Behind The Scenes with Black Bean

On Assignment for Big Life Documenting the Maasai Olympics

In 2012, Big Life in partnership with the Maasai elders from the local community, known as the ‘Cultural Fathers’, created the ‘Maasai Olympics’ to help protect lion populations in the Amboseli-Tsavo Ecosystem.
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Watch our behind-the-scenes film to hear more from our Black Bean Team about their experience documenting Big Life’s 4th bi-annual Maasai Olympics. 
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On Assignment for Big Life Documenting the Maasai Olympics

We were able to document the 4th Maasai Olympics event and from the moment our team arrived, we could feel the excitement and anticipation. Community members from all the surrounding villages came together to celebrate and support their competing warriors.
Maasai people depend on their cattle as a source of income and food, and they have a deep connection to their cattle. It is believed that it is a Maasai warrior’s duty to protect the community’s cattle from outside threats, such as predators. In the past, this meant that in order to become a Maasai warrior, young Maasai men had to prove their bravery and earn the respect of their family and community by killing a lion. The Maasai Olympics has changed this and created a way for young Maasai men to compete through sports to prove their bravery and status without harming wildlife.
The Maasai Olympics is so much more than just a sporting event. It’s a unique conservation initiative that has successfully helped protect lion populations while honouring age-old Maasai traditions; helping to promote the peaceful coexistence of the Maasai and wildlife. Telling this story was really important to us, as this initiative is not only greatly beneficial to wildlife, it also highlights the importance of community-based conservation.
You can learn more about the Maasai Olympics and watch the film we produced for Big Life about this incredible initiative here.
Now more than ever, it is so important that we support conservation efforts in any way we can. Learn more about how you can make a difference and be a part of the incredible work Big Life is doing.
Photos by James Suter, Sacha Specker and Chris Joubert.
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