Ethiopian tribesmen compete to get as fat as possible by drinking only cow milk and blood for six months while confining themselves to their mud huts

DAVE BURKE | Daily Mail

  • Men from the Bodi tribe compete to become the fattest during the new year or Ka’el ceremony 
  • They spend six months guzzling a mixture of blood and milk in a bid to fatten up as fast as they can 
  • The winning fat man doesn’t get a prize but is feted as a hero for life by the rest of the tribe 
  • Bodi want to retain their traditions but they are threatened by government resettlement plans

The competition is on between tribesmen in a remote valley in Ethiopa – to get as fat as they can in the space of six months.

For half a year members of the Bodi tribe will drink nothing but fresh milk and blood from cows in order to pile on the pounds.

During this time they are not allowed to have sex, or even leave their hut.

Women and girls deliver milk and blood each morning in pots or bamboos. Although there is no prize for becoming the biggest competitor, there is a lot of pride up for grabs, and a large waistline is considered attractive by women in the tribe.

The contest forms part of the Ka’el ritual, held to mark the new year.  Every family is allowed to present an unmarried man for the challenge, who, after being chosen, retires to his hut and must not move or have sex for the duration.

Photographer Eric Lafforgue, who took the pictures, said: ‘The cows are sacred to the Bodi tribe so they are not killed. The blood is taken by making a hole in a vein with a spear or an axe, and after that, they close it with clay.’

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