Blood  

 

Photo 27: Marriage: Blessing

Rufo

 

 

 

Photo 28: Marriage: Slaughtering

Rufo

 

 

 

Photo 29: Bride after excision

Rufo

 

 

Photo 30: Blood of goat

Rufo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Arbore blood is called diik. It is the source of power and can be sweet in a metaphoric sense. It is never neutral but rather always carries some value and seems to differentiate relationships. It differentiates relatives from non-kindred neighbours, enemies from friends, men from women. The relation to sweet blood, diik makka, is ambivalent. It is something desirable. One wants to possess it (women) and one wants to let it flow and may do so by force (the killing of defined enemies). The Arbore slogan „marriage is like a battle“ shows this ambivalence.

1. The blood of the herd
In everyday life the cattle serve as the suppliers of milk and blood. To obtain the blood, the Arbore men scarify the carotid of strong cattle with a bowshot. The blood is collected in a bowl, mixed with milk and drunk. Drinking blood gives physical power and strong emotions and can even lead to trance.

2. The blood of neighbours
Neighbours have either sweet or bad blood. The Arbore say „diika nyaba makka“, the blood of enemies is sweet. Normally the neighbours with sweet blood are those who have no ancestry myths in common with the Arbore. To kill them brings physical power and fertility to the Arbore.

3. The blood of women
During the menstrual period there is no seclusion of Arbore women as there is in numerous other African societies. In Hayward's vocabulary source-book (1984) menstruation is defined as ture, dirty thing. The Arbore also gave me the description eel wannit, spring of women. This definition has positive connotations like fertility and origin of life. During menstruation sexual contact is taboo.