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Ethiopia’s Ka’el ceremony where fat Bodi men are celebrated like kings 

Ethiopia’s Ka’el ceremony where fat Bodi men are celebrated like kings
Written by See Africa Today
Ethiopia’s culture is intricate, unique and interesting if a set of traditional norms religiously practised in this some parts of the country are anything to go by.
This East African country is famed for the world’s most loved coffee brands but it is also known for its puzzling traditions such as the hyenas of Harar, bull-jumping among others.
However, unlike many countries in the world why modelling seems to appreciate a select group of people who can best be described as petite, Ethiopia has dedicated set of days in the calendar where they celebrate chubby men. Here, big is coveted.
This traditional ceremony known as Bodi year of Ka’el ceremony is practised and honoured by the Bodi or Me’en tribe in Ethiopia’s Omo Valley. Here, the fatter a man is, the more the prestige! But it is no mean feat to get these statuses as young unmarried men are put on an obese-triggering diet.
Six months to the ceremony usually held in June or July, families nominate their Bodi men for the ceremony. Once nominated, the young men are isolated in huts and subjected to a mixture of milk and a cow’s blood daily to fatten them for six months before presenting them for the pageant which honours the fattest man with a crown which he lives off for the rest of his life.
Women in the village feed them daily with a two-litre bowl of milk mixed with a cow’s blood.
Once the ceremony kicks off, the chances of getting a suitable woman for a wife are on a high for the contestants. They smear their bodies with clay and saunter towards the main arena where the event is held.
The ceremony is simply a stunning event! Here, children are mesmerized and can’t wait to become of age to join the pageant! The young men who are paraded, stark naked, walk for hours around a sacred tree as a crowd of men look on and women help them out once in a while in making their steps around this holy place.
After the ceremony, the men revert to their normal lifestyle and eating habit. They shed the six-month added weight in just a matter of weeks.
Before this happens, the lucky one manages to get beautiful women for wives at the ceremony.


Read more:

The three-year century-old bull-jumping tradition for Hamer tribe in Ethiopia


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About the author

See Africa Today

Pharis Kinyua is the editor of See Africa Today. With over seven years of experience in digital media, he has a soft spot for African tours and travel. His drive is to tell the rest of the world what Africa offers, the best accommodation facilities, national parks, culture, shopping malls and best airline deals to travel to Africa

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