13 March 2007

On Our Way to See Lake Turkana

These are fascinating and mysterious stones at Namoratunga.
Although several theories have been presented, no one really knows why they're arranged in such a manner.

One person has described the landscapes of this area as "spectacularly harsh" and "severe beauty".

This is Kim.
Many parts of Kenya are dotted with such termite hills, but this area had thousands and thousands of them!
They dotted the entire area, it seemed.

I do believe that taking this particular photo will be a memory long cherished by Kim and I. We had hired a vehicle to take us to Lake Turkana. Just before we stopped to see the stones, we passed these two women (and a young girl that you can barely see in the background) out walking the same direction we were going. The shorter gal has a baby strapped to her back, as well. Since it was so incredibly hot out, we asked our driver to offer them a ride.

Amazingly they were very reluctant, but they did finally climb into our van. Then I had the great idea that since we were giving them a free ride,
maybe they might allow me to take their photo.

The taller, older one immediately and very sternly refused. In fact, as our driver and Kim communicated with them, we discovered that they didn't even really want the ride if it meant they had to be photographed. The younger one, though, kept giggling. Finally they did agree, but only after negotiating on a price. (I paid them each the equivalent of $1.40). Actually, I don't think they were that interested in the money. Somehow, we just convinced them to agree.

Please notice the "finger knife" the shorter gal is wearing on her right thumb. I wish you could see it better. It's made of sharpened steel and is 2-3 inches in diameter. Men often wear "wrist knives". In fact, I'd say a good 50% of the men we saw were wearing them.

The Turkana are described as being "bellicose". I had to look up that word. It means "warlike"!

These "knives" are used for hand-to-hand combat! Normally (for daily activities) they cover the sharpened edge with a strip of leather; when the occasion arises, they quickly pull off that covering and go into battle. I imagine a person could cause instant and severe injury (if not death) with a well-aimed stroke of the arm!

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