As with the whole pastoralist belt wrapping round the Horn of Africa from Sudan to the Indian Ocean, Europeans have never settled long or in groups of much more than a dozen. They frequently found these arid and semi-arid areas uncongenial, 'unhealthy' and isolated, not the best place in which to reproduce, so just as frequently doubted whether they had any mandate to 'civilize' them. For the last half-millennium, then, the dominant colonizers have been the expanding Eastern Nilotes from the north. Throughout this period the plains of Karamoja have been relentlessly occupied by their new pastoralism, leaving a basic choice for those who would continue to live in the region, between being absorbed by the Karamojong or taking refuge in the hills and on the mountains of its margins.