A Tribal Village and Zebu
Madagascar is a very poor, under-developed country by world
standards. It has cities and towns, but here is our visit to a
typical rural village. This is how many tribal people live,
without electricity or other modern conveniences. Clothes are
washed in a nearby river, shown is in the video. What I filmed
and took stills of is part of Madagascar's African reality,
wooden shacks as homes.
Most villagers found this invasion by Westerners with cameras
as an entertainment. They were happy to pose for pictures,
and in my case video, asking for nothing in return. We could
not communicate with words, but mutual friendliness
prevailed. Being traditional defines such tribal villages all over
The final lodge we stayed at had this great painting of Zebu.
They come off as noble and important, which is absolutely
correct in traditional areas of Madagascar.
Madagascar tribal, rural culture generally defines wealth and
prominence by how many Zebu a person or family has. Zebu
play an important role in ceremonies, such as weddings and
funerals. They can be gifts or sacrifices, although many are
put to work pulling carts. Others remain in well-managed
herds, a bank account on the hoof.
This Zebu has a job, one of two toting a cart. It's my best
Zebu still. I enjoyed taking Zebu close-ups and herd shots
for the video. But I never ate Zebu, often on the menu. I
remained true to my principles: Never eat what you
photograph or photograph what you eat. Additionally, I
knew Zebu meat would be far too tough for me to