The Kerre live on the banks of the Omo about Karo, while in the hills to the east are two small tribes called the Banna and Ba&hada. All these three tribes are in the habit of strangling their first-born children, and throwing the body away. The Kerre throw it into the river, where it is eaten by crocodiles, and the other two leave it in the bush for hyenas to eat. The only explanation they give of this custom is that it is the decree of their ancestors. | Talking to Abyssinians about this afterwards, they said that they had tried to break them of the habit, but found it impossible. They also declared that it was only illegitimate children who were treated in this way. How- ever, I think that they were mistaken on tMs point, as I asked most carefully., and was told that for a certain number of years after marriage children would be thrown away, and after that they would be kept. The number of the first children who were strangled, and the period of years during which this was done, appears to be variable, but I could not understand what regulated it. There was one point, however, about which they were certain, and that was that the first-born of all, rich, poor, high and low, had to be strangled and thrown away. The chief of the Kerre said, " If I had a child now, it would have to be thrown away," laughing as if it were a great joke. What amused him really was that I should be so interested in their custom. When I first heard of the custom amongst the Kerre, I conceived the idea that the crocodile here might be held in veneration, as it is by at least one other tribe I have met, and that this might be a sacrifice to a deity whose visible form took the shape of a crocodile. However, I asked most carefully about this, and could discover no connection between the crocodile and this custom. It just happened that the river was handy to throw the babies into, but if they were on a journey or inland they would be thrown into the bush.
Stigand, C. H. (1910). Explorer.
His diary entry regarding the Karo tribe.
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