The Compass Edge

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thecompassedge.net is a web project maintained by Brian Jones to log his and others' experiences while traveling to and working in regions off the standard travel map.


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To contact Brian write to brian@thecompassedge.net


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there are plenty more photos on this site. please browse the archives
  • August 2004
  • May 2004
  • April 2004
  • February 2004
  • December 2003
  • November 2003
  • October 2003
  • January 2003
  • December 2002
  • November 2002
  • July 2002
  • June 2002
  • Kitgum camp

    Posted by Brian Jones on 30 August 2004

    camp (42k image)

    The camps are situated in and around Kitgum town in N Uganda. They are full of the Acholi people who have been displaced from their lands by the Lord's Resistance Army, which has led a reign of terror over the last 18 years or so. It's difficult to imagine just how many small huts are crammed together in the camps. The picture above shows some of the largest gaps between huts that I saw.

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    Playing in the street

    Posted by Brian Jones on 30 August 2004

    Strtkds (41k image)

    These kids live in one of the Internally Displaced Person camps in and around Kitgum in Northern Uganda. The area is extremely insecure from persistent attacks from the Lords Resistance Army, which result in abductions, rapes and killings. Each night many people within the Kigum town area come into night shelters to sleep as a form of protection against LRA incursions. It's an extraordinary sight to see the roads crammed with people carrying bedding every evenning.

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    Kaabong town

    Posted by Brian Jones on 24 August 2004

    Orangeport (28k image)

    This is a shot from Kaabong town in Kotido district of NE Uganda. I love the colour of the shop front and the way in which it contrast with the blue of the hat.

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    Carrying firewood

    Posted by Brian Jones on 24 August 2004

    firewood (39k image)

    Napeyok is a karamojong and is carrying this huge bundle of firewood back to her village. It's staggering how much people carry on their heads and the distances that they have to carry them for.

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    An Ik village

    Posted by Brian Jones on 24 August 2004

    ikvillage (48k image)

    The villages are nestled high in the mountains, which afford a bit of protection against neighbours who are known for their tendency to raid. The Ik have chosen not to keep livestock to reduce the risk of raiding but are often affected by the raids between the Turkana and Karamojong. They are often accused of not having warned a group that the other side was coming to raid them.

    As can be seen from the picture the villages are small and confined within a high fence. The entry door is tiny and I had to crawl in on my stomach. Inside there are small tukels or huts and even smaller grannaries that are largely empty at present. The villagers were incredibly welcoming and open to questions.

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    The IK of 'the Mountain People' fame

    Posted by Brian Jones on 24 August 2004

    bgriptree (24k image)

    Lokiira is a member of the Ik who are a hunter gatherer tribe of about 10,000 people located in a small area of Kotido district in Uganda. The Ik have a certain notoriety in anthropological circles thanks to an ethnography that was written some years ago called 'The mountain People' that painted them in a less than favourable light.

    To this day they remain an acutely marginalised community sandwiched between the Turkana and Karamojong both of whom are known for their cattle raiding. As a result they do not own any livestock and live high in the mountains overlooking the rift valley. They are most famous locally for the use of wild honey reserves, which they sell for a small income.

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    Diseased sorghum

    Posted by Brian Jones on 24 August 2004

    sorgbad (23k image)

    Becky is holding a head of sorghum that is affected by a fungus called locally ebune, which renders the crop useless. There appears to be a lot of this during the current season and it is probably related to the late onset of rain. The result is a crop that looks from a distance to be relatively good but, which on closer inspection can be seen to be next to useless.

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    Maize field

    Posted by Brian Jones on 24 August 2004

    womaizefld (48k image)

    Nakong is standing in her maize field, which represents her only source of food production for the following year. The current situation is not encouraging and despite the apparent greeness of the maize it is not going to be a good harvest.

    The rains came on time in early April and people were encouraged enough to plant as usual, particularly after the bumper harvest of last year. However, the rains promptly stopped for May, June and July and only resumed again in August. The proved far too late for the crops and many have been damaged by the extended dry period and it is doubtful that the harvest will be anywhere near enough prompting widespread concern for the coming months.

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    Karamojong warrior

    Posted by Brian Jones on 24 August 2004

    keychest (32k image)

    A Karamojong warrior's life is not easy. It involves being constantly vigilant for attacks from other herders as well as tending to the needs of his cattle.

    Despite their fearsome reputation they showed incredible friendliness and hospitality during my visits and invited me to sit and drink milk and blood. Sadly there wasnt the time to try this undoubted delicacy but I was assured that it's delicious, both eaten warm, pink and frothy from the cow and coagulated with cows urine and roasted over the fire. It apparently tastes like liver.

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    Lokwang is my name

    Posted by Brian Jones on 24 August 2004

    krmjwarr (20k image)

    Lokwang is a Karamojong warrior from Panyangara parish in Kotido district. I met him whilst looking at a micro dam Cash for Work project that had rehabilitated an existing dam that had fallen into disrepair. It is now used by herders to water their cattle and goats.

    Lokwang is heavily scarred from previous raiding and expressed his great love of the cattle that he tends. He spends much of the year guarding the various kraals where the cattle are kept as they are moved around. His job is to look after the needs of the cattle and most importantly to guard them from the frequent raids from other groups. He and his fellow herders are all heavily armed and definitely not afraid to use them.

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    Karamojong cattle

    Posted by Brian Jones on 24 August 2004

    herdtrans (50k image)

    Karamoja is an area in north east Uganda, known for its fiercely independent agro-pastoral population called the Karamojong. The Karamojong give huge value to cattle and move them from pasture and water sources throughout the year. The photo shows a group of cattle being moved through the town of Kaabong and you can note that the warriors attending the cattle are all heavily armed.

    Cattle raiding is a constant feature of the area and it fulfills a natural need for cattle amongst the Karamojong and neighbouring tribes such as the Turkana. However, it also tends to occur during episodes of drought as 'unusual' seasonal movement often brings groups into direct competion over important pasture and water resources.

    There have been a series of quite serious raids and loss of life in the past few days here and the town of Kaabong errupted hours after our team had left it as a result of the killing of some warriors by one of the local government defense units. This resulted in the looting of the police station by warriors and the indescriminate shooting of anyone dressed in the green fatigues associated with the defense force. The situation is now considered to be calm but illustrates the fragile nature of the security situation.

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    The laugh

    Posted by Brian Jones on 17 August 2004

    smileweb (31k image)

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    Children in Zanzibar

    Posted by Brian Jones on 17 August 2004

    Znkidsweb (32k image)

    From right to left; Ali, Ahmed and Miriam. They were playing in a back street of Stone town and insisted on having their photos taken.

    Stone town is an amazing tangle of narrow streets that give onto often amazing, sun dappled courtyards. The only clue to their existance are the huge, ornately carved doors which sometimes stand ajar and permit a snatched glance into the world beyond.

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