The tribe where big is definitely beautiful: Ethiopian men compete to be the fattest in the village by drinking a gruesome mixture of blood and milk while living in isolation for SIX months
By Ruth Styles
- 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
Slim might be in elsewhere but for Ethiopia’s Bodi or Me’en people, bigger is always better. The tribe, which lives in a remote corner of Ethiopia’s Omo Valley, is home to an unusual ritual which sees young men gorge on cow’s blood and milk in a bid to be crowned the fattest man.
Six months after starting the regime, the men emerge to show off their newly engorged physiques and for a winner to be chosen. The champion fat man is then feted as a hero for the rest of his life.
Now the little known rite is the subject of incredible photos taken by French shutterbug Eric Lafforgue – who spent time with the Bodi while travelling through south-western Ethiopia during the run up to the Bodi New Year or Ka’el ceremony.