Ethiopian Tribe Bestows Honor on Fattest Man in Village

By Eric Williams

A tribe in Ethiopia bestows a great honor on the single man who can gain the most weight in a six-month span each year. The contest is held annually, and the winner wins nothing but honor for his efforts – AND the admiration of the ladies in the tribe.

You see, fatness equals hotness in the eyes of the female villagers. Sounds like an easy feat, doesn’t it? Unfortunately for the Bodi tribe, however, the contest is not as pleasant as we might imagine. The nearest McDonald’s is over 2000 miles away in Cairo, Egypt!

It’s no cake walk.

Each year, unmarried men from each family in the tribe are picked to participate in the weight gain contest. If chosen, they’re forced to live in solitude in a hut, move as little as possible, and only receive visits from family members who bring them buckets of milk and cows blood to drink.


Eric Laffogue, a photographer who has spent time with the Bodi, explains:

The fat men drink milk and blood all day long. The first bowl of blood is drunk at sunrise. The man must drink it quickly before it coagulates, but some cannot drink everything and vomit.

Sounds fun. But unable to simply down double-meat quarter pounders with cheese and drink beer all day, these men have to put on weight the hard way.

And before you get upset, the cows are not killed for their blood (cows are considered sacred by the villagers). Their blood is drawn and the wound is closed up with clay. Still, you would think PETA would have a crew dispatched to Ethiopia by now, insisting the tribe put an end to this barbaric practice.

So, if you’ve got a huge beer belly and feel terrible about it, buck up. If you lived in Ethiopia, you’d be revered and worshipped for it.