Friday, July 22, 2011

Hyena Men

Ok lovelies.

Here is a giant WTF for y'all. The Hyena Men.

Then Hyena Men are a family in Nigeria who use traditional herbs/incantations/amulets to capture and train WILD HYENAS, BABOONS, AND PYTHONS. So, if I were to choose between being thrown into a cage of lions or hyenas, I would choose lyons in like .5 seconds. And Baboons?? Have you seen the incisors and those things? Oh, and, hey, this isn't life threatening enough let's throw in...hmmm...oh I know a GIANT DEADLY SNAKE!! Yay! (Um, on second thought, I highly doubt any of these men have ever uttered "yay".)

They take their animals around, perform with them, and people literally shower then with money. They also sell their medicine and protections againts, yep, you guessed it, wild animal bites, particularly snakes, as well as most any ailment spiritual, physical, and psychological.

So, this dude Pieter Hugo caught wind of these BAMF's and went on a quest to document them. He traveled with this particular group for eight days. To read the full story, see more pictures, and get more information on the particulars of the Hyena Men, go here.

The Hyena Men

 Hey, check out these teeth that would TOTALLY EVISCERATE ME IN TWO SECONDS!!

This little girl travels with them. I'll be curious to meet her in ten years.

 Side note, if you've been to Africa, religious sayings are EVERYWHERE, like seriously. And every shop is named things like "Holy Spirit Phones" or "God is with us Dressmaker". It's interesting.

 The definition of BadAss.


Not so heehee.

Don't worry, they've bathed her in protective potions since infancy, so she plays with the animals all the time. Say what you will, but whatever they did appears to be working. In any case, I sincerely hope it does, for her sake.

So, I know for many of you this may illicit an amount of repulsion and some might want to go raging, crying Animal Abuse, and how dare they chain wild beasts and make them perform, etc., etc. However, before you organize a mass sitting blocking the gates of zoo in solidarity with the hyenas or mass produce spotted plastic bracelets to raise awareness, remember this. You cannot or will not provide these men with the means to live. You have no idea what it's like to fend for yourself in a poverty-riddled country corrupted by local government and global apathy. So, before you jump on your high horse, realize other people already did, and this was Mr. Hugo's response:

"Many animal-rights groups also contacted me, wanting to intervene (however, the keepers have permits from the Nigerian government). When I asked Nigerians, “How do you feel about the way they treat animals”, the question confused people. Their responses always involved issues of economic survival. Seldom did anyone express strong concern for the well-being of the creatures. Europeans [and Americans] invariably only ask about the welfare of the animals but this question misses the point. Instead, perhaps, we could ask why these performers need to catch wild animals to make a living. Or why they are economically marginalised. Or why Nigeria, the world’s sixth largest exporter of oil, is in such a state of disarray."

Ok enough serious stuff.
Oh wait first, I have a hate/love relationship with controversy. I would adore responses, rants, thoughts on this subject in the comment box below, for lurking beneath some crazy pictures are many serious issues.

Ok now we're done being all adult and think-y.

I leave you with this:

Insert me sitting behind the deer, adorned with live butterflies.

Seriously, I want your thoughts. Nowsauce.

1 comment:

  1. Wow...very thought provoking..never in my wildest dreams would I have considered something like this..thank you for opening my awareness, yet again, child of my heart...