our chosen loibon,

African Poems