National Geographic : 2010 Mar
• recently implemented a program to promote law and order by putting young, freshly trained professionals in positions of local power. When he graduates, Dunga will be the rst lawyer in his tribe; he is likely to be sent back to the Omo Valley as a judge or a government prosecutor. He is aware that he will be a kind of missionary, and it has become his personal mission to mod- ernize the Kara people and prepare them for the future as part of the Ethiopian state. He even invokes one of U.S. President Barack Obama's election slogans. "Change must come," he said. "I have a big responsibility to change my tribe in a big way. My revenge is to make the killing stop." I return to Dus and nd the peace holding, at least among the Ethio- pian tribes. e Nyangatom, former aggressors, are now su ering at the hands of the Turkana, a Kenyan tribe that has crossed the border and is said to have rustled more than 13,000 cattle. Few of the Kara gloat. A drought is settling over the land, and one day I watch as several Nyangatom pole across the river and ask Kara friends for help. Immediately the Kara provide their former enemies with sacks of grain. But all is not forgiven. In Kornan's village, his young widow, Bacha, is still haunted. A er his murder, Bacha entered traditional mourn- ing; she removed her jewelry, let her hair grow untamed, wrapped herself in rough leather skin. Bacha mourned for two years---longer than cus- tom requires---refusing to emerge until elders and friends practically dragged her out. Eventu- ally she cut her hair and slipped on her bracelets and necklaces again, but she was not healed. A suitor approached; she rejected him. She has kept many of Kornan's possessions---clothing, beads. She keeps his AK-47. One day I ask her about the ri e. Bacha's face is striking, unlined, her eyes like almonds. A roo ng nail protrudes through her bottom lip. She doesn't want to talk about the ri e. Her face remains dark and smooth as the river. "I keep it so my sons will see it," she says - nally, twisting her callused hands in her lap. "So they will grow up familiar with it." She seems unimpressed with Dunga. He is technically the head of the family, but it is she who is in charge of day-to-day a airs, with the help of her two young sons, both under ten. A boy and his pet baboon wander the Suri village of Tulgit. Although a difficult terrain has long sheltered his people from the outside world, this boy will grow up in a nation pushing hard to modernize and integrate its far-flung tribes. "It's important to stop the nomadic life," one Suri official says. "Peace and stability are the most important things for us now."