From around the 15th century, the Maasai people had occupied most of Kenya and northern Tanzania, and with a fierce warrior culture, they were a formidable group of people who actually have been credited to protect most communities around them from the slave trade.
For over 400 hundred years the Maasai warriors killed male lions as a right of passage as well as gain respect in their community and this is as deeply rooted in their culture and way of life for as long as they roamed the African savannah.
To give you an idea of how important this is to a Maasai warrior just imagine yourself in pretty much hand combat with a 500 hundred pounds male lion with nothing but a spear, Maasai club and dagger.there's no bows and arrows involved or guns for that matter so its pretty much an intimate situation with the most effective predator on the African savannah.
Its worth remembering that facing a male lion that can take down up to a 2000 pounds buffalo with a spear is really a matter of life and death, and am pretty sure no trophy hunter in their right mind will attempt what the Maasai warriors have been doing for centuries.
Am not writing this because am advocating for Maasai people to hunt lions as a matter of fact am against it but I absolutely respect their culture and unlike trophy hunting, they don’t do that for financial gain or self-pleasure as most sports hunters do.
There are facts that need to be put out there though for everyone to hopefully know that despite the fact that governments in east Africa and especially Tanzania have vilified the Maasai, more than 50% of all African lions are in the land that Maasai occupied for centuries.
You will more than likely see all the news in Tanzania of how Maasai culture is destructive to lion conservation but what you will not see is the lucrative sport hunters with lots of money who more than likely are killing lions faster than anything else in the world or you will not see even the recent undercover footage by the environmental investigation agency that reported the Tanzanian government had killed 87000 elephants for 9 years an equivalent of 26 daily and dealing with the Chinese officials to satisfy the never-ending demand for ivory in China.
You have to remember that probably the majority of elephants killed is in the Serengeti which the Maasai had occupied for centuries long before it was considered a national park with no incidents of Maasai ever killing elephants or other wildlife with exception of male lions and even then the lion population in Maasai land is considerably more healthier than anywhere else.
The majority of Maasai currently have changed their way of life by stopping lion hunting for conservation reasons but what is growing is trophy hunting and underground businesses dealing with ivory and rhino horns which includes poachers and in this case even corrupt government officials.
The whole idea, especially of lions and Maasai warriors in Kenya and Tanzania, has honestly been a distraction from the real challenges that wildlife conservation faces today in both countries.
the government of Tanzania currently is in the process of evicting more than 20,000 Maasai from loliondo which is part and among the fewest last ancestral lands that Maasai occupy today and letting Arabs from the middle east occupy and gun down wildlife including big cats.
for more about the Maasai eviction by the Tanzanian government visit the link below,