The Cattle Camps’ Ritual, The Suri Tribe Of Ethiopia

PhotographerDavid Nam Lip LEE
Prize1st Place in People / Culture
Entry Description

Cattle camp is part of the lifestyle of the Suri people, and it majority taking care by man. Therefore, the Suri boy start to learn pastoral farming skill since young. Suri don't really eat cattle, but milk is their main food source. Man normally don't wear anything in cattle camp. They cover their body by ash, soil, and even cattle dung before the sun raise. Fresh blood drinking is part of the Suri Culture. Suri woman sometimes do live at cattle campbut the environment hygienic problem always threaten breastfeeding kids.


Cattle is the main treasure of Suri people. However, Suri People do not really eat cattle but they sacrificed for ceremonial reasons, for example funeral and marriage. Milk is the main food source of Suri people, but blood of cattle only can be consummed by Suri man. In every morning, the Suri men will drink milk directly from the cattle. Then, they will collect milk and deliver it to their village. The fresh blood drinking is of a part of Suri Culture, which is ritualistically followed. The selected cattle is detained in a separate corral. Several Suri men will hold the cattle, and a strip of cloth that will tie tightly round the neck is to stop the bleeding of the cattle. A strong Suri man shoots a small and sharp arrow to puncture the jugular vessel that located around the neck of a cattle. The fresh blood letting out quickly and forcefully into a receptacle such as a gourd or cup. The blood is immediately drank by Suri men. The wound of is superficial, where the cattle is unharmed. In present day, Suri men cover their bodies with a woollen blanket, which mainly green in colour, and they wear it over one shoulder. In cattle camp, Suri men generally do not wear any clothing. They normally will cover their naked clean-shaven bodies with ash. Sometimes, they often add striped marks by using soil and/or cattle dung on their bodies. The Suri men will help each other to paint their bodies before the sun raise. Suri men spend most of their time at cattle camps that located some distance from the village because the location of the camps moves frequently for grassland and water. The care of cattle is primarily the responsibility of men and young boys. Therefore, the little Suri boy learn the pastoral farming skill since young. Suri woman sometimes also live at cattle camps but the environment hygienic problem always threaten breastfeeding kids.

About Photographer

Portfolio I am David Nam Lip LEE, born on 2 May, 1976, in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Sabah is a state of Malaysia, and we also called it as “Land Below the Wind” because it lies below the typhoon belt. I completed my primary and secondary study in my hometown. I did my undergraduate studies major in construction management and economics at Curtin University of Technology, Australia. After the graduation, I worked as a manager in a seafood restaurant at my hometown. I love photography since I was eighteen years old. I hardly gain knowledge about photography because it was a costly hobby on those days. My loves to capture images never change but I don’t know how good my images were. I joined my first photography workshop in 2014, which organized by Mr. Danny Yen Sin WONG. He guided me from a snapshot photographer to become an artist who active in international competition and exhibition. My passion to photography has changed my view to the world. I travel to different countries, and documented my exploration by camera. I love to photograph human interest and cultural of people. As a wildlife photographer, I learn how to respect the mother-nature and behavior of animals. Continuous learning and gain advises from experienced photographers have improved my skills and knowledge. I know I need a new direction for my photography dream. My goal is to show people with images that can warm their hearth. Award & Nomination ➢ 14th ANNUAL LUCIE AWARDS Discovery Of The Year ➢ 2016 INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS™ (IPA) Special Photographer of the Year - “Time to Rush Home” - Special First Place - “Time to Rush Home” - Special: Travel/Tourism Third Place – “Monk Of Ya Qing Monastery” - Other Honourable Mention Award - “Pray” – People: Lifestyle Honourable Mention Award - “Pray” – Special: Travel/Tourism Honourable Mention Award - “Shadow” – People: Lifestyle Honourable Mention Award - “Shadow” – People: Children Honourable Mention Award - “Are You Crazy” – People: Children Honourable Mention Award - “Mama In The Kitchen” – People: Lifestyl ➢ Siena International Photo Awards 2016 Remarkable Artwork Award - ''Time to go home 07'' Outcome based on the incredible quality of the 45,000 images registered to the Siena International Photo Awards 2016 with participants coming from 127 countries around the world. ➢ The 2016 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Finalist - “Over Crowded Train” The photo artwork was featured in CNN and BBC News on May 26, 2016. It was also exhibited at Everyman Cinema, King Cross Station London. ➢ The Prix de la Photographie, Paris (Px3) 2016 Competition Gold Award - “Time to Rush Home” - Fine Art / People Honourable Mention Award - “Documentary of Ya Qing Monastery” Honourable Mention Award - “Time to Rush Home” Professional Memberships ➢ Director of Who’s Who in the Nature Division of The Photographic Society of America (PSA) since 2015 ➢ Awarded Silver PSA Portfolios Distinctions in 2016 ➢ Achieved a Recognition of Photographic Achievement (ROPA) with Proficiency (PPSA) in 2016 ➢ Awarded Exhibitor Distinctions (Bronze Exhibitor) of The Photographic Society of Singapore ➢ Achieved a Global Photographic Union (GPU) distinction “Crown 2” in 2015