Loita forest

In his book, Our Future in Nature: Trees, Spirituality and Ecology, Edmund Barrow describes the sacred role of the Loita forest:

The Loita forest in southwest Kenya is sacred to the Loita Masai. It is their spiritual center.  Not only is the forest important for sacred rituals but it is also a source of medicine and dry season forage.  The Loita Masai imbue their sacred forest with an elaborate mythology, and the springs and streams emerging from the forest symbolise enduring hope.  In the center of the forest is the Cathedral of the Seven Trees, which is a sacred place where the Masai Laibons or prophets bring offerings to Enkai or God. Enkai entrusted his cattle to the Masai and passed them to earth through the Oreteti, the link between sky and earth. There are many important ceremonies performed within or at the edges of the sacred forest. Especially revered by the Masai is the wild fig tree (Oreteti, Ficus sycamorus).

Tree Safari hopes to visit the Loita forest soon. Please get in touch if you have a story about this forest that you would like us to share.

Watch WWF's short film about the Loita forest here