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.