The Omo Valley, situated in Africa’s Great Rift Valley, is home to an estimated 200,000 indigenous peoples who have lived there for millennia. The 20,000-strong Dassanech (meaning ‘People from the Delta”) inhabit the southernmost region of the valley, where the Omo River Delta enters Lake Turkana.
“A close friend can become a close enemy”
Cattle are central to the lives of the Dassanech. When they lose their cattle due to disease, drought or raid by a neighbouring indigenous groups, they turn to the world’s largest desert lake for sustenance. The traditional culture is typical in that it is not strictly defined by ethnicity, as anyone can be admitted.