Prior to the hunt, the young men were taught by the Elders how to kill a lion before a group of about 5-10 aspirant morans set off on their test of courage. Clemson student James Nampushi had to kill a lion in his home country of Kenya to earn the honored status of Maasai Warrior. In short, James, now 29, wanted Maasai warrior recognition, and to achieve such status he had to kill a lion. Like many other Maasai boys on the cusp of manhood, Lekatoo no longer believes that following the ancient Maasai ritual of killing a lion is the only way to become a moran, or warrior. MUST KILL A LION. Now, the Maasai people don’t, apparently, take any particular pleasure or joy in hunting lions, and contrary to myth, lion killing isn’t part of any ritual or rite of passage among Maasai tribes. The Maasai have a long relationship with the lion that has gone back many generations. He holds the spear he used to kill the lion as well a giraffe’s tail. When analyzing this, we can see the three stage process quite clearly. Related He said the training to become a moran (warrior) began early in life, but the real test of courage was the lion hunt. The Maasai Olympics, first held in 2012, was organised by Maasai leaders and the wildlife conservation group Big Life Foundation to stop the killing of lions and other wild animals. To earn his rite of passage – and to exact revenge on the lion for killing seven cows – Nampushi said it is the rite of every Maasai warrior. It was once a rite of passage for a warrior to kill a lion to prove his bravery. The program helps the moran to be lion protectors by tapping the Maasai traditional moranism. Circumstances developed in which he (then 19) and two other young Maasai men sought out a large male that had been harassing the village. Some even failed at this first hurdle. The first stage is the separation stage. This point has been hammered home over the last two days by David Rudisha, Kenya’s Olympic 800 metres champion and the world’s most famous Maasai. For instance, in place of lion killing, some NGOs have introduced initiatives such as lion guardianship program for the young warriors. Gone, for instance, is the lion hunt, a traditional rite of passage for any young man who wished to become a Maasai warrior. Although lion hunting has been banned from East Africa, lions are still hunted when they attack Masai livestock, and the young warriors who engage in this tradition of killing a lion do not face major consequences. Another approach to the challenge facing the Maasai tradition is modification.
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