Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Access
  • Cited by 12
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Breslow, Sara Jo Sojka, Brit Barnea, Raz Basurto, Xavier Carothers, Courtney Charnley, Susan Coulthard, Sarah Dolšak, Nives Donatuto, Jamie García-Quijano, Carlos Hicks, Christina C. Levine, Arielle Mascia, Michael B. Norman, Karma Poe, Melissa Satterfield, Terre Martin, Kevin St. and Levin, Phillip S. 2016. Conceptualizing and operationalizing human wellbeing for ecosystem assessment and management. Environmental Science & Policy,

    German, Laura A. Unks, Ryan and King, Elizabeth 2016. Green appropriations through shifting contours of authority and property on a pastoralist commons. The Journal of Peasant Studies, p. 1.

    Lopes-Fernandes, Margarida Soares, Filipa Frazão-Moreira, Amélia and Queiroz, Ana Isabel 2016. Living with the Beast: Wolves and Humans through Portuguese Literature. Anthrozoös, Vol. 29, Issue. 1, p. 5.

    Rust, Niki A. 2016. Can stakeholders agree on how to reduce human–carnivore conflict on Namibian livestock farms? A novel Q-methodology and Delphi exercise. Oryx, p. 1.

    Bauer, Hans Müller, Lana Van Der Goes, Dirk and Sillero-Zubiri, Claudio 2015. Financial compensation for damage to livestock by lions Panthera leo on community rangelands in Kenya. Oryx, p. 1.

    Cobbinah, Patrick Brandful Erdiaw-Kwasie, Michael Odei and Amoateng, Paul 2015. Rethinking sustainable development within the framework of poverty and urbanisation in developing countries. Environmental Development, Vol. 13, p. 18.

    Mossaz, A. Buckley, R.C. and Castley, J.G. 2015. Ecotourism contributions to conservation of African big cats. Journal for Nature Conservation, Vol. 28, p. 112.

    Olson, Erik R. Stenglein, Jennifer L. Shelley, Victoria Rissman, Adena R. Browne-Nuñez, Christine Voyles, Zachary Wydeven, Adrian P. and Van Deelen, Timothy 2015. Pendulum Swings in Wolf Management Led to Conflict, Illegal Kills, and a Legislated Wolf Hunt. Conservation Letters, Vol. 8, Issue. 5, p. 351.

    Rust, Niki A. 2015. Media Framing of Financial Mechanisms for Resolving Human–Predator Conflict in Namibia. Human Dimensions of Wildlife, Vol. 20, Issue. 5, p. 440.

    Veríssimo, Diogo and Campbell, Brian 2015. Understanding stakeholder conflict between conservation and hunting in Malta. Biological Conservation, Vol. 191, p. 812.

    Woodhouse, Emily Homewood, Katherine M. Beauchamp, Emilie Clements, Tom McCabe, J. Terrence Wilkie, David and Milner-Gulland, E. J. 2015. Guiding principles for evaluating the impacts of conservation interventions on human well-being. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 370, Issue. 1681, p. 20150103.

    Sousa, Joana Vicente, Luís Gippoliti, Spartaco Casanova, Catarina and Sousa, Cláudia 2014. Local knowledge and perceptions of chimpanzees in Cantanhez National Park, Guinea-Bissau. American Journal of Primatology, Vol. 76, Issue. 2, p. 122.


Beyond ritual and economics: Maasai lion hunting and conservation politics

  • Mara J. Goldman (a1), Joana Roque de Pinho (a2) and Jennifer Perry (a3)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 14 May 2013

Populations of the African lion Panthera leo are declining dramatically, with the species’ survival in some areas closely linked to levels of tolerance by rural communities. In Tanzania and Kenya several of the remaining lion populations outside protected areas reside adjacent to rural communities, where they are hunted. As many of these communities are Maasai, research and conservation efforts have focused on understanding and curbing Maasai lion hunting practices. Much of this work has been informed by a dichotomous explanatory model of Maasai lion hunting as either a ‘cultural’ ritual or a ‘retaliatory’ behaviour against predation on livestock. We present qualitative data from interviews (n = 246) in both countries to illustrate that lion hunting by Maasai is related to overlapping motivations that are simultaneously social, emotional and political (in response to conservation initiatives). Additional case study material from Tanzania highlights how politics associated with conservation activities and age-set dynamics affect lion hunting in complex and overlapping ways. Our findings contribute an ethnographic perspective on Maasai lion hunting, people–predator relations, and how these relations are linked to conservation politics.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Beyond ritual and economics: Maasai lion hunting and conservation politics
      Available formats
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Beyond ritual and economics: Maasai lion hunting and conservation politics
      Available formats
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Beyond ritual and economics: Maasai lion hunting and conservation politics
      Available formats
Corresponding author
(Corresponding author) E-mail
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

J. Altmann , S.C. Alberts , S.A. Altmann & S.B. Roy (2002) Dramatic change in local climate patterns in the Amboseli basin, Kenya. African Journal of Ecology, 40, 248.

J.P. Brosius (2006) Common ground between anthropology and conservation biology. Conservation Biology, 20, 683685.

E.M.Bruner & B.Kirshenblatt-Gimblett (1994) Maasai on the lawn: tourist realism in East Africa. Cultural Anthropology, 9, 435470.

S.B.BurnSilver , J.Worden & R.B.Boone (2008) Processes of fragmentation in the amboseli ecosystem, Southern Kajiado District, Kenya. In Fragmentation in Semi-arid and Arid Landscapes: Consequences for Human and Natural Systems (eds K.A.Galvin , R.Reid , R.H.Behnke & N.T.Hobbs ), pp. 225253. Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.

M.Goldman (2007) Tracking wildebeest, locating knowledge: Maasai and conservation biology understandings of wildebeest behavior in Northern Tanzania. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 25, 307331.

M. Goldman (2009) Constructing connectivity? Conservation corridors and conservation politics in East African rangelands. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 99, 335359.

M.Goldman (2011) Strangers in their own land: Maasai and wildlife conservation in Northern Tanzania. Conservation and Society, 9, 6579.

M. Goldman , J. Roque de Pinho & J. Perry (2010) Maintaining complex relations with large cats: Maasai and lions in Kenya and Tanzania. Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 15, 332346.

L.Hazzah , M.M.Borgerhoff & L.G.Frank (2009) Lions and warriors: social factors underlying declining African lion populations and the effect of incentive-based management in Kenya. Biological Conservation, 142, 24282437.

K.Homewood & A.Rodgers (1991) Maasailand Ecology: Pastoralist Development and Wildlife Conservation in Ngorongoro, Tanzania. Cambridge University Press, New York, USA.

D.Ikanda & C.Packer (2008) Ritual vs retaliatory killing of African lions in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania. Endangered Species Research, 6, 6774.

B.M.Kissui (2008) Livestock predation by lions, leopards, spotted hyenas, and their vulnerability to retaliatory killing in the Maasai steppe, Tanzania. Animal Conservation, 11, 422432.

S.D.Maclennan , R.J.Groom , D.W.Macdonald & L.G.Frank (2009) Evaluation of a compensation scheme to bring about pastoralist tolerance of lions. Biological Conservation, 142, 24192427.

J.T. McCabe (2003) Sustainability and livelihood diversification among the Maasai of northern Tanzania. Human Organization, 62, 100111.

P. Nadasdy (2007) The gift in the animal: the ontology of hunting and human–animal sociality. American Ethnologist, 34, 2543.

M.O.R.Ogada , O.N.O.Woodroffe & L.G.Frank (2003) Limiting depredation by African carnivores: the role of livestock husbandry. Conservation Biology, 17, 1521–30.

C. Packer , H. Brink , B.M. Kissui , H. Maliti , H. Kushnir & T. Caro (2010) Effect of trophy hunting on lion and leopard populations in Tanzania. Conservation Biology, 25, 142153.

B.D.Patterson , S.M.Kasiki , E.Salempo & R.W.Kays (2004) Livestock predation by lions (Panthera leo) and other carnivores on ranches neighboring Tsavo National Parks, Kenya. Biological Conservation, 119, 507516.

H.H.T.Prins & P.E.Loth (1988) Rainfall patterns as background to plant phenology in northern Tanzania. Journal of Biogeography, 15, 451463.

A. Treves & U. Karanth (2003) Human–carnivore conflict and perspectives on carnivore management worldwide. Conservation Biology, 17, 14911499.

A. Treves , R.B. Wallace , L. Naughton-Treves & A. Morales (2006) Co-managing human–wildlife conflicts: a review. Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 11, 383396.

A. Treves , R.B. Wallace & S. White (2009) Participatory planning of interventions to mitigate human–wildlife conflicts. Conservation Biology, 23, 15771587.

A. Watson & O.H. Huntington (2008) They're here–I can feel them: the epistemic spaces of Indigenous and Western Knowledges. Social and Cultural Geography, 9, 257281.

D.Western (1982) Patterns of depletion in a Kenya rhino population and the conservation implications. Biological Conservation, 24, 147156.

R. Woodroffe , S. Thirgood & A. Rabinowitz (eds) (2005) People and Wildlife: Conflict or Coexistence? Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

R.Woodroffe & L.G.Frank (2005) Lethal control of African lions (Panthera leo): local and regional population impacts. Animal Conservation, 8, 9198.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

  • ISSN: 0030-6053
  • EISSN: 1365-3008
  • URL: /core/journals/oryx
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *