Photos (1) A Maasai warrior wears a lion’s mane headdress portraying his bravery during warriorhood. Tradition dictates that at least once during his warriorhood he must take on the formidable challenge of hunting a lion, armed with only his wits and a spear.The Salei Eunoto ceremony in 2006 begins with the arrival of nine hundred warriors in long lines across the slopes of Mount Arash in Tanzania, east of the Serengeti plains.The warriors enter the manyatta, the circle of ceremonial huts, where they will undergo five days of initiation rituals.The 49 mothers whose sons are thought to be the most distinguished build the Osingira House for the most sacred of rituals, located near the center of the manyatta.The Salei Maasai are the only group of Maasai who wear pure white jewelry, known for its intricacy of design and craftsmanship. The glass beads are imported from Czechoslovakia and brought by traders into local markets. The warriors admire themselves for the last time in their white beaded adornments, which they must soon shed for life when they become elders.At left, a warrior’s mother wears her collection of white beaded jewelry for which the Salei Maasai are renowned. At right, the mothers of the warriors greet the elders in charge of the ceremony by bowing their heads and touching the chest of each elder in a gesture of respect.Two Salei Maasai warriors show off their ochered hair and face paint for the last time before they leave warriorhood behind.Once the warriors’ white jewelry is removed, they are seated on animal hides and their heads are slathered with ocher paint.Maasai girls from Kenya attend the Eunoto ceremony – the passage of their warrior boyfriends into elderhood. Their beaded collars and headbands are designed to bounce rhythmically to enhance their body movements. Traditionally a Maasai girl is allowed to select three lovers from among the warriors. This is the one time in her life when she is allowed to enjoy freely chosen relationships.A Maasai girl from Tanzania has her face painted with ocher by a friend in preparation for dances celebrating the warriors’ bravery. The dances are especially important for those who, armed with only their spears, have killed a lion.Maasai Warriors wearing cloaks of Kanga cloth around their shoulders, perform the Enkipata dance. They charge wildly round the manyatta in small groups, at internals falling to their knees, waving their ostrich feather headdresses in unison.Glistening with red ocher body paint, Maasai warriors gather to celebrate the Red Dance, which occurs on the first day of ritual at the Eunoto Ceremony. This dance is dedicated to the hot, fiery aspect of the warrior temperament. In song and dance, the warriors celebrate those who have distinguished themselves by killing a lion with their spears and have the honor of wearing its mane as a headdress.Wearing a lion’s mane headdress during ceremonial times reveals that a Maasai warrior, armed only with his spear, has killed a lion. This headdress reminds the community of the warrior’s significant courage and bravery.At Left, wearing his lion mane headdress, a symbol of bravery, a Maasai warrior extends his locks by twisting in sisal fibers and then coloring them red with a mixture of ocher and butterfat. At right, A Maasai warrior from Kenya ochers himself with a mixture of butterfat and red pigment that has been ground from earth containing a high iron ore content. Surrounding his face is a beaded ostrich feather headdress. His long, ocher frontal locks are twisted into a coil and extended over his nose for dramatic effect.In celebration of their impending graduation, the warriors launch themselves into a leaping dance known as Empatia. With natural grace and ability, they seem to defy gravity. At the height of each leap, the warriors shimmy their shoulders to accompaniment of the rhythmic guttural chanting of their age mates. On landing, a warrior often flings his red ochered hair against the cheek of his special girlfriend standing nearby.When warriors assemble in large numbers emotions run high, inspirng them to perform mock battles, re-enacting past combat with their enemies.Overcome by emotion, warriors may fall into rigid fitting states, called Emboshona. They are carried to safety and calmed down by other warriors and their mothers. If a mother places a warrior’s girlfriend on his lap he calms down immediately.At the sacred limestone cliff, warriors gather to paint their bodies using a mixture of chalk and water. When they return to the manyatta they must be unrecognisable to their mothers, symbolizing that they have left behind the warrior stage of life.While at the sacred chalk banks the warriors transform themselves, creating elaborate and symbolic designs using white chalk paint. This is an important ritual transition in their passage to elderhood.Slathering the skin with white chalk paint, the designs are drawn with the finger tips, exposing the dark skin underneath. Often the warriors will mark their bodies with designs that indicate their bravery.