Samburu Ceremonial Goat Slaughter

As mentioned in my video diary, I was invited to take part in the ceremonial slaughter of a goat by our Samburu guides.

In the Samburu culture, there is a direct correlation between owning animals and wealth. For that reason, it is a very special occasion when a goat, for example, is slaughtered to feed the family. It is done with the utmost reverence for the animal and a sign of respect for those present.

The following video shows the Samburu preparing the goat by suffocating it so that it will not experience a painful death. Once the goat has succumbed, the elder man will use his knife to separate the goat's skin around the neck, forming a pouch, and then slit the jugular. As the blood pools into the pouch, the elder will drink the goat's blood and – as a sign of respect – invite other elders to share in drinking the goat's blood.

It was a great honor to be invited to take part in the slaughter of the goat and to share the blood with the Samburu. Although I was hesitant about the idea earlier in the day, it was important for me to return the respect I was being shown and to honor the traditions of our hosts, who had become good friends. It was the first time that one of our guides, Lepeta, had seen a white man participate in the ceremony. And – in retrospect – I can honestly say that I am richer for the experience.

Caution: Although respectful and traditional in Samburu culture, some images in this video are – at least – PG13.

Samburu Goat Ceremony

Samburu Goat Ceremony

Samburu Goat Ceremony

Thank you to Piggy, Lepeta, Bobby & Nic for the great honor of sharing in this ritual. I will never forget you, my friends.

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5 thoughts on “Samburu Ceremonial Goat Slaughter”

  1. To my friend, who can't each chicken that has skin on it, or eat his corn ON the cob, and will only eat crispy beef tacos as his choice of mexican food….I'm proud of you for stepping out and trying something like this. I'm grossed out, but proud.

  2. Very brave on your part and wow what an honor. Also thanks for reminding me that it's almost time for True Blood.

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