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Laos - Buffalo Sacrifice

Location: Tat Lo, Laos

Some of the minority villages in Lao still perform a traditional Water Buffalo sacrifice ceremony on the full moon. The number of Buffalos sacrificed ranges from 1 - 4 depending on the size of the harvest achieved the previous year. At least one is always sacrificed to honor the house spirits. We visited two villages, the first one was closed off to outsiders but they allowed us to take photos (for a small fee), the second village welcomed outsiders so we watched the whole ceremony (not recommended on a full stomach). David made a movie, so you can watch it to.

28 Feb 2007, 9:46AM

A group of villagers gathered to stare at a group of strange white people who want to pay them to photograph a Buffalo's head.

28 Feb 2007, 9:46AM

The head of the sacrificed Water Buffalo displayed at the edge of the village.

1 Mar 2007, 6:59AM

The Water Buffalo anxiously waiting for the ceremony to begin.

1 Mar 2007, 6:41AM

Returning to the village the following morning to watch the ceremony. The aftermath of the party that continued long after we'd gone to bed.

1 Mar 2007, 8:45AM

The head of the village throws stuff at the buffalo, marking the end of the dance and the begininng of the sacrifice

1 Mar 2007, 8:21AM

The traditional warrior dance around the buffalo

1 Mar 2007, 8:54AM

A job well done. The men celebrate with a cigarette

1 Mar 2007, 8:49AM

The men wielding swords mid flow

1 Mar 2007, 8:57AM

Village boy tugging the buffalo's horns. Yep I think he's actually dead.

1 Mar 2007, 8:55AM

The local children gather round to dip rags in the blood which they then hold aloft whilst running around the village

1 Mar 2007, 9:08AM

Water Buffalo remains. This village sacrificed 4 this year, so they'll be enjoying buffalo meat for weeks.

1 Mar 2007, 9:03AM

We tried to leave, but the locals wouldn't let us until we'd shared yet more beer with them. It's very offence to refuse them (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it)



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The head of the sacrificed Water Buffalo displayed at the edge of the village.

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A group of villagers gathered to stare at a group of strange white people who want to pay them to photograph a Buffalo's head.

Close Window

Returning to the village the following morning to watch the ceremony. The aftermath of the party that continued long after we'd gone to bed.

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The Water Buffalo anxiously waiting for the ceremony to begin.

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The traditional warrior dance around the buffalo

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The head of the village throws stuff at the buffalo, marking the end of the dance and the begininng of the sacrifice

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The men wielding swords mid flow

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A job well done. The men celebrate with a cigarette

Close Window

The local children gather round to dip rags in the blood which they then hold aloft whilst running around the village

Close Window

Village boy tugging the buffalo's horns. Yep I think he's actually dead.

Close Window

We tried to leave, but the locals wouldn't let us until we'd shared yet more beer with them. It's very offence to refuse them (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it)

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Water Buffalo remains. This village sacrificed 4 this year, so they'll be enjoying buffalo meat for weeks.