On The Turkana Goat Roast

by

roasting

The goat could hardly be more essential to the Turkana way of life. Here you
have a hardy little creature that is not as likely to wander as a camel, but
is still smarter than a sheep. He practically herds himself. You can bleed
him frequently. You can use his skin for clothing. He can eat just about
anything. And when all else fails, you can kill him and eat everything but
hide, horn, and hoof.

Most of the time in Turkana life, the goat is far too important to consume
all at once. He is usually employed as a device to convert desert scrub into
drinkable blood. However, from time to time a man likes to bite into
something. At such a time, the best thing to do is take one’s spear and
drive it soundly behind the third rib, through the lung, and into the heart.
This way, the heart pumps the blood into the convenient container of the
lung, rather than spilling it wastefully into the thirsty sand.

If you are a person of foresight, You already have a fire going. Now you
pick up the goat and toss him into the blaze. A keen eye is needed here. For
anyone knows that a goat is not done until the hair is uniformly burned off
on all sides. You have done well if you remove a stiff, blackened goat and
place him on a neat arrangement of palm leaves.

Maybe your son has been behaving very well lately. If so, it might be
considerate to open the chest cavity of the goat and let him drink the blood
out. Now begins the carving proper. Most people know that the head and
organs of the animal are reserved for the old men. The rest of the cuts are
of arcane tradition, and opinions will vary from individual to individual.
It is likely at this point that several of your friends will be arguing
loudly with you about how and what to cut. Just make sure that you divide
the animal to judiciously supply every member of the family. If you choose,
squeeze the waste from the intestine before handing it out. You know that
your roast has finished when you are left with dry bones and a skin drying
on a frame.

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