I’m going to take a guess and suggest that you’ve never seen anything quite like this before. This vintage film is pretty brutal (and the background music doesn’t help matters a whole lot either). Spears are everywhere!
But this is reality.
It’s the reality of people from African villages who don’t have the resources to have sophisticated, modern weaponry and who need to feed a heckuva lot of people.
We see groups and even what seems like a whole darn village – hundreds of people – converging on gazelle, antelope, water buffalo and other animals. The villagers are all holding and throwing spears. Peppering the animals in a barrage of deadly staffs.
Perhaps most distressing of all is when they attack a large bull elephant, who fights back but cannot withstand the onslaught of spears. It tries to grab the spears with its trunk and remove them from its body, but there are just too many. Finally it succumbs, as men rush in and out from the danger zone of the behemoth, throwing their weapons and then retreating to a safe distance.
The final scene, of hippos and their young, enraged and attacking the people blindly, while becoming virtual pincushions from dozens of spears is heartbreaking.
But this was the reality. Life versus death, and death does not come easily or quickly. But people must eat, and life demands other life.
This is not sport, this is life, in its most brutal and elemental form. This is primitive man acting as man has acted for millennia, feeding himself, his family, his tribe. It may seem brutal, but it is necessary and righteous.
Thank goodness this kind of community slaughter of animals is largely a thing of the past though.
Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his Facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.