( By Tefera Alemu)

body obeise

Among the different tribes in the Omo valley is the Bodi tribe. The Bodis give a special emphasis to their body ( by the way the similarity between the name of the tribe and the english word "body" is purely coincidential.

For a male member of the tribe obeisity is everything: it is the attrcibute that matters most when it comes to attracting the woman that he desires. But obeisity is not enough: he has to be more obeise than other competitiors.

Bodi tribe ceremony

A big ceremony is held on in June of every year where obeise men, purely naked display their achievement of gaining excessive weight to the community. Preparation for this special event takes nearly the whole year for the one who aspires to be in top. The man who has reached adulthood and is ready to get married will spent several months in a forest, away from all sorts of distraction. During this period he will be assisted by a close friend or family. Throughout this time he will not be subjected to any form of activity, even a quick stroll which could potentially lead him to lose the smallest grams from his hard earned weight. All he does is eat and eat none stop. In order to ensure that he reaches the maximum weight drinking oxen blood is a requirement.

This process does not guarrantee that the he will go out from the forests alive. Instances where the prospectives die of ill health or whose tummies explode because of over eating ( literaly) is not rare.

For those who have surpassed these threats and made it to the bodi festival due in the second week of June, the men who have amassed the maximum weight will go out naked for public display. Some will need support to walk as it will be difficult for them to walk or breath because of the unnaturally gained weight. The event is quite unique and one of its kind. Successful men with self inflicted obeisity will wind up by getting the woman of their dream.

bodi tribe in Ethiopia


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