Becoming a Man: Among the Borana

Deep in Africa, in the very heart of Ethiopia, lives 12 year-old Wario. He belongs to the Borana Oromo people – a tribe spanning both Ethiopia, Kenya and parts of Somalia. Today, Wario will undergo an age-old Borana tradition for boys to become men: learning the difficult trade of salt labor. In the eyes of the Borana tribe, this will mark him as an adult and ultimately give him real adult responsibilities.

For Wario, dangers lie ahead as his father guides him to the “Mouth of the Devil”, a volcano where men risk their lives to extract salt. The journey then follow up by travelling to the “Singing Wells”, where men form a 30ft chain to fetch water as they sing.

It is a long and perilous journey along the salt road for Wario and his father. Once they’ve attained the salt they need, the tribespeople make a final journey across unwelcome desolate deserts to sell the salt at a far-away market.

Becoming a Man: Among the Borana
  • Info
  • Release date2009
  • Full runtime
  • Director(s)Jean Queyrat
  • Production companyZED