African Arts & CultureAfrican HistoryAfricanewsAway To AfricaEast AfricaEthiopiaWorld

The Amazing Blood Drinking Culture of the Bodi Tribe of Ethiopia


Africa facts zone presents the amazing culture of the Bodi tribe of Ethiopia. The amazing culture details how men contend to be the fattest in the town by drinking a concoction that they guarantee is a combination of blood and milk while residing in isolation for 6 months.

Who Are The Bodi Tribe?

The Amazing Culture of the Bodi Tribe of Ethiopia

The Bodi (or Me’en) people are one of the tribes living in the Omo-Turkana Basin, in the swamps east of the Omo waterway.

Bodi is the name that the government authority and foreigners use for them, however, the Bodi people call themselves the Me’en.

Me’en is an encompassing clan of multiple tribes, two of which make up the Bodi. Their populace is around 10,000.

Among the Me’en people, the Bodi is viewed as the nearest devotees to their ancestry through their act of pastoralism.

The cows that these people raise are essential to their social and monetary livelihood. The Bodi use cows’ sacrifices in a considerable lot of their social ceremonies.

Cows provide dowries to ladies; likewise, dairy cattle give food security to the families who own them.

Also Read: The San People Africa: World’s Most Ancient Race


The Bodi tribe in Ethiopia Kɛ,ɛl ceremony: The Culture Where Men Drink Blood to Get Fat and A Wife

The young men of the Bodi tribe do everything necessary to win the fattest man in the tribe.

A carefully guarded secret, these young fellows/men are chosen and taken care of with special meals for 6 months.

While in isolation, these men will become fat and later show off their bodies. The winner is then glorified as a legend for the rest of his life.

Bodi Tribe Fattening Camp: How they Get the Big Bellies

The food comes as a cow’s blood and milk blend, served consistently to the men by ladies from the town.

Cows are sacred to the Bodi tribe so they are not killed with the aim of the annual drinking blood ritual.

The blood is drawn from the cow by making an opening in a vein with a spear and they close it with earth/clay.

As a result of the hot weather, the men need to drink the two-liter bowl of blood and milk fast before it thickens.

But not all men can deal with the drinking blood and milk with such a great speed, so they vomit. These ones are disqualified.

Also Read: Gumuz People of Ethiopia and Sudan: Benishangul Gumuz Language & Conflict

Bodi Tribe Fat Contest

When its time to show off their bodies, the men design their bodies with mud, ashes and walk down to the venue of the event.

This long walk appear to be hard, tiring, and tortuous for them due to their added weight and big stomach.

The event involves going through extended periods of walking in a circle around a hallowed tree, watched by different men and aided by ladies who handle them with liquor and wipe away the sweat.

When they pick the fattest man, the event closes with the killing of a cow with a bid scared stone.

Village elders will then examine the stomach to see whether the champion’s future will be a bright one or not.

After the event, the men’s lives get back to normal and most lose their big stomaches, a month later the next peer group of fat Bodi men will be chosen and the cycle repeats.

Also Read: The Maasai Tribe Facts: Blood Drinking, Lion Hunting All about The Maasai Tribe in Kenya


Turning into a fat man is the dream of every Bodi kid since he will stay a legend for life..

Unfortunately, Bodi’s customary lifestyle is under danger from the Ethiopian government who intends to resettle 300,000 people.

For the time being, the tribe still celebrates the Ka’el in a conventional style every June.

What amazing culture do you have in your community? Do share with us in the comment section. Thank you.



Survival International (2017). Omo Valley Tribes. Available from: .

Mursi Online (2017). Bodi (Me’en). Available from:


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button