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Ethiopia: Men in tribe drink cows milk and blood in competition to gain the most weight

Every year, the competition takes place in the deep south of Ethiopia

There are a lot of competitions underway around the world – but none quite like the one in Ethiopia.

There, in a remote valley, tribesmen are competiting to see who can put on the most weight over the next six months.

Oh, and they’re only allowed to live off of a diet of fresh goats milk and blood. Yes – blood.

For half a year, male members of the Bodi tribe are not allowed to leave their hut.

And they’re banned from having sex too.

Men in tribe drink cows milk and blood in competition to gain the most weight

The tribe live in the remote area of Omo valley

Men in tribe drink cows milk and blood in competition to gain the most weight

For six months the men from the tribe will feed themselves with only fresh milk and blood from the cows

Men in tribe drink cows milk and blood in competition to gain the most weight

They will not be allowed to have sex or to leave their hut

Men in tribe drink cows milk and blood in competition to gain the most weight

The women must bring them milk every morning in pots or bamboo

Men in tribe drink cows milk and blood in competition to gain the most weight

The first bowl of blood is between one and two litres

Men in tribe drink cows milk and blood in competition to gain the most weight

On the day they reveal themselves, the men cover their bodies with clay and ashes (Picture: Eric Lafforgue/ Exclusivepix Media)

Men in tribe drink cows milk and blood in competition to gain the most weight

The men prepare to enter their huts

Over the six month period, the tribe’s women and girls must deliver milk and blood to the men in pot or bamboos.

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.’

The competition forms part of the Ka’el ritual, held to mark the new year.

Men in tribe drink cows milk and blood in competition to gain the most weight

They get the blood from the cows

Men in tribe drink cows milk and blood in competition to gain the most weight

The cows are sacred in Bodi tribe, so they are not killed

Men in tribe drink cows milk and blood in competition to gain the most weight

The place is invaded by flies.

Men in tribe drink cows milk and blood in competition to gain the most weight

This tribesman asked the photographer for a ride in his car because he could not walk with all his extra weight

Men in tribe drink cows milk and blood in competition to gain the most weight

They spend hours under the sun running around a sacred tree

Men in tribe drink cows milk and blood in competition to gain the most weight

One man wore a headdress made of ostrich feathers

Each family is able to chose one unmarried man for the contest.

He must not move from his hut until it is over.

The prize? Pride.

Men in tribe drink cows milk and blood in competition to gain the most weight

Becoming a fat man is allegedly the dream of every Bodi child

Men in tribe drink cows milk and blood in competition to gain the most weight
The women carry milk to the men
Men in tribe drink cows milk and blood in competition to gain the most weight

The ceremony ends with the sacrifice of a cow. They kill it with a sacred stone.

Men in tribe drink cows milk and blood in competition to gain the most weight

The Bodi girls are attracted to the men

Men in tribe drink cows milk and blood in competition to gain the most weight

The women help the men

Men in tribe drink cows milk and blood in competition to gain the most weight

The men cover themselves in ashes before leaving their hut

Oh, and apparently the women in the tribe find the large waistline extremely attractive.

Lattorgue added: ‘The fat men drink milk and blood all day long. The first bowl of blood is drunk at sunrise. He must drink it quickly before it coagulates but some cannot drink everything and vomit it.’

After six months, each of the men cover themselves in clay and ashes before emerging from their hut for the first time.

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