Jul 17 2014

15 African Children Fed to Alligators Because They Were “Cursed!”

A forty-five-year-old Ethiopian woman faced one of the greatest tragedies that could befall a person. She lost her children- all fifteen of them. Not only did she have to deal with the pain of the loss of them, she also had to suffer through knowing what happened to them.

Because the tribe that she and her children were a part of deemed her children cursed, they were fed to a group of alligators. Buko Balguda, the mother of the children, recalls the heartbreaking events.



Though the tradition of killing the “mingi,” which is their term for “cursed” children, has faded out, since 2012, when the elders of the Karo tribe agreed to stop practicing it, Buko is still suffering immensely as a result of it.

Buko’s children were doomed before they were even conceived. She was informed by the elders that her children would indefinitely be considered illegitimate and have to be killed upon their birth.

african woman

The reason her children were labeled illegitimate is because her husband, who fathered the children, did not perform his required place in a bull-jumping ceremony, which every man must do before his marriage for a proper transition.

When they married anyway, they knew what was going to happen to their children.

This is not the only reason children are deemed as “mingi” in Ethiopia. If a child is born with a disability, as a twin, or with teeth that develop in a certain way, they are likely to be killed.

Though the Ethiopian government outlawed the practice in 2012, it still happens in some areas. The Karo, Bana and Hamer tribes believe that if a “mingi” is allowed to live with the tribe, it portends many misfortunes for the tribe, such as famine, drought and death.

Usually it is babies that get killed, but sometimes, in rarer incidents, older children are killed as well. The children are usually killed by getting fed to hungry wildlife, such as hyenas, or alligators in Boku’s case. Boku was forced to watch as each one of her fifteen babies were fed to alligators. ┬áTragic events like this have unfortunately happened to many Ethiopian mothers.

african children