Dec 9, 2012

Yak Meat

Click on the picture to see album, WARNING: BLOOD

Although Vajrayana buddhists by religion, Manangis don't consider killing yak for meat as a taboo. Probably for practical reasons, they have resorted to tweak this part of the religious laws.

One fine morning, Tashi invited me to watch the ritualistic slaughtering and butchering of yaks. The event took place in a field on the outskirts of the village, by a little stream.

Four cows and a bull yak were slaughtered. Instead of slitting the throat open, a long narrow knife is driven right into the animals heart. This ensures quick death without spilling much blood. Every part of the animal is consumed or used in one way or another, including the blood.

Use of axe and hammer in butchering is another speciality of their culture. For an animal as thick skinned and heavy boned as the yak is, this is no surprise.

Only men are allowed to go on the butchering field. Perhaps a tradition being carried on since the hunter-gatherer period.