Surma tribe of the southwest in Ethiopa. Photographed in februari, 2008.

The Surma are true cattle herders. They do not kill their cattle, as this is their richness, used to pay the bride price. They do however use the milk and the blood of their cattle, in order to get strength.

An arrow is shot at close range to puncture the carorid of the cow. The blood is then collected in a gourd to be drunk.. The animal is not left to bleed but is carefully tended to, till it fully heals. This healing process takes less then a minute.


Their rites and traditional ceremonies are taken very seriously, and it is not common to allow outsiders to attend. To actually see the Surma people drinking their cattle's blood is such an contradiction to Western society. This made it extra special for me to whiteness the process.