A zebu herdsman watches over his cattle on the banks of the Tsiribihina River. Tsiribihina River, 15 October 2022
In Madagascar, the size of a man's zebu herd is often seen as a measure of his wealth and status. These cattle are highly valued and considered a person's most valuable possession. In some areas of the country, it is customary to slaughter a portion of the herd and display the horns on the owner's tomb as a symbol of their wealth after their death. The families with the largest zebu herds are typically the most influential and powerful. In the past, zebu was also used as gifts in marriage proposals or to seal business deals.