Pics: Ethiopian tribe hosts annual ‘fat man’ competition where local men get by drinking only cow milk and blood for six months

There are a lot of competitions underway around the world – but none quite like the one in Ethiopia. There, in a remote valley, tribesmen are competiting to see who can put on the most weight over the next six months. Oh, and they’re only allowed to live off of a diet of fresh goats milk and blood. Yes – blood.

For half a year, male members of the Bodi tribe are not allowed to leave their hut. And they’re banned from having sex too. Over the six month period, the tribe’s women and girls must deliver milk and blood to the men in pot or bamboos.

Photographer Eric Lafforgue, who took the pictures, said: ‘The cows are sacred to the Bodi tribe so they are not killed.

‘The blood is taken by making a hole in a vein with a spear or an axe, and after that, they close it with clay.’ The competition forms part of the Ka’el ritual, held to mark the new year. Each family is able to chose one unmarried man for the contest. He must not move from his hut until it is over.

The prize? Pride.

Oh, and apparently the women in the tribe find the large waistline extremely attractive. Lattorgue added: ‘The fat men drink milk and blood all day long. The first bowl of blood is drunk at sunrise. He must drink it quickly before it coagulates but some cannot drink everything and vomit it.’ After six months, each of the men cover themselves in clay and ashes before emerging from their hut for the first time. More pics below…

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