Lion hunters in Tanzania were traditionally rewarded for their kills, as villagers regarded lions as threats to their lives and livestock. But anthropologists have noticed a shift in the way these so-called "lion dancers" are treated: Far from giving the killers cattle or other gifts, Tanzanians are now admonishing the hunters, who will travel into a protected habitat to kill lions.
"The hunters are going deep into the national park, the border of which is 8 to 10 miles away" from villages, states Monique Borgerhoff Mulder, an anthropologist at the University of California, Davis.
Tanzanians aren't above a bit of name-calling to shame the lion killers. Borgerhoff Mulder and her colleagues report that villagers call the lion dancers "wafeki," which is "a ki-swinglish neologism implying they are cheats meriting no reward."
Of the households visited by hunters, most -- 75 percent -- are still rewarding the lion dancers. But the villagers also believe that hunting has changed, with 72 percent saying that the lion killers are motivated by wealth.