The celebration How high can you jump? Warriors performing the traditional leaping dance called adumu, compete to see who can jump the highest and to decide who gets to marry who. Dances are a big part of Maasai tradition. There are dances for all kinds of important social occasions. The most well known is adumu, the jumping dance. In the past, warriors showed their prowess by killing a lion. Now it’s about how high they can jump. Men and women prepare for the dance by painting designs on their faces and bodies with a red, earthy pigment called ochre. They wear intricate, colourful beadwork necklaces and shawls. Warriors spend time psyching themselves up ahead of the jumping dance. The outcome could decide who will be their wife. Armed with their hunting spears, the men huddle together then fan out into a circle. One at a time they go to the centre, jumping in time to the rhythm. It’s important to keep the body as straight as possible and heels shouldn’t touch the ground between jumps. It might look easy, but reaching heights like this takes immense strength and fitness. The women dance too. Mothers sing about the courage of their sons. The girls sing to encourage their favourite warrior. The warrior who jumps the highest gets the most acclaim and he can then choose who will be his wife.