TOKYO-2017 People / Culture

The Cattle Camp, The Ritual Belong To The Suri Tribe Of Ethiopia

  • Prize
    Gold in People/Culture
  • Photographer
    David Nam Lip LEE

Cattle is the main treasure of Suri people. Suri People do not really eat cattle but they sacrificed for ceremonial reasons. In present day, Suri men cover their bodies with a woollen blanket, which mainly green in colour, and wear it over one shoulder. Suri men generally do not wear any clothing in cattle camp. They cover their naked bodies with ash. They add striped marks by using soil and cattle dung on their bodies. The Suri men will help each other to paint their bodies before the sun raise. The place for the Suri people to live in the cattle camp is simple and unsafe. Milk is the main food source of them. In every morning, the Suri men will collect milk and deliver it to their village. They drink milk directly from the cattle, and also share with their guardian who taking care their safety during the night time. The fresh blood drinking is part of Suri culture, which is ritualistically followed till nowadays. The selected cattle is detained in a separate corral. Several Suri men will hold the cattle, and a strip of cloth will tie tightly round the neck to stop the bleeding of the cattle. A man shoots a small and sharp arrow to puncture the jugular vessel that located around the neck of the cattle. The fresh blood letting out quickly and forcefully into a receptacle. The blood is immediately drank by Suri men, where it only can be consummed by male. The wound is superficial injuries, and the cattle is unharmed. The cattle camp located some distance from the village, and the location moves frequently for grassland and water. The care of cattle is primarily the responsibility of male. The Suri boy learn the pastoral farming skill since young. Bells will be placed on cattles before bringing them to grassland and water. Suri woman sometimes also live at cattle camps but the environment hygienic problem always threaten the breastfeeding kids.