Good Friday Goat Slaughtering
Trip Start Mar 13, 2010
45Trip End Feb 13, 2011
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Now Annie has filled you all in on some of the details of where we are, who we're staying with and the fact that we're both alive and (generally) well, I can tell the interesting tale of my Good Friday experience.
*Hazy flashback-type special effect*
A few weeks ago we met Johnson's brother who lives but a 5-10 minute walk away from us. When he was showing us round his house and immediate land we were taken in to his goat enclosure and shown several different beasts - the Maasai can impressively tell every goat (and cow, chicken, etc) apart, and can even remember which ones are related. The conversation rolled on, and either myself or Annie commented on what lovely animals they were
*Hazy return-to-present special effect*
So, on the morning of the 2nd April at around 9am, the men set off from Johnson's house to meet with his brother. We arrived 10 minutes later and we're joined soon after by the women. Who, unbeknown to Annie and Anna, had a rather fine day of washing and chapati making ahead of them. I on the other hand, as a manly man, had an eating-every-imaginable-part-of-a-goat kind of day ahead of me. After we had been in-situ for roughly 20 minutes the men were summoned together and a goat was chosen to be dispatched without further ado. The goat was taken from the midst of it's fellow goats and hauled to what I will refer to as the slaughter chamber - although in reality this was a sheet of metal in a field, next to a hastily arranged fire, equipped with several pans and knives. The goat was held down, one man holding each set of legs, some herbs (which I later discovered acted as a sedative) were rubbed over the goats snout, then another man smothered it - effectively strangling the goat to death. The entire process took a matter of minutes, and seemed surprisingly painless - in fact the goat hardly seemed to struggle at all
The women were now dismissed to the kitchen area, along with the goats liver (apparently a womens food). The men remained to skin and cut up the goat. Over the next several hours the goat was eaten piece by piece, and, in no particular order, I can remember consuming the following parts:
- The kidneys (raw)
- The heart
- The ribs
- The small Intestine
- The duodenum, wrapped around fat.
- The blood, as a sauce with fried meat and potatoes.
- The large Intestine.
- The stomach.
- Soup, created by boiling the internal organs before we ate them.
However, this may not be a definitive list as I may have lost the cognitive capacity to remember everything that I ate that day. It's now around 24 hours after that epic meal, and I've yet to eat anything else, yet I still feel full of meat!
So, in hindsight, maybe the moral of this tale is that - unless you're prepared to eat an entire goat, pretty much literally - never compliment a Maasai on the loveliness of his goats!
From Kenya with love,