National Geographic : 1954 Oct
500 W. Robert Moore, National Geographic Staff Flies, Bane of Cattle Country, Crown a Masai Woman Fortunately, no tsetse flies help make up this swarm attracted by milk spilled from a gourd the woman carried on her back. Tsetses, bearers of disease to man and cattle, live only in the bushy part of the Masai highlands. we camped for two weeks in the picturesque Loita Hills, good leopard country. While photographing scenes of typical village life, we found in one of the huts two horribly wounded moran. A leopard, we learned, had recently killed a cow. The warriors had speared the beast, but it had given both men a terrible chewing before it died. We brought them to camp and filled them with penicillin and chloromycetin. They recovered; I am certain that we saved two brave lives. We crossed the Tanganyika border near Loliondo. Here Richard Brayne, District Commissioner of the area, introduced us to Chief Takuya ole Parmat, who said he could arrange for us to photograph a lion hunt and that he would accompany us (page 505). He took us some 40 miles southwest of Loli ondo to an area the Masai call Kirtaalo. It was evidently good lion country, for the local warriors displayed lion-mane headdresses. The warriors here we had recently met at the unoto-a fortunate circumstance, for no pro- tion, each was to In Hollywood tracted introductory pe riod was required. But al most half of the moran were now away again; the previous day a rhino had killed a woman and they were in pursuit. Each Masai village has its laigwanan, or spokes man. His authority over the other moran seems al most unquestioned. After the usual protracted pa laver, an agreement was made between Ker, the chief, and the village spokesman. The terms: They would stay with our safari, wherever we went, until we found lions and they speared one. We would supply them with oxen to eat. If they speared a lion in the open where we could photograph it, the group was to be paid 600 shillings, or about $4.00 each. But if the lion ran into the bush where we could not photograph the spearing, the pay would be reduced to 100 shillings, or 69 cents each. In addi receive two yards of calico. these rates would not be deemed exorbitant. However, Chief ole Par mat thought that the warriors had done quite well for themselves-and so it turned out, by their standards, some three weeks, two lions, and 11 oxen later. Twenty-one experienced lion hunters, all there were in the village at the time, volunteered for the hunt. White Hunters Bait Lions The big-game hunter's method of securing a trophy lion is usually not a very sporting proposition. One or more animals-zebras, topis, or wildebeest-are shot and dragged to a place where lions have been seen. At dawn the hunters visit these kills, and if a desirable lion is enjoying a free meal, he is carefully stalked and shot. If the hunter only wounds the quarry, a professional white hunter by his side quickly makes certain that it will not be necessary to trail an angry lion whose breakfast has been disturbed in a very painful manner.