National Geographic : 2015 Aug
lake turkana 83 in Ileret. She was given a shot, a bottle of pills, sent home. No cure came. The Western name for her condition remained a mystery, at least to her. She sat on an old black goatskin outside her hut, a red band of beads tight around her bi- ceps, where the muscle had vanished. Neighbors gathered to watch. In Daasanach tradition— the tradition of many tribes here—a sick person would, if she did not recover, be carried away to a solitary camp beyond the village. This so death, if it came, would not haunt the living. Nyemeto brought a large gourd and ladled handfuls of weak coffee onto her patient’s skin. She pressed fingers into Guokol’s shoulders, head, and legs, and paid special attention to her feet. “Take your evil!” she said, throwing her hands skyward. “Take your evil!” The ceremony was brief. Guokol wobbled to her feet and wrapped herself in a red blanket, though the morning burned. “I am not afraid,” she said. “This is our way.” Bean husks fell from her hair. She died that June. I heard she was buried not far from the lake. It was the season of floods along the Omo, and the brown water, rich in sediment and oxygen, would soon spill down into Kenya. Good water for perch, good fishing for men. The flamingos rising like flares in the sky. j No one could shut off a river so grand as the Omo. A few swore to fight any man who tried.