About the Artist
Isaya Oleporuo is one of Tanzania’s most charismatic and accomplished young leaders. Born in the remote village of Eluai he was raised to become a Maasai Warrior and Chief, achieving both expectations before the age of 25. Now living in the US, Isaya brings his experiences as a Maasai Warrior and Chief to vivid life for all those interested in the Maasai lifestyle, its challenges, and the role art plays in Maasai life. In addition to his teaching/presentation commitments, Isaya is also currently documenting the rich history of the Tanzanian Maasai; helping the impoverished women of his village earn income by selling their jewelry; and helping much younger Maasai women avoid being forced into child marriages. Isaya’s story of the Maasai lifestyle has been described as compelling and inspiring. His approach with students as methodical, patient and responsive. The story of Isaya and the Maasai appeals to students of all ages.
Another Kind of Warrior: Maasai Art and Lifestyle (Grades K-12)
In the Maasai tribes of Tanzania and Kenya, “warriors” are guardians of the people who protect the cattle, on which so much of their life depends, from lions and other predators. The honor of being a warrior comes with many duties, trials and challenges. With striking photography, traditional dress and artifacts, stories, songs and a little bit of traditional dance, Tanzanian Maasai Warrior Isaya Oleporuo brings students into the world of his tribesmen. They will learn about the roles of children, warriors, women and elders, about driving and protecting the herd and about rain dances and other ceremonies and traditions. For the Maasai, arts are very much woven into the fabric of everyday life, from the symbolism of their tattoos and clothing, to the beads they make and sell, to the songs they use in herding, and the dances they use in their ceremonial celebrations. Isaya shows students not only the culture but also the place of the arts in daily Maasai life. Length: 45 minutes