To Be A Man Is Not Easy! See This Tribe Where Boys Must Kill A Dangerous Lion In Order To Join The Men's Club 🤯 • illuminaija
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To Be A Man Is Not Easy! See This Tribe Where Boys Must Kill A Dangerous Lion In Order To Join The Men’s Club 🤯

   
   

To Be A Man Is Not Easy! See This Tribe Where Boys Must Kill A Dangerous Lion In Order To Join The Men’s Club 🤯

The Maasai are a Nilotic ethnic group inhabiting northern, central, and southern Kenya and northern Tanzania.

They are among the best known local populations internationally due to their residence near the many game parks of the African Great Lakes, and their distinctive customs and dress.

The Maasai people have traditionally viewed the killing of lions as a rite of passage.

Historically, lion hunts were done by individuals, however, due to reduced lion populations, lion hunts done solo are discouraged by elders. Most hunts are now partaken by groups of 10 warriors.

Group hunting, known in Maasai as olamayio, gives the lion population a chance to grow.

To Be A Man Is Not Easy! See This Tribe Where Boys Must Kill A Dangerous Lion In Order To Join The Men’s Club 🤯

Maasai customary laws prohibit killing a sick or infirm lion. The killing of lionesses is also prohibited unless provoked.

At the end of each age-set, usually after a decade, the warriors count all of their lion kills to compare them with those hunted by the former age-set in order to measure their accomplishment

Preparation

   
   

The Empikas (warrior delegation) plan a lion hunt in advance in secret. Only the warriors are permitted to know about the day of the hunt.

To Be A Man Is Not Easy! See This Tribe Where Boys Must Kill A Dangerous Lion In Order To Join The Men’s Club 🤯

The secret is considered so important that Ilbarnot (young warriors) from the same age-set are denied information regarding the hunt, due to the older warriors fearing discovery from anti-hunt groups.

If a warrior is found guilty of spreading rumours, he is punished through beating.

In addition, the guilty warrior will be looked down upon throughout his entire age group’s cycle.

The journey

The lion hunt starts at dawn when elders and women are still asleep. The warriors meet discreetly at a nearby landmark where they depart to predetermined areas.

Before departing, the Ilmorijo (older warriors) filter out the group in order that only the bravest and strongest warriors take part.

To Be A Man Is Not Easy! See This Tribe Where Boys Must Kill A Dangerous Lion In Order To Join The Men’s Club 🤯

The resulting group is known as Ilmeluaya (fearless warriors).

The rejected young warriors are commanded by older warriors to keep the information of the hunt confidential, until the return of their favoured colleagues.

There have been cases whereby older warriors have forced warriors to give up their excess weaponry, seeing as it is considered insulting to bring more than a spear which is sufficient to kill a lion.

To Be A Man Is Not Easy! See This Tribe Where Boys Must Kill A Dangerous Lion In Order To Join The Men’s Club 🤯

After a successful hunt, a one-week celebration takes place throughout the community.

The warrior who struck the first blow is courted by the women and receives an Imporro, a doubled-sided beaded shoulder strap.

The warrior wears this ornament during ceremonies. The community will honor Olmurani lolowuaru (the hunter) with much respect throughout his lifetime.

To Be A Man Is Not Easy! See This Tribe Where Boys Must Kill A Dangerous Lion In Order To Join The Men’s Club 🤯

Body parts

The Maasai do not eat game meat instead, they use the bodies of their killed lions for three products; the mane, tail, and claws.

The mane is beaded by women of the community and given back to the hunter, who wears it over his head on special occasions.

After the meat ceremony, when a warrior becomes a junior elder, the mane is thrown away and greased with a mixture of sheep oil and ochre. This sacrificial event is done to avoid evil spirits.

To Be A Man Is Not Easy! See This Tribe Where Boys Must Kill A Dangerous Lion In Order To Join The Men’s Club 🤯

   
   

The lion’s tail is stretched and softened by the warriors, then handed over to the women for beading.

The warriors keep the tail in their manyatta (warriors camp), until the end of warriorhood.

The lion tail is considered the most valuable product and after graduation, the warriors must gather to pay their last special respect to the tail before it is disposed of.

   
   

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