Clichés du fin fond du grenier: The Buffalo Sacrifice


The buffalo sacrifice (1, 2 & 3)

Nature of the document:
Picture – B&W

O’Russei Village, Kompong Chhnang Province, Cambodia.


Killing of the buffalo to serve as an offering in the upcoming Cai (possession of the Champa spirits) ceremony.

Circa 1967

Thanks to Alain Daniel for his personal Collection.


Read more on Cai:

BACCOT Juliette 1968 : “On g’nur et Cay a O Russei. Syncrétisme religieux dans un village Cham du Cambodge”, Thèse non publiée, Paris, EPHE.

TRANKELL Ing Britt 2002 : “Healing People and the Body Politic : Ritual and Historical Imagination among the Cham in Cambodia”, Draft paper for the third Nordic Workshop on Medical Anthropology, Uppsala University, 22 p.

STOCK Emiko 2009 : ”Parce que Champa et Cambodge ne faisaient qu’un… Lorsque les esprits s’emmêlent pour tisser la trame d’une histoire passée sur le métier d’une ‘intégration’ présente”, Udaya 8, Journal of Khmer Studies, Phnom Penh, p 243-275.


What about today?

Survivance of austronesian codes, the buffalo sacrifice is still practiced nowadays during Cai ceremonies in a few villages in Cambodia. More common to the whole country is the annual cow sacrifice for the Eid El Kabir.

01/01/07 - Chror Romirt Village, Kompong Chhnang Province, Cambodia. ©emikostock

Cow sacrifice during the Eid – 01/01/07 – Chrok Romirt Village, Kompong Chhnang Province, Cambodia. ©emikostock

This year, in the village of Chrok Romirt, about 30 cows, offered by a group of generous Malays, have been killed in front of the mosque for the Eid El Kabir and shared between the villagers. If both sacrifices have a totally different origin, and happen in totally different occasions, the performance does remain the same…

Phnom Penh, February 11, 2013, Emiko Stock.

Those little field-notes are reminiscences of the past blogs and shares. While they are not proud of their flaws, I thought they shouldn’t be punished for it. Hopefully you will forgive them to be just as they come, just as they will remain.


* Originally published on the former Du Fin Fond Du Grenier website, July 2007.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


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