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Clash of the Warriors

A cool breeze is making for a pleasant evening sitting on the front porch of the mission house. The sun set hours ago and many warriors-to-be are gathered in a nearby open meadow lustily singing the defiant songs of their new age group. The “Sod Busters”, as they are disparagingly called by the Ilkirianga, the retiring age group, are singing of their new role as guardians of the herds and protectors of the Maasai people. Now I hear a band of Ilkirianga warriors approaching, singing their own age group chants. The older boys are bent on dispersing and beating the “Sod busters”, which they do as I sit and listen to the uproar. The gathering of the young boys of the new age group quickly disperses and the melts into the night. They are understandable not ready to take on the much older and stronger young men of the Ilkirianga. The whole exercise seems like so much wasted effort, since the young ones have already won the day.  More and more of their initiation celebrations are taking place each week. As warriors, the Ilkirianga are history.

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