Does it fit? Tsina Endor on making peace with the taboo in rural Madagascar
In the ancestor worshipping religion practiced across Madagascar’s 18 tribes, the zebu – a species of domestic cattle originating in South Asia – is integral to marking life’s milestones.
When a child gets its first haircut, the clippings are stirred into zebu back fat and eaten by family members with a rum chaser; when a boy is circumcised, his mother and sister prepare a zebu feast to win the respect of the village; and when a person dies, their memorial stone is crowned with a zebu horn and consecrated with its blood.
“People in rural areas who can’t afford zebu can’t do anything,” said Tsina Endor, head of volunteering at Madagascar-focused NGO Azafady, who gave a series of lectures onboard Peace Boat last month. “Some people in the south say they only work to have zebu; they don’t care about having a good house or wearing good clothes, they just want to get zebu so that they can do —> Read More Here