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These Stunning Photos Prove The Maasai Olympics Are The Most Spectacular Games Ever

The annual event in Kenya is designed to showcase traditional tribal skills, while also protecting endangered animals.

Posted on December 13, 2014, at 12:35 p.m. ET

The Maasai people are among the most iconic tribes in Africa, inhabiting parts of southern Kenya and northern Tanzania.

AP Photo/Ben Curtis

Maasai warriors are famed for their hunting skills and athletic prowess.

AP Photo/Ben Curtis

While Maasai women wear elaborate jewelery, included spectacularly colorful beaded necklaces.

AP Photo/Ben Curtis
CARL DE SOUZA/AFP / Getty Images

Traditionally, Maasai warriors would prove their strength by hunting lions, but with the animals' numbers dwindling conservations, have funded a sports event to foster a cultural change.

AP Photo/Ben Curtis

The Maasai Olympics, now in its third year, was held on Saturday in a wildlife sanctuary near Mt. Kilimanjaro, allowing tribesmen to prove their manhood without harming lions.

AP Photo/Ben Curtis

In the high jump event, warriors leap high into the air from a standing position.

CARL DE SOUZA/AFP / Getty Images
AP Photo/Ben Curtis
AP Photo/Ben Curtis

Instead of hurling a discus, warriors throw traditional wooden clubs known as knobkerries.

AP Photo/Ben Curtis

Instead of using spears to hunt big cats, the Maasai compete by throwing javelins.

AP Photo/Ben Curtis

Running races are also held, with Kenya's 800-meter Olympic champion David Rudisha, himself a Maasai, serving as the patron of the event.

AP Photo/Ben Curtis
AP Photo/Ben Curtis

Here's to finding new ways to showcase part of Africa's tribal culture while also protecting lions!

AP Photo/Ben Curtis

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.

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