If I have ever seen magic, it has been in Africa.
— John Hemingway

In Kenya, the Maasai and Samburu warriors’ rite of passage used to be pretty standard: Spend three months in the forest, learn how to herd cows, kill a predator.  

“Some years back, for you to become a chief, you had to kill a lion. But conservationists came in and stopped the killing,” explains Mtaine David Swakei, a Maasai leader.

Now, dance is part of what defines the ancient tribes of modern Kenya -- the adumu, or “jumping dance".  It has been captured in endless pictures and documentaries, and is a recognizable ritual of Maasai and Samburu life. The first images here are from a day when the young men performed a version of it for us. The adumu is just one in a series of rituals that make up the Eunoto, the ceremony in which the junior warriors, or morani, graduate to the ranks of manhood.


"Africa is a dreamscape.
I have seen the snows on Kilimanjaro,
I have stood amidst 50 elephants,
15 feet away - wild and orphans,
And watched them bathe in the mud
And soaked up their amazing energy.

Watched lions walk majestically through waving golden grasses,
Then watched these grasses turn red gold
And the sky darken to azure blue
As a small rainstorm came upon us,
And the big African red sun began to set.
" -Terri Gold

 

© Terri Gold World Imagery