National Geographic : 2010 Mar
from his homeland, his face knotted against the memories. Knowing that I also have brothers, he asks, "What would you have done?" In the West revenge is le to courts. But in this corner of Ethiopia, there is little history of such institu- tions. ere are only the demands of the dead. at Dus, a village of stick-and- grass huts set on a blu high above the Omo River. From the central highlands the river ows wide and deep and fast toward the coun- try's southwestern border, where it pours into Kenya's Lake Turkana. In its 500-mile course the river curls through gorges of volcanic rock and channels of ancient mud. Near the Kenyan border the Omo carves ser- pentine oxbows as the countryside attens, and ribbons of forest appear along its banks. River- ine creatures, including crocodiles and hippos, become more abundant. e landscape grows thick with tribes, including the Kara, Mursi, Hamar, Suri, Nyangatom, Kwegu, and Dassan- ech, a population of roughly 200,000. Herdsmen drive animals through the bush, and farm- ers pole upstream and downstream in lumpy canoes. Depending on the season, the riverbanks Neil Shea is a contributing writer for the magazine. Photographer Randy Olson documented Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula in the August 2009 issue.