Berichte des Sonderforschungsbereichs 268
- 04, 131
Sacrifice and business : a comparative study of ritual and commercial cattle slaughtering in Tenkodogo, Burkina Faso
- All over the world meat plays an important role in the nutrition of people. Mostly it is considered to be a special source of strength and health. In many peoples' minds the consumption of animal products, such as muscle, fat, blood, inner organs and bones, is much more associated with vital strength than a vegetarian meal. A reason for this may be the inherent physical similarity between human being and animal, especially mammals. There are other ways of producing meat, such as hunting and fishing, but today the most common method is butchering. The people in Tenkodogo consider beef to be an excellent meat. We will focus our comparative studies on special occasions, specialised butchers, locations, times, technical methods, distribution and ideas connected with the production and consumption of beef. Two fundamental reasons for the butchering of cattle can be identified: firstly, bulls are killed during the rituals of the year and secondly, cattle is slaughtered for daily commercial purposes on the market. In both cases almost the entire carcass of the butchered animal is consumed by people. In Tenkodogo we can actually compare those two different reasons, which have at least one common impact.