WHAT IS THEIR PHILOSOPHY OF LIfE
"NO MAN CAN BE HURT AS LONG AS HIS SOUL IS SAFE"
The Daasanach are semi nomad tribe inhabiting a territory stretching over parts of Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan. Their birthplace is Lower Omo Valley where the last indigenous people of East Africa live in frequent battle for resources, vital for their survival.
WHERE DAASANACH LIVE
The great Africa Rift valley starts from Northern Syria and extends East for about 6400km to Mozambique. On its way it passes through Ethiopia and has several side branches. Even today some remain unexplored and little known. Lower Omo valley is located in the South – Western corner of Ethiopia and is the home of the last indigenous people in East Africa. Daasanach tribe is one of them. Their territory stretches all the way to the point where Omo river flows into Lake Turkana, Kenya. This is why they are known as “people of the delta”.
It is estimate Daasanach to number about 25000 people and they speak Daasanach language similar to the language of Pokot tribe. However, the rapid globalization and Gibi dam forces many of them to be reallocated to urban territories.
Inside the tribe there are strict rules. Men are responsible for the cattle, which is the source of life for the entire tribe. They also take care of the tribes’ safety. Daasanach men spend most of their time in the bush together with the cattle, frequently moving in search for new grassland.
Women take care of the household by building huts, take care of the children & old people, collecting the sorghum & maize crops, cooking, and of course always having ready food & coffee for their husbands. Daasanach tribe live in polygamy. Usually a man can have as many wives as long as he possesses enough cattle. A woman is worth up to 20 caws. When a man wants to marry, he needs to buy his wife from her family.
WHAT TO DO, IF A MAN DOESN’T HAVE ENOUGH CATTLE?
A man and his friends attack the nearest tribe and steal their cattle. This is the reason for the frequent armed conflicts in Omo valley. An AK-47 is traded for up to 5 caws.
Boys are circumcised. Girls also need to follow the same procedure, if they want to be married. Usually this happens in very early age.
Daasanach believe in the spiritual power of the objects surrounding them. They also consider some of their men to have power to control water & crocodiles in the nearby Omo river.
What DAASANACH EAT?
Daasanach people have very basic diet consisting of sorghum grain, goat or caw meet & milk. They also drink unfiltered water straight from Omo river. When Daasanach are in the bush far from any water, they drain up to 1 lr of blood from a caw. Just enough to survive without killing the animal. A desperate measure for the harsh conditions of the burning sun during the dry season. Nevertheless, few families living near Lake Turkana have learned to fish in order to diversify their diet. They eat also crocodile meat, whose hunting is part of the manhood challenge all boys need to pass.
Daasanach believe the souls continue to live after once dead. When in danger person’s soul can be kept hidden in a safe place, so that its owner will survive regardless of what happen to its physical body. After the threat is gone, the soul can be restored to the body and the person will be hale again.