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The importance of zebu in Madagascar

The "zebu" (Cow en anglais) means wealth in Madagascar and it is not unusual to see huge herds in the southern and western regions of the island. For some ethnic groups, like Bara, steal a zebu is a sign of courage and strength. There are even engagement ceremony rituals where men will not have the hand of the girl he could not steal a zebu to offer in-laws.

status symbol, Beef is also a sacred animal, which plays a big role in all ceremonies. the joro, an offering of a zebu to the gods and ancestors. All ritual is accompanied by the sacrifice of a zebu or more selected from the color of their dress.

In the South and West, breeding cattle is the main economic activity, each lineage has its flock, under the authority of the oldest of the oldest branch. It can define the wealth of a family, a tribe based on the size of the herd. Zebus follow their owner jusqu'çà their graves. After being sacrificed, meat is consumed during the funeral by the villagers and the skull with the horns are placed on the grave of the deceased.

It is ubiquitous in Madagascar. It is both a working tool when the fields, a way to carriage if it pulls carts, a savings account between generations, source of raw material for handicrafts, land fertility through manure source and a promise of delicious meals.

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