The Hyena Men


In the early moments of The Hyena Men, a fascinating documentary short produced by CCTV Africa, we see performers interacting with a series of dangerous wild animals, including baboons, hyenas and poisonous snakes. Their daring feats aren’t being performed on the glittering stages of Las Vegas, but on the crowded streets of Nigeria. It’s part of a proud tradition passed on for many generations, and a source of great controversy among animal rights activists around the world.

In their off season, these men farm the land and deal in scrap metal to survive. But when it comes time to perform, they travel across the most populated country in Africa to the delight of thousands of hypnotized onlookers. This travelling circus thrives on the potentially perilous relationship between man and animal. Each performance is mixes wondrous spectacle with edge-of-your-seat suspense; after all, the audience is keenly aware that a deadly attack could occur at any moment.

The animal show is cleverly used as an alluring ploy to promote the real family business: herbs and medicines. The more dramatic the animal show, the bigger the audience. With bigger audiences comes more robust sales for their medicines.

This travelling troop has gained a mystical reputation over the years. Many Nigerians believe these men possess special powers which allow them to interact so gracefully with the most vicious members of the animal kingdom. In fact, their skills are the result of a carefully crafted tradition several generations in the making. It’s a tribal heritage that they’re born into, and they begin their training as young as ten years of age. Still, their way of life is not without its fair share of close calls as evidenced by the countless scars that blanket the forearm of one baboon trainer featured in the film.

Meanwhile, detractors find little thrill or entertainment in the work of the Hyena Men. For them, the act of snatching a wild animal from its habitat and recruiting it for a roadside circus show is unnecessarily cruel and harmful to the natural order.

The Hyena Men takes us deep inside this subculture, and introduces us to the performers who devote their lives to continuing this unusual tradition.

Directed by: Russell Bergh

source: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/hyena-men/

 

Advertisements

One thought on “The Hyena Men

  1. Now that is an example of Free market enterprise works.
    Though, as usual, there are always busybodies and bureaucrats who fund something wrong that they can eliminate, control or tax.
    Good story!
    People can look for things within their culture, neighborhoods, families, ect to see if there are needs that people have that a family might be able to barter for or be compensated for in other ways.
    Perhaps a woman or two in a community have a lot of people who love their food. Maybe offering to cater a wedding or other event for a small fee could begin a business that would help the family income.
    That is what I mean when I say Free Markets.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s