Kuraz is one of the woredas in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' Region of Ethiopia. It is the homeland of Daasanach people. Part of the Debub Omo Zone, Kuraz is bordered on the south by Kenya, on the west by the Ilemi Triangle (claimed by Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan), on the north by Nyangatom, and on the east by Hamer. The Omo River is flowing through Kuraz to Lake Turkana at the border of Kenya. The administrative center of this woreda is Omorate. Nyangatom woreda was separated from Kuraz.
This woreda is located in part of the semi-arid lowlands which support agro-pastoral groups who are at various stages of transition from nomadic to sedentary livelihoods. High points in this woreda include Mount Nakua (912 meters), which is part of the Korath range. According to a 2004 report, Kuraz had 55 kilometers of all-weather roads and 48 kilometers of dry-weather roads, for an average road density of 20 kilometers per 1000 square kilometers.
Kuraz was greatly affected by the August 2006 Omo River floods, which drowned at least 364 people and isolated tens of thousands more. A team led by Regional President Shiferaw Shigute visited the affected sites on 16 August to assess the impact of the flooding and identify the immediate humanitarian needs.
The Daasanach are an ethnic group of Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan. Their main homeland is in the Debub Omo Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region of Ethiopia, around the North end of Lake Turkana. According to the 2007 national census, they number 48,067 people (or 0.07% of the total population of Ethiopia), of whom 1,481 are urban dwellers.
There are a number of variant spellings of Daasanach, including Dasenach and Dassanech (the latter used in an episode about them in the TV series Tribe). Daasanach is the primary name given in the Ethnologue language entry.
The Daasanach are also called Merille especially by their neighbours, the Turkana of Kenya.
The Daasanach are traditionally a pastoral people by tradition, but in recent years have become primarily agropastoral. Having lost the majority of their lands over the past fifty years or so, primarily as a result from being excluded from their traditional Kenyan lands, including on both sides of Lake Turkana, and the 'Ilemi Triangle' of Sudan, they have suffered a massive decrease in the numbers of cattle, goats and sheep. As a result, large numbers of them have moved to areas closer to the Omo River, where they attempt to grow enough crops to survive. There is much disease along the river (including tsetse, which has increased with forest and woodland development there), however, making this solution to their economic plight difficult. Like many pastoral peoples throughout this region of Africa, the Daasanach are a highly egalitarian society, with a social system involving age sets and clan lineages - both of which involve strong reciprocity relations.