Dale Rio

Maasai Olympics
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Nationality: American
Biography: I am a photographer who has been shooting and printing my own work for nearly thirty years.  I received an MFA in photography from Pratt Institiute in 1996 and a Fulbright Travel Grant and the Miguel Vinciguerra Grant in 1997.  Since... read on
Public Story
Maasai Olympics
Credits: dale rio
Date of Work: 12/13/18 - Ongoing
Updated: 01/31/19
In December 2018, I traveled to Kenya to create portraits of the participants in the 4th biennial Maasai Olympics, as well the anti-poaching rangers who operate in Amboseli-Tsavo National Park.  
In 2010, after realizing that their historic rite of passage had negatively affected the local lion population, the Maasai elders approached the conservation organization The Big Life Foundation for assistance in creating an alternative to lion hunting for the young men. Launched in 2012, the Olympics now include events for girls and provide prizes not only for performance in the athletic competitions, but for the manyatta that has had the most positive ecological impact since the previous games.  The Maasai Olympics demonstrate how collaborative efforts can lead to a positive impact on both the environment and local communities.

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