Stick-fighting warriors down pints of cow’s blood for strength before battling for the right to pick a girl from their remote tribe

Stick-fighting warriors down pints of cow’s blood for strength before battling for the right to pick a girl from their remote tribe

  • The Donga, or stick fight, is practised by Suri tribesmen in southern Ethiopia as a means of impressing women
  • The warriors will try to down nearly two litres of cows’ blood but many will end up throwing it back up again
  • The winner gets to proposition a girl of his choice who will then decide to accept or reject him 

UK (Daily Mail) — These fascinating photographs show warriors in southern Ethiopia downing pints of cow’s blood before fighting each other with sticks in a bid to impress women.

The ‘Donga’, or stick fight, is practised by Suri tribesmen at the end of each harvest. It combines combat with ritual and sport and aims to get young men used to bloodshed – which leaders believe comes in handy if they clash with other tribes.

Before a Donga, some Suri drink the fresh blood of their cattle. A warrior will make a small incision in the cow’s carotid artery with a special sharp arrow. The tribe believe it to be full of vitamins to give fighters strength.
The one-on-one battles take place between different Suri villages with around 20 to 30 fighters on each side. The fights can be furious and can result in death, but there are also rules in place enforced by a referee.

Warriors

The ‘Donga’, or stick fight, is practised by Suri tribesmen in southern Ethiopia at the end of each harvest. If they win the fight – which are furious and can often result in death – they are allowed to choose their pick of a girl from the tribe.

The women can refuse a warrior but being chosen by a champion is considered a great honour. Men who triumph in brutal and bloody donga fights are considered heroes by the rest of the village and wider tribe

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