BY Vanessa Calys-Tagoe, 6:44am September 21, 2022,

These African Tribes Revere Cows, Here’s Why

Photo Credit: Rod Waddington

The enjoyment of milk, steak, meat, cheese and a host of other dairy products is made possible by the cow. Then, there are others who prefer to raise cows for reasons other than food and clothing.

Some tribes on the African continent revere cows so much that, for them, cows spell a good omen for their communal health and well-being. Here are some of those tribes you should know about;

These African Tribes Revere Cows, Here's Why
Bodi women — Photo Credit: Rod Waddington

The Bodi Tribe

The Bodi tribe’s culture defines their way of life and distinguishes them from other tribes. They also have many customs, but one in particular, drinking cow blood stands out. These pastoralists revere cows as sacred animals. Cows are highly valued by them as a source of food, income, and status. Milk that has been mixed with cow blood is a favorite meal of the Bodi people. Instead of killing the cows to obtain their blood, they make a tiny cut in one of their veins, draw blood, and then cover the wound with clay.

These African Tribes Revere Cows, Here's Why
Photo Credit: Rod Waddington

The Mundari Tribe

A cow is rarely butchered for its meat since they are so highly valued. Instead, it serves as a mobile medicine, dowry, as well as a friend. It is obvious that cows are an asset that supports not only a population but also a way of life.

Other body fluids have more improbable applications. In addition to serving as an antibacterial, Mundari men will crouch beneath streams of cow urine because the ammonia in the urine turns their hair orange as suggested by some persons of the science.

The herdsmen utilize the fine peach-colored ash produced by burning the dung as a sunscreen and additional disinfectant while protecting them from the 115 degree heat.

The cows are among of the best-cared-for in the world. The Mundari give their animals twice-daily massages.

These African Tribes Revere Cows, Here's Why
Photo Credit: Andreaambia

The Maasai Tribe

The Maasai of East Africa traditionally partner with cattle. According to their worldview, the creator god Enkai sent the cattle to be kept by them by sending them sliding down a rope from the skies. In the past, the Maasai relied on their cattle to provide for all of their basic needs, including food, clothes, and shelter. The majority of their traditional diet consists of milk and dairy products, lean beef and other meats, calf fat, and blood, which they rely on to get their salt. Cattle rib bones and horns are traditionally used to make a variety of cooking utensils and

drinking vessels. Its hides have frequently been used as bedding and for the roofs or walls of makeshift shelters. Bovine dung and urine plaster is used in more permanent structures. They wore cowhide shuka, sometimes known as clothing, for a very long time. Some people still produce sandals out of the leather.

The primary unit of exchange in Maasai traditional society is cattle. Family members try to assemble substantial herds as a sign of their wealth and prestige.

The tribes mentioned are not exhaustive, they may be a lot more tribes out there who revere cows and hold the animal in high esteem. What remains, however, is that, Eastern Africa has a wide range of use of the cow and respects the cow and for some of these tribes they believe that the cow was made available to them by their god hence the reverence in which they hold cows.

For others, their survival depends on it; for clothing, food, company and even shelter. So although everyone, save for vegetarians enjoy the succulence of cow products, these Eastern African tribes, in their indigeneity do not dream of how rare, medium rare or well done their steak would be, rather they cling to the company and their believed nourishment acquired from the blood, urine and dung of the cow.

Last Edited by:Sedem Ofori Updated: September 21, 2022


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