National Geographic : 1954 Oct
and diffident people. The haughty moran eyes the visitor and his entourage with disdain. Beneath the forbidding surface of the Masai, however, lie substrata of warmth, humor, fidelity, and integrity. This deeper character is discovered only through prolonged and rather intimate association. The casual visitor never sees it. I first met the Masai in 1950, when I spent several weeks in their country, photographing the story of the honey-guide for New York City's American Museum of Natural History.* This bird has a unique partnership with Afri can natives. When a honey-guide finds a bee tree, it flies to the natives and leads them to the tree. The tough-skinned Africans ignore stings by the score as they chop out the hive and, to reward the bird, leave a bit of the honeycomb near the tree. Honey beer is the favorite drink of Masai elders. During that safari Masai visited our camp 491 Masai, Once Terrors of East Africa, Live Today on a Vast Reserve British administrators allot the wide-ranging tribes men a 38,000-square-mile reservation, much of it arid. To film Masai life for the American Museum of Nat ural History, the author led an expedition to tribal areas deep in East Africa's hinterland. occasionally, listened with obvious pleasure to our sound recordings, and displayed a rather sophisticated interest in us. Their demeanor made me want to know them better. Oppor tunity came when the museum commissioned me a field associate to make a documentary movie of the Masai. I engaged Donald Ker, dean of East Afri can white hunters, who had been so helpful during my previous trip. Through his good offices, the project received enthusiastic co operation from both Kenya and Tanganyika civil authorities. It was Ker who, during the safari, conducted with diplomacy and tact the frequent and necessary barazas, or long palavers, with the Masai. Other members of the safari were Anthony J. Dyer and Myles Turner, white hunters; * See "Honey-Guide: The Bird That Eats Wax," by Herbert Friedmann, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGA ZINE, April, 1954.