The Chairman and the Lions

As recently as forty years ago, most sections of the Maasai were semi-nomadic and relatively independent of the nation-state. However, political, social and economic changes in East Africa have forced many herders to adopt a sedentary lifestyle. Chairman Frank Ikoyo, the Maasai leader of a Tanzanian village, battles many lions that threaten his community: ‘bush’ lawyers, land grabbers, migration, and lack of education. This film provides a glimpse into the current world of Maasai.

Peter Biella

Peter Biella directs the Program in Visual Anthropology at San Francisco State University. He has made films in the US, Egypt, Costa Rica, Peru, Romania and Haiti. Recently he collaborated with Maasai, to produce ‘trigger films’ that encourage learning about HIV.