Isaya Lemuru, Leemo Zakaya, Yamat Mariki and Zakayo Mafuta are all Maasai warriors. To be a Maasai warrior one must go through a rite of passage which includes circumcision - the idea being that if you are brave enough to endure the excruciating pain of circumcision then you are brave enough to protect their village’s wealth - measured in number of cows - from lions. Since these rites of passage only take place once every seven years (from what I remember), boys aren’t any specific age when they become warriors. Sometimes they’re 12. Sometimes they’re 18
These young warriors were photographed in Tanzania while scouting for locations near the Serengeti. They were incredibly funny and laughing all the time - except when they were in front of a camera. Then they all became deadly serious, transforming from young boys into warriors. I wish I knew how to say ‘Yo’ in Swahili.
Thanks to Tyler Northrup for all his help and friendship, and to Peter Jones for his expertise and enthusiasm - and his truck. Asante sana.