Traditionally, a Maasai boy would only become a Maasai warrior after he went out on his own and killed a lion, as a rite of passage. Many beautiful hand-crafted accessories and body ornaments are worn to reflect their identity, achievements and status in society.
For generations, their community has coexisted with the wildlife of the plains on which they herd their livestock, and although renowned for their fearless confrontations with predatory lions which raid their cattle herds, they do not otherwise hunt game animals.
Maasai men are first and foremost warriors. They protect their tribe, their cattle and their grazing lands. Maasai society is strongly patriarchal in nature, with elder men, sometimes joined by retired elders, deciding the most important matters for each Maasai group. They wear the colour red to represent power.
Nowadays the number has decreased somewhat, down to six or eight children. Although giving birth to a girl is honoured due to the fact that girls can later be sold for marriage, the birth of a boy is still, in general, a happier and more celebrated event.
These portraits were the result of a meeting with the chief of a village, along with a translator, to arrange having a small group of Maasai people one afternoon to travel with me in a vehicle around the Maasai Mara landscape. The concept was to capture a series of photos depicting the Maasai people in their environment in a photographic style both artistic and faithful to their culture.
Explore more of my work over at davidlazarphoto.com.
A travel photographer and musician from Brisbane, who loves to capture moments of life, beauty and culture through photography.