Cattle rearing plays a key role in the Samburu culture and lifestyle, as it is for the Maasai people, with whom the Samburu share numerous customs and traditions.
Livestock provides food and their hides are used to manufacture household objects and to cover the huts.
Men are involved in the care of the cattle and the safety of the tribe while women have the task of milking the cows, gathering the firewood, collecting water and taking care of the huts.
The diet of the Samburu mainly consists of cow’s milk and cattle blood, the meat is rarely consumed, it is, in fact, used only during some ceremonial occasions when the animals are sacrificed and their meat is consumed.
The milk is often mixed with bovine blood, that is extracted by making a small hole in the animal's jugular without killing him, the wound is then sealed with a paste of hot ash.
The most purchased product is corn flour with which they cook a white polenta called Ugali; another product they usually buy is tea, that is drunk by adding a large amount of sugar and milk.
Life, tradition and culture of Samburu people
- Samburu social organisation and villages
- Samburu religion
- Samburu rituals and ceremonies
- Livestock farming and diet in Samburu communities
- Samburu jewellery and clothing