National Geographic : 2010 Mar
• his brother's safety. He had an idea where Dunga had gone, and he was furious. e brothers had grown up as Kara boys do--- chasing animals through the bush with bows and arrows. ey pulled guard duty in the sorghum elds, slinging clay pellets at thieving birds. ey learned to beware of crocodiles during the wet season, when the Omo runs high and dark with sediment. And they learned the foundation of male responsibility: care for the herds. Along the Omo, cattle and goats embody wealth and prestige. Without them a man is considered poor and, in most tribes, cannot get married because he has nothing to o er as a bride-price. In time of famine the animals can be sold for food or their milk, and blood can be slowly siphoned o , like interest. Abandoning your cattle is like dumping your family's savings into the river. Kornan selected a slender stick, then marched to the nearby schoolhouse and found Dunga there. e brothers were close, but this? Leaving the herd for school? Kornan beat Dunga until the boy wept. Some 15 years later Dunga tenses as he remembers the blows. e next morning, sore and chastened, Dunga led the cattle to water at dawn. But a few days later he ran away to school again. And Kornan beat him again. "I loved Kornan," Dunga said. "He was a fa- ther for me, he was everything. But my mind was going to school." e beatings hardened Dunga's resolve, but they seemed to so en Kornan's. He had been to school himself for a few years, and he eventually realized punishment wouldn't dissuade Dunga. ey struck a deal. e boy could go to school as long as he achieved good grades. If his per- formance fell, he'd be back in the bush with the herd. Dunga was ecstatic. He advanced to a boarding school in a nearby town, each grade taking him deeper into a new world. He re- turned home less frequently. Meanwhile, Kornan had become a respected young leader. He had a wife, several children, and a reputation as an unrivaled hunter. e wives of other men presented Kornan with bullets and Above fields of sorghum, girls chew sweet stalks after laying out seeds to dry. Annual flooding not only helps farmers grow food but also renews grazing lands for herders' livestock. A ten-day, artificial flood has been proposed to mimic the natural cycle once the dam is completed---a remedy critics say is inadequate.