The Juba River to Lake Stephanie, semiarid southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya land is the exclusive territory of Borena , who tamed this hostile environment. The Borena are descendants of the first Oromo tribes located in southern Ethiopia in the 15th and 16th century , and not be subject to the Abyssinian Empire until the late 19th century. Among the Oromo , they are also considered from the purest tradition and the oldest preserved with a traditional way of ancestral life.
Unwavering semi- nomadic pastoralists , dependent exclusively for their livelihoods and their herds of zebu refusing any manual that collecting salt, vital for their animal business . Another constraint required for the survival of precious livestock in search of the water pushed the Borena impressive digging wells as deep as 40 m. Such works reveal a perfectly organized society can mobilize significant human resources . In this organization, Borena have retained a strong sense of discipline and cooperation , and drawing water is similar to a social service which all involved the benefit of the community.
The Borena were formidable warriors , ready to fight to defend their territory. But beyond a simple idea of self-defense , the killing of another man was considered a matter of honor for every man of fighting age . Thus, a known killer can claim the coveted qualifier diira or ” manly ” , and adorn themselves with specific decorations that attract her favors girls to marry.
Very close to the Konso , whom they rely for making their Kalacha , the Borena are still sworn enemies of Hamer .
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