(Photo: Great Plains Foundation)

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Discover The Maasai Olympics, The Competition Replacing Lion Hunting In Kenya

For generations, the Maasai people of Kenya have practiced a traditional rite of passage which involves hunting and killing lions.

With environmental awareness on the rise, the tribe has switched things up a bit by starting a sports competition called the Maasai Olympics, where, instead of hunting lions, young men now use their traditional warrior skills to compete for medals.

(Photo: Jeremy Goss/Big Life)

The initiative came about in 2008 when the tribe’s warriors saw that there were many young men, but few lions. As a commitment to wildlife and habitat conservation, they decided to eliminate lion hunting from the Maasai culture, but this doesn’t mean they totally gave up their traditional way of life.

In setting up the competition, they made sure it’s based on traditional Maasai warrior skills, like running, hunting, cattle herding and even dancing. By competing in sprints, the jumping dance and the javelin throw, the warriors get a chance to win cash prizes and earn respect without hurting animals.

(Photo: Maasai Olympics)

(Photo: Jeremy Goss/Kimana Sanctuary)

Girls also have their own competitions at the Olympics, as they are often the motivators behind the young men wanting to hunt lions. Through their participation, they also push the conservation message across the communities.

The fourth edition of the Olympics came to an end a few days ago, but you can get a feel of the action by watching a short documentary made of the first edition below:

By Prince Jacon, published on 24/12/2018

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