National Geographic : 1954 Oct
* Stretched on Sticks, a Lion Mane Dries in the Torrid African Sun Masai traditionally eat little wild game, but fearlessly hunt dangerous beasts, including leop ards and rhinos, that molest their herds and families. Buf falo hides for warriors' shields come from animals killed by the Dorobo, a hunting tribe. When about 16 to 20 years old, male Masai leave their par ents' huts and take up residence with other youths of their age grade. After some seven years as junior warriors, they grad uate to senior, or "reserve" war riorhood. Seniors may marry and cut off their hair. The shorn senior moran at left threw the first spear in the sec ond hunt witnessed by the au thor in Tanganyika and hence received the olowaru. Because he is a senior, he will not wear his prize, but keep it as a souve nir of his latest hunt. @ National Geographic Society 508 "Sell This Mane? + Never! Well, Perhaps ... if the Price Is Right!" A century ago not even the slave-trading Arabs challenged Masai suprem acy in the Kenya highlands. European explorers paid the barbaric herdsmen elaborate homage. Joseph Thomson, first white man to traverse northern Masai country, in 1883 let tribes men take out his false teeth and pull his nose to see if that would come off. Theodore Roosevelt, lead ing an 11-months' Smith sonian Institution expedi tion through East Africa in 1909-10, admired the Masai. In the January, 1911, Na tional Geographic Maga zine he wrote: "I hate to shock the vegetarians, but I am bound to say that these people, who never eat anything but meat, blood, and milk, are as hearty and strong a set of people as I have ever seen in my life."