Warrior Princess, A Warning

Loita Hills

When Mindy Budgor, a prospective MBA student, decided to go to Kenya as a volunteer to build a school for the Maasai, she had no idea where this choice would ultimately lead her. As Mindy helped build the school, she discovered that Maasai women were not allowed to become moran, or warriors, a reality that disturbed her. But she also was told that she could train to become a Maasai moran, and she took these words to heart, returning to the USA, training physically for the process, then going back to Kenya for the vigorous Maasai warrior training she thought she’d been promised . . . only to discover that the offer wasn’t serious.

Mindy’s book Warrior Princess: My Quest to Become the First Female Maasai Warrior is her memoir about how she finally found a group of Maasai (the Loita Maasai) to take her in for three months of warrior training, resulting, according to her, in her becoming a moran. She explains in her memoir that her goal was to empower Maasai women through this process, showing them that they too could become warriors. And as we read we conclude that another goal was to leverage herself in the business world by convincing Under Armour to sponsor her warrior training adventure. A review of Budgor’s book can be found in Voices for Biodiversity.

If it’s true that there is no such thing as bad press, then Mindy scored big time. Warrior Princess became the darling story of women’s magazines while simultaneously being vilified by the politically and culturally correct, including some Maasai. However, in my opinion, both the positive and negative reactions to the book seemed to miss the mark entirely.

I decided to read Warrior Princess for several reasons. First, Mindy trained for three months —> Read More