Becoming a Maasai Warrior : Showcase- Sunday

in showcase-sunday •  last month 

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Photo Credit: Jenna Suen

The day I was welcomed as a Maasai Warrior

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The summer of 2017 was spent in Tanzania as a photographer, documenting the efforts of a non-profit. We lived outside of the city of Arusha, away from the city and what most people would call a more modern way of life. I spent the time living among a Maasai tribe that was holding on to their roots while still allowing some of the modern influences in, like education and some more modern farming techniques. It was an amazing experience and I wanted to share one of the posts that I had made when I first joined the platform about when I was welcomed into the tribe as a Maasai Warrior.

I hope you enjoy

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One of the nights I was in the village I was told that we were going to be having a special dinner and we were going to be having goat meat. This was a pretty special occasion because in this village they did not have much in terms of live stock other, but relied mostly on farming for their food, so their diets consisted mainly of grains and maize-meal. So when we heard we were going to be getting some meat, we got a little excited.

We all gathered around the children's school area for the celebration and then two Maasai warriors brought two goats in with rope leashes. We were told that the goats are slaughtered and the men drink the blood from the goats neck as it bleeds out. They say it is a good source of nutrition for them and it is a way for them to give thanks to the animal they are about to eat. They asked if any of us "mzungu" wanted to drink the blood of the animals and said that it was a form of initiation into their tribe for the white people to drink the blood from neck of the goat they slaughter. So naturally I was all about volunteering. It makes for an awesome story, plus I get to be an honorary Maasai Warrior.

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Photo Credit: Silvia Hernandez

So a few of the Maasai warriors, Wilson is the one with the glasses sunglasses, helped me to get the goat in the right position and then told me the best way to cut into the goats throat. That is about the time that everything hit me what I was about to do, but I couldn't chicken out in front of these guys, they are warriors. So i needed to put my big boy pants on and do it. So I dug the knife into the goat's neck and began to saw away at it. The knife wasn't the sharpest thing I had ever used, so I had to put some muscle into it, while the goat began to thrash around and squeal in pain. Ya, I felt bad, but we were going to eat it regardless and someone was going to kill it one way or another.

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Photo Credit: Silvia Hernandez

Then the goats precious life juice started squirting out of its neck and I figured it was time to get my drink on, so I bent down and was just going to get a little sip of it. Little did I know that I had been cutting with so much force that I had cut his head halfway off, so when I bent down for a sip, blood from the jugular vein and just about every other one in the neck had been severed so blood shot into my mouth and filled my whole mouth up and also shot onto my face and got in my eye. So now I am sitting there with a mouthful of warm goat's blood trying not to vomit everywhere and I can't spit it out because that's not what warriors do. WE DRINK THE BLOOD! So I forced myself to swallow every drop of blood that I had, even though it was probably one of the most disgusting things I have ever tasted.

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Photo Credit: Silvia Hernandez

When I had swallowed it all, I came up victorious with a blood streaked face and blood in my eye. The Maasai welcomed me in as a warrior amongst them and gave me my own Maasai name. They called me Mejooli and told me that it translated to "one who cannot be defeated" or "invincible". It was a really cool experience, even though I was worried about getting worms or a serious infection because of the fresh African goat blood that shot into my eyeball.

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Photo by @DerangedVisions

After the goats were slaughtered, Wilson began to skin and prepare the one that I had killed. He gathered all of the younger boys around him and was teaching them how to skin and prepare the goats because they will be warriors one day and will be doing this.

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Photo by @DerangedVisions

He showed the young Maasai boys everything they needed to know and then he watched them while they began to work together to prepare the other goat.

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Photo by @DerangedVisions

After the initial cuts along the stomach and legs, the goats were placed on a bed of leaves to help keep them "clean" because then they began to remove the skin off of the bodies.

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Photo by @DerangedVisions

The young Maasai boys were already experts at doing this and were going to make great warriors one day for their village.

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Photo by @DerangedVisions

Once the skin was removed, then the organs were removed. Some of the organs were cut up and eaten raw. After drinking all of the blood that I had, I don't think I could stomach raw goat guts, so I politely passed on that.

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Photo by @DerangedVisions

The liver was one of the organs that they ate raw. When they first started skinning the goat, they removed the testicles and I am pretty sure someone popped them in their mouth without cooking them.

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Photo by @DerangedVisions

After all of the meat was removed, it was placed on sticks and set around a fire to be cooked. The fire wasn't a real consistent temperature and the sticks were placed at all different distances from the fire and some of the pieces of meat that were far away were pretty thick, so let's just say not everything was cooked all the way.

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Photo by @DerangedVisions

After the meat was done, it was cut up and passed around on a plate for everyone to share. It wasn't the best tasting meal I have ever had cooked around a fire, but it definitely was one of the greatest experiences I have ever had around one. There is nothing like being in the middle of Africa hanging out with a bunch of Maasai Warriors, cutting goats heads off and drinking the blood straight from the neck, cutting the goat into pieces, cooking it on sticks around a fire and then eating it. One of the coolest experiences ever.

Thank you for taking the time to read about my experience. You are awesome!

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I haven't tried goat. I don't think I'd be able to stomach the raw prairie oysters either.

Grew up on a self-sustainable farm. I was the chicken feather plucker.

The goat wasn't too bad, the blood, ehh.... I think I would be fine if I didn't do that again. But I am sure when I go back and see them again, if they offer me another experience like that, I will most likely do it. My cousin made a bucket thing they put the chickens in that spins them around and pulls all the feathers out. It is pretty cool.

I don't think I could handle the blood. Nearly choked on my own before so it'll bring back some bad memories I don't need right now.

There's more than one way to pluck a chicken. I had a machine that would rip my arm off if I wasn't careful.

Thanks, that was refreshingly graphic. So many meat eaters among us are just disconnected from this part of being an omnivore.

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It was quite an experience. It is nice to get back to our roots of where our meat comes from and be around this type of stuff every now and then. Thanks for checking out the post.

Amazing photos and writing!

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Thank you. I am glad you enjoyed it.

I'm just going to say: WOW 😮

It was awesome. Thanks for stopping by.

Wow, that was a rare experienced.

Posted using Partiko Android

I am glad that you enjoyed it. Thank you for checking it out.

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Modern times. Even the Maasai become weak.
In the good old days you had to kill a male lion to become a warrior. Now a goat is enough? Where is this world coming to?

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