The Maasai, an ethnic group of semi-nomadic people who inhabit in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania, drink cow blood on special occasions – circumcision of a child, the birth of a baby and on the occasion of a girl’s marriage.
It also is given to drunken elders to alleviate intoxication and hangover.
The traditional diet of the Masai people in Kenya and Tanzania is derived mostly from their cattle. Though they do not often eat beef; they eat milk and blood which is harvested by puncturing the loose flesh on the cow’s neck with an arrow.
Bhagwat on cow slaughter
Reacting to the controversies surrounding cow slaughter in India, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Saturday said Kenyans sometimes drink blood of cows to survive but they don’t kill them or eat their meat.
In certain situations like famine, people in Kenya drink blood of cows to survive but they don’t kill them or eat their flesh, he said while speaking at a function in Nagpur.
They insert a tube made of bamboo in the jugular vein of cows and suck blood. But in no way the animal is killed for consumption since there is a ban on cow killing in the African nation, said Bhagwat, a veterinary doctor by training.
They also ensure that while blood is sucked, the cow does not die due to it, Bhagwat added.
His remarks came in the wake of controversy over ban on beef consumption in some States, including Maharashtra, and the recent lynching of a man in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, after rumours that he and his family ate beef and stored it in their refrigerator.