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The Tribe Where Big is Definitely Beautiful

10:26 AM

Slim may be elsewhere but for Bodi or Ethiopia Me'en people, bigger is always better. The tribes, who live in a remote corner of Ethiopia's Omo Valley, is home to an unusual ritual that sees young men gorge on blood and milk cows in a bid to be crowned the fattest people.

Six months after starting the regime, the men emerge to show off their new physiques and engorged for a winner to be selected. Then the champion fat man was feted as a hero for the rest of his life.

Now the little known ceremony is the subject of fantastic photos taken by French shutterbug Eric Lafforgue - that the time spent in Bodi while traveling through south-western Ethiopia during the run up to the Bodi New year or Ka'el ceremony.

Sadly , the Ka'el ritual and traditional way of life Bodi is under threat from the Ethiopian government who plan to resettle 300,000 people from all over the country on their land .

For now , the tribes continue as usual , and still celebrate traditional -style Ka'el each June .
The contest begins six months before the ceremony . Each family is allowed to introduce a young person for the challenge , who , after being chosen , retires to his hut and should not move or have sex for the duration .

Food comes in the form of blood and milk mix of cattle , is regularly served to the people of the women from the village . ' The Cow is sacred in Bodi tribe so they are not killed , " explains Lafforgue . ' Blood was taken by making a hole in a vein with a spear or an ax , and after that , they turn it into clay . '

Due to the scorching temperatures , the men have to drink two liters of blood and milk bowl before it coagulates quickly but as Lafforgue shows , not everyone can handle drinking so much speed .

' The fat man drink milk and blood all day long , ' he says . ' The first bowl of blood is drunk at sunrise . The area was invaded by flies . The person must drink it quickly before it coagulates but some can not drink everything and vomit it . '

On the day itself , the men cover their bodies with clay and ashes before emerging from their hut for the walk to the place where the ceremony will take place .


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