During the holiday season I’ve been getting around to my various Christian communities for Christmas services that include baptisms. Here are some pictures taken at one of them, a place called Ndemua. The grass-roofed church was a little dark and the photos were taken by one of the Maasai with a cell phone so the pictures are not that great.
One interesting part of our Maasai baptism ceremonies is the use of “ndoroto”, a kind of chalk. This is used traditionally to sign that a person is blessed and cannot be touched by curses. In our ceremony it has two meanings. One is that a follower of Christ doesn’t have to worry about being cursed. Secondly, as cattle are branded with the sign of their owner, a follower of Jesus is branded with his sign, the sign of the cross.
Blessings are made with a gourd of water with a drop of milk, “ngarepus”; the mouth of the gourd is stuffed with rich green grass. The Maasai bless their villages and cattle with these gourds of “ngarepus.”