Sharing meat

On the 11th of September 2012, the beginning of the year 2005 was celebrated in Ethiopia. Next week on the 27th of September, Orthodox Christians will celebrate the Meskel (mäsk’äl) holiday. Unlike in other areas in the South of Ethiopia (e.g. Kambaata, Gurage), Meskel is not much celebrated in Baskeet. But as there will be a lot of slaughtering, butchering and meat sharing going on in many places in Ethiopia in the next week, I thought I’d share a typical Baskeet (pre-)holiday picture with you:

Sharing meat at the market in Laska

Sharing meat at the market in Laska

(Note: The above picture was not taken on Meskel but on Christmas
on the market in Laska (Basketo Special Woreda).)

Before the holidays, people join each other to buy an ox together.  When the animal has been slaughtered, the meat is carefully divided and piled up on the ground on enset leaves. People watch over the meat piles so that everybody gets a fair share of all different meat parts. When the division is completed, everybody who has contributed money receives his/her meat. The meat piles are drawn by lot.

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