To simple people like me, cattle are just another delicious source of food. To others, cattle are considered sacred and held as symbols of strength and wealth. Shaka, king of the Zulus, would often breed his Nguni cattle to create different patterned skins for the various regiments in his army.

South African photographer Daniel Naudé has been interested in the role cattle play in societies and over the past few years has photographed the most majectic cows and bulls that you ever did see. Naudé focussed his attention on the Ankole, Zebu, and Brahman breeds native to the countries of respective countries of Uganda, India, and Madagascar. Have a look at some of his photos after the jump.

Ankole in Uganda

Ankole 09. Lake Mburo district, Nyabushozi, Western Region, Ugan

Group of Ankole cattle. Kiruhura district, Western Region, Ugand

Ankole herd. Lake Mburo district, Nyabushozi, Western Region, Ug

Ankole 18. Kiruhura district, Western Region, Uganda, 2012

Zebu in Madagascar

Zebu 01. Cattle market. Ambalavao, Haute Matsiatra Province, Mad

Zebu 6. Cattle market, Ambalavao, Haute Matsiatra, Madagascar, 2

Zebu 04. Outside Ambohimahasoa, Haute Matsiatra Region, Madagasc

Mattu Pongal cattle market, India

Mattu Pongal 8. Kanakkandal district, Tamil Nadu, India, 2014

Mattu Pongal 24. Kananthampoondi, Tamil Nadu, India, 2014

Mattu Pongal 7. Kananthampoondi, Tamil Nadu, India, 2014

If you’d like to see these photos (and more) in person, Naudé’s exhibition, Sightings of the Sacred: Cattle in India, Uganda, and Madagascar is on at the Stevenson gallery in Cape Town from until May 24th. Find more details at on the gallery’s exhibition page.

[via 6000]