Bakiga Culture


The Bakiga people inhabit the Kigezi region in the counties of Rubanda, Ndorwa, Kabale, Rukiga, Rubanda, parts of Rukungiri and Kinkizi district. As a result of land fragmentation, the Bakiga have migrated to several other laces in Uganda especially in the districts of Kabarole, Hoima, Kasese, Rubirizi, Mubende, Masindi and Ibanda. The Bakiga have also settled in the districts of Rakai and Masaka. The Bakiga belong to the Bantu ethnic group and they are naturally strong and energetic people.

The origins of the Bakiga are embedded in a range of traditions and some of the traditions assert that the Bakiga initially lived in Karagwe after their migration from Bunyoro following the Luo invasion and they are associated with the Tanzania’s Banyambo. Another tradition which is popularly believed asserts that they originated from Buganza in the neighboring Rwanda and their migration was influenced for the search of fertile land. After their departure from Rwanda, they passed through Bwisa, Bugoyi and Rutchru in Congo before settling in Kigezi.

Regarding their social setting, the Bakiga lived in clans and the biggest was the Basiga clan. Every clan had various lineages and each lineage had its head locally known as Omukuru W’ Omuryango and a man was not supposed to marry from his clan.


Regarding marriage, Bakiga held a lot of attachment to the marriage. According to them, there was no marriage that could be honored when the man has not cleared the bride wealth. The boy’s father or the uncle would organize the marriage for the boy and the bride wealth would be paid by his parents. The bride wealth included cows, goats and hoe and the amount differed from family to family and group to group. The Bakiga considered it a taboo to sell the cows given as bride wealth; it would be used as bride wealth for the brothers of the bride. The Bakiga are polygamous people and they could marry as many wives as they can so long as the bride wealth and land are available. The part of the bride wealth would be given to the close relatives and the notable ones included maternal uncle (Nyinarimi) an paternal aunt (Ishenkazi) and it was believed that of any of them went away sad, he could render the girl into bareness by including the ill wrath of the spirits of the ancestors.

Regarding divorce, it was a bit common among the Bakiga and the major causes were bareness and laziness on either sides along with other misunderstandings. Following divorce, the divorced woman was free to get married afresh but would bring less bride wealth as she was no longer virgin. The issues that caused divorce would be given attention by elders and the couple would at times be rejoined if the matters were amicably sorted out. If the divorce continued, the man would get his bride wealth that he paid to the parents of the girl.

Regarding religion, the Bakiga believed in Ruhanga the creator of heaven and earth with all its belongings. At the lower levels, they believed in a traditional cult called Nyabingi and this cult is said to have emanated from Karagwe and had its base in Kigarama close to Lake Bunyonyi. Endaro were special shrines for the Nyabingi cult and the cult’s representatives were called Abagirwa who would worship and offer sacrifices of roasted meat and beer to Nyabingi.

Regarding production, the Bakiga grew crops especially sorghum, beans and millet. They also reward goats, sheep and cattle not forgetting bee keeping. Some of the Bakiga were Black Smiths and made hoes, spears and knives. The Bakiga were also porters and had a wide range of pottery items. They also practiced carpentry, art and crafts. They lived in communal settlements and bush clearing, grazing, cultivating and harvesting were done on a communal basis. They also practiced barter trade between themselves and their neighbors. In fact, regarding their sharing practice, it was considered a good practice for a visitor to come and wash his hands and join the people of a given family eating without waiting to be invited.

The local brew Omuramba had a significant role among the Bakiga. They could gather around it with their long tubes and would discuss the community affairs as they drink. The elders would also use the scene to settle disputes, recite their deeds which are heroic along with their history and then sing and dance around the Omuramba pot. They were very good zither players and would play it whether alone or in groups.

Regarding the equipment, the Bakiga had pots, winnowing trays, baskets, grinding stones, stools, wooden pestles, mingling ladles and mortars. The other households included bows, spears and arrows for hunting and defense, entrainment items like drums and harps not forgetting the grass mats for sleeping locally known as Ebirago and the Emishambi for sleeping. The Bakiga women used to put on cow hides called Enkanda or ebishato and also wore bangles on their arms and legs.

Regarding punishments, the Bakiga were very tough people. Activities like Sorcery, stealing, blocking paths and night dancing would be punished for if caught. The case of murder would see the killer being buried alive with the deceased in the same grave. For young pregnancies, the girls be taken to the forest tied to the tree feet and then would be thrown over the cliff. But he most notable as the Kisizi falls where the girls would be taken and then thrown down.                                                                     The survivors would be cursed and disowned by their people.

Bagwere People


The Bagwere people live in the east of Uganda in the district of Pallisa. They speak the Lugwere language and it similar to that of Lulamoji and Lusoga in lots of respects. The Bagwere are said to have originated from Bunyoro and then initially moved to Bulamoji and Bugabula before proceeding to the present day Pallisa. The traditions allege that that these people migrated from Bunyoro following collapse of the Bachwezi Empire with the arrival of the Luo. Their language and historical pieces of their origins traced in Bunyoro shows the Bagwere are Bantu group. Therefore their origin could be Katanga region in central Africa like other Bantu groups.


Regarding birth, when the Mugwere woman was pregnant, she was not meant to look at the bird’s nest. It was feared that she would have a miscarriage. After giving birth, the woman was not meant to leave home She slept o banana leaves and the customs had it that she could not eat anything from the clan of the husband until the confinement days are done. During this period, she was meant to eat from the neighbors from her parent’s home or from the neighbors.     She could eat cooked unpeeled bananas and if the piece of the banana broke during the peeling or cooking, she was not supposed to eat it. Apart from that, the woman was not meant to look at the sky before the umbilical cord breaks off.

Regarding the naming, the Mugwere child would not be named until the umbilical cord gets off. After the cord breaks off, a special food was secured from the lady’s home and usually it would be a banana with Nyondi still on it. The person who would go to collect he food would greet no body along the way to and fro. Then the child was moved out of the house and if the woman had sex with another man other than her husband in the days of pregnancy, the child would not be brought out from the house by the door way. The child could be passed through the window or any other house opening. The name would be given by the auntie of the grandmother of the child. Some of the names given carried with them meanings but some did not.

When the first born child was born, some food would be cooked outside the hut of the mother and the father and the mother of the child could consume it. Some seeds from the woman’s home would also be eaten. If the woman had committed adultery during the times of pregnancy, she could not eat on the food. This applied to men too. The brother or a friend would stand in for him.

Regarding the death among the Bagweri, it should be noted that people had to cry loudly and failure to do it showed that you might have had a hand in the person’s death. If the deceased was an old man, the mourners could pass around the village singing and mourning to take away the spirit of the dead. The body could take two days before being buried. The corpses would be put to the grave with a needle or a mweroko a small stone that was used for grinding so that the corpse is fortified against the body hunters. It was asserted that if the body hunters called upon the body to come out of the grave, the corpse would tell them that is busy grinding or sewing.

The normal mourning days were three and the ritual ceremony would be brought to an end by a ceremony called Okunaba where herbs would be pounded and mixed into the water and sprinkled to very present member and the doorway of the house of the deceased. The goat would be killed and eaten to put everything to an end. The night prior to Okunaba ceremony, the nieces and nephews (Bayiwa) would be given chicken to slaughter and eat to mark their important role in the funeral rites. They were supposed to remove all the rubbish scattered around and thus should be paid for it. The burying of a suicide case differed from that of normal death and there were no prayers and weeping so much. The sheep was slaughtered and consumed by the Bayiwa alone probably because of their unlucky role of cutting the rope. The tree where the deceased hanged himself would be uprooted and burnt and it he hanged himself in the house; it would be destroyed and burnt regardless of its size or goodness. Such a house was noted to be contaminated.

Regarding marriage, the marriages for the children were arranged by the parents and subsequently it became customary for the boy to look for the girl and upon consent the girl would introduce the boy to her parents and during introduction, the boy would carry a gift to girl’s family not as part of bride wealth and this was known as Okutona. After determining the bride wealth to give, the girl’s family members would visit the boy’s family to assess the bride wealth and dancing and feasting would be arranged. After this encounter, the boy’s parents would plan to bring the bride wealth to the lady’s home. Feasting and dancing also marked this day of delivering the bride wealth.

After the bride wealth issues are sorted, the mother of the boy would go along with another person to the girl’s family to pick the bride. The mother would go singing up to the girl’s family and wild reach at about 8pm. She would be given the girl and return singing up her family. The bride would not sleep with the groom until she undergoes a ritual ceremony locally called Okunabyya Omugole. The couple would stand under the tree and bathe in the same water that is filled with the respective herbs. They would prepare to proceed to the courtyard amidst singing where the girl was made to stand before the door of the mothers in law and would bring a basin of water to pour on the back of the girl. Then the girl would spread her fingernails out as per the custom and the old women would carry out an inspection for any pregnancy signs. After this function, the girls would be officially handed over to the respective husband and then proceed to their house. The woman could not eat any food from the husband’s parents until she first takes food from her parents.

Economically, the Bagweri were agriculturalists and grown plenty of crops with main ones being Matooke, sorghum, Cassava and apparently they grow rice. They also reared cattle, sheep, goats and chicken.

However, their women wore not supposed to consume lung fish (mamba), chicken and eggs and a kite like bird called Wansaka. In the event of death of the husband, any brother would inherit the wife and the entire property. The Bagweri liked dancing at a range of events and the common musical instruments they used to play include the tongoli, dingidi, drums and kongo (thumb piano). The clan of the Balangira had special drums for their specific functions.

Bagishu Culture


The Bagisu people or locally known as the Bamasaba live in the western and southern slopes of Mount Elgon also known as Mount Masaba. The mountain slopes in hand fingers like structure to the west marked by narrow and steep valleys. The land is further broken consisting of jumble of hills piled against a raised escarpment sort of a crumbled cloth. The escarpment gradually fades away as it slows down to the Teso land. The Bagisu speak the Lugisu a dialect of the Lumasaba which is mutually intelligible to other dialects including the Bukusu. The Bagisu are popularly known for their Imbalu circumcision which is held after every two years in August.

The Bagisu have not tradition of migrating from somewhere else. They claim that their ancestors Mundu and Sera came out a hole in Mountain Elgon locally known as Masaba. The early life of the Bagisu seems to have been not all that social with the principle of survival for the fittest. The Bagisu’s history is less known although they are sought to have disintegrated from the Bukusu a sub group of Luhya in Western Kenya around the 19th Century. The Bagisu claim of living where they are since time memorial may not be accurate. The earliest immigrants into the land of Bagisu are believed to have arrived in the Mount Elgon Area from the Eastern plains in the 16th C. The first settlement for these people is noted to be Usian Gishu plateau of Kenya Thus, the Bagisu seem to have been the inter mixture of various cultures and origins but since their language is that of Bantu, it can be noted that their predecessors must have been Bantu too.

imbalu-dancers-cultural-tour-uganda2 mbale elgon

The political structure of the Bagisu was very loose based on clan. Each clan had an elder called Umwami we sikoka (Chief of the clan). These chiefs were chosen on the basis of wealth and age. The leaders would maintain law and order and ensure continuity and the unity of the clan not forgetting offering the sacrifices to the ancestral spirits. The stronger chiefs would extend their influence to other clans but none of the chiefs would succeed in subduing other clans into a single entity. The other notable individuals among the Bagisu included Sorceress and rainmakers.

The unique custom among the Bagisu is male circumcision. The origin of this practice is mysterious even to the Bagisu themselves. It is asserted it arouse from Kalenjin’s demand when Masaba the Bagisu heroic ancestor expressed to marry a Kalenjin girl. The other form of tradition asserts that that initial person to be circumcised had got a complication with his sexual organ and the circumcision was considered as surgical operation to save man’s life. The third tradition states that the initial person to be circumcised got it as a punishment for seducing other men’s wives but in turn increased his sexual power attracting several ladies to him and this prompted other men to under the same practice in order to remain in competition.

It should be noted that the Bagisu are superstitious people. Before the circumcision practice, a certain herb called ityanyi is administered to the candidate to arouse interest. The ityanyi is tied around the initiate’s big toe or it is put at that place where he would jump over it not knowing. It is stated that if any one who had taken the herb delayed or hindered to be circumcised, he might even circumcise himself as his mind is set to circumcision that nothing else can distract him. The Imbalu practice is conducted biannually during the leap years and every Mugisu male has to perform the ritual upon approaching puberty. Ne males who abscond are hunted and brought to the practice force fully. Before the event, the candidates are set and walk and dance throughout the village for 3 days. The heads of the candidates are sprinted with Cassava flour and the paint of Malwa –yeast paste. There is much singing and drumming as relatives dance with them. After circumcision, the boy becomes an adult and thus a true Mugisu and the person who is not yet circumcised is called a Musinde. The circumcision its self is very fast with the circumciser and his assistant moving around and performing the appropriate ritual and then the assistant circumciser gets hold of the penis foreskin pulling it & then the circumciser cuts it off. The circumciser them goes ahead to cut off the layer on the top of the penis that is believed to grow again into the sheath if left uncut. He then goes ahead and cuts off another muscle on the lower part of the penis and these three cuttings mark the end of the ritual.

Mount Elgon National Park hike

After circumcision, the initiate is wrapped in a piece of cloth and taken to the father’s house, moved around the house before he enters. The initiate is not allowed to eat with his hands for three days. He is always fed and even in this period, they say that he is not yet fully into manhood. Following the 3 days, the circumciser is called upon to perform the washing hands ritual and after this ritual, the initiate can star eating with own hands and on the same day, the initiate is declared a man. Following this custom, the initiate is allowed to marry and in this custom he is instructed on the demands and duties of manhood. He is taught the significance of agriculture and advised on how to behave like a man. It is noted that the healing of the wounds is determined by the number of goats slaughtered during the event.


Finally a ritual called Iremba is performed an all the new initiatives in the locality have to attend. This is an important function and the Authorities and other village people attend. At this function, the initiate was supposed to pick any girl and have sex with her and the girl was not supposed to refuse. It was believed that if the girl refuses, she would never have children once she gets married. This is challenging for the case of Christian females. Initially, the congregation would remain outside the enclosure and wait to hear from outside as the initiates and the circumciser were in the enclosure but of now all the things are made public with everyone seeing the whole process. The firmness and endurance of the initiate is considered as a sign of bravery.


Ankole Culture

The Banyankore belong to the Bantu group and they inhabit the greater part of the south western region of Uganda comprising of districts of Kiruhura, Mbarara, Isingiro, Ntungamo, greater Bushenyi and the inhabitants of Rukungiri called the Banyarujumbura share the same traditions.

The name Ankole arouse from the Nkore Kingdom which was expanded by the British Colonialists to incorporate other smaller Kingdoms of Mporororo, Igara, Buhweju and Sheema.

The legends have it that the Banyankole originate from the common ancestor called Ruhanga who descended from heaven with the three sons namely Kakama, Kahima and Kairu. One day, their father out them to test in order to ascertain the heir and gave them three milk pots full of milk each for one person to put them on their laps thrugh out the night and that they would hand them over to him the next morning. During the night, Kairu fell asleep and all the milk flowed out of the milk pot leaving it empty, Kahima felt hungry and seeped on his milk while Kakama kept his milk and the milk pot intact till morning. In return their father Ruhanga declared Kakama would become a King and the heir to the throne, Kahima would look after his cattle while Kairu would become a cultivator. This legend explains the social setting in Ankole where there is Abakama – the rulers from the Bahinda lineage, the Bahima who are primarily pastoralists and the Bairu who are primary cultivators.

The Banyankole in general are in two categories namely the Bairu and the Bahima. These two groups carried out different roles as the former were cultivators while the later were pastoralists. However, the societal changes have taken place and both practice mixed farming though their traditional roles remain primary. Traditionally the two groups lived in harmony with barter exchanges where the Bahima acquired food stuffs and local brew from the Bairu acquired cattle products form the Bahima.

Banyankole Dance

Regarding the marriages, traditionally among the Banyankole, the couple would even reach the wedding day without knowing each other. The boy and the girl’s parents would organize the marriage for their children. The initiative was taken by the groom’s family and would send the envoy to learn more about the girl’s family. This was followed by the members of the groom’s family approaching the bride’s family to ask to be born in the family by offering them a wife that is when they have liked the bride’s family, relatives, clan and the customs. The bride’s family would also accept to give them their child or decline the request depending on the stature of the groom’s family that is the family history, relatives, clan and the traditions. From there, the bride wealth would be agreed upon and the cows are the commonly used. The number would be determined a range of factors including the wealth of the groom’s family, the groom himself that is if he has a defect on him they would definitely over charge him or if he was a Mwiru marrying from a Muhima he would pay some extra cows for buying his origin and this practice is locally called “Okugura obwiiru”. Determining the amount of the bride wealth was and still among the challenging thins in the Banyankole marriage process. In fact the numbers would be too much for the groom’s family and they would end up leaving the bride to any other potential suitor. After agreeing on the amount bride wealth, they will also agree on the date of choosing them locally known as Okujugisa. The members from the bride’s family including the bride’s brother would go to the groom’s home and then taken to the cattle herd to freely select the agreed bride cows. This was and still a challenging moment as the both sides do not want to lose. The bride’s family want to take the best while the groom’s family want to remain with their best and as a result it is a real war.


The two groups would even fail to reach agreement and marriage arrangements end there. However, the common practice was for the groom’s family to hide their most loved cows from the bride’s members but if they are unfortunate enough that the members from the bride’s family come across the hidden cows, the members from the bridal family would leave the rest and take those ones. After selection the preferred cows, the day is set when the groom’s family will bring them and they would be brought on the date agreed upon. This is locally called Okureta enjugano. The fire smoke would be lit in broad day to welcome the cows into the bride’s family amidst gathering of people including relatives, friends and neighbors. The groom’s family must carry with them a traditional singer / rapper (Omwevugyi) who would rap on their behalf pleading to the bride’s family to accept their bride wealth. After this event, the day for the giveaway would be set and the bride would be eventually given away to the groom to start up a family. During this process right from the start when the groom picks interest in the bride, the bride is kept inside the house, given plenty of milk and great care to ensure that she gains considerable size and looks most beautiful. This process is locally called “Okwarika”. This would even continue in the groom’s family for an extended period until she is taken back to her family to remove the veil and start performing some tasks at her newly joined family. The process of making her gain size before she gets married was done by her family to show the other side that their daughter is not hungry and has not been lacking milk and if the groom’s family take her they work hard to maintain her size or even surpass and when she is brought back to her family to remove the veil locally known as Okutasya ekihara, it would be an indirect evaluation of the mentioned. Another thing about the marriages of the Banyankole is that the girl could not be given out for marriage where elder sisters are still unmarried. The parents of the girl would conceal and giveaway the elder sister at the end and even of the groom eventually notices it after the wedding he was n not supposed to raise eye brows. The only option would be going back and marry the younger sister if he had the capacity to handle it.

Kyom on the hunt - Nina has the flower with which she will mark Tim

At the wedding ceremony, the girl who would actually be wild to go to the groom’s family, would be accompanied by her paternal Auntie who had a mission of ascertaining whether the two children were functioning properly in terms of sex and introducing the daughter to new family. Though shallow traditionists assert that the auntie would have sex with the groom to prove his manhood, it cannot be substantiated as at times the auntie would be an elderly person even of a similar age as that of the groom’s mum. It is put that the auntie would listen or watch the couple as they play sex to prove & advice accordingly. The auntie would also help the daughter on how to begin the home as the girl was supposed to a virgin. If the girl’s was found not virgin, a perforated coin or any other hollow object would be sent to the girl’s parents to extend the dissatisfaction from the groom’s family.

More about the Kinyankole marriage was an interesting practice called Okutera Oruhoko. This was a practice done by a male to marry a girl who had refused to marry him. The practice would prompt the hast preparation and marriage would then be effected immediately other than the normal long process. Among the Bairu, there were two ways; one was when the boy came running with the cock and throw it in the girl’s home and then run away. The girls family would rush to take the girls to the boy’s family as it was feared that nice it crowed when the girl was still at home, any family member would die instantly. Another means was to smear millet flour on the girl’s face. This would happen when the boy finds the girl grinding millet and then picks the flour from the winnowing tray where flour would be collected as it comes from the grinding stone. The boy would run away instantly and hast arrangements would be made to send the girl to the boy’s family in fear of death on the girls family.

In the Bahima, the practice of Okutera Oruhoko was carried out in three ways; the first one is that the boy would put a tethering rope around the girl’s neck and would thus pronounce in public that he had done it. Another form was to put a plant called Orwihura on the head of the girl and the last one was to sprinkle milk on the girls face while milking by the boy. The practice would only be possible if the boy and the groom hailed from different clans.

The Oruhoko practice was a bad practice and would be practiced by boys who had no alternatives. The boy would be revenged on when it came to the bride wealth. The bride’s family would double the bride price and the extra charges would not be returned the groom’s family even if the bride divorced.

About the births, woman giving birth for the firsts was and still sent to her parents and traditional brave women would give birth by themselves while others that failed, traditional mid wives were summoned especially old woman from the village. If the afterbirth failed to come out, the traditional herbal medicine would be administered to the woman and if it fails the husband was required to climb the housetop with a mortar and raise an alarm and then slide the mortar down form the top of the house.

The child would be named after the birth and normally after the days of confinement. The naming would be done by the father, grandfather, or the child’s mother and it would depend on the parent’s personal experience, the time of the child birth, the day of the week, the birth place or an ancestral name. In all, the father’s name would take precedence. Traditionally, the child belonged to the entire family, village and the clan but more intimately to the clan. The in laws of the woman would have sex with her and would even produce children with her and the children would face no problem in their upbringing. It would be hard if the father woman played sex with an outsider someone not related to the family.

Regarding death, the Banyankole believed that the death was a natural thing. It was always attributed to misfortune, sorcery and the negativity of the neighbors. The phrase Tihariho omufu otarogirwe loosely translated as there is nobody who dies without being be witched notes of their attachment of death to sorcery. The people concerned would consult the witch doctor about what killed their person. The dead body would stay in the house to wait for the respective friends and relatives to gather. The Bairu would burry in the plantation or in the compound while the Bahima would burry in the Kraal. The burial would take place in the afternoon and the bodies would face the east. The women were meant to lie on their left while men lied on their right. Following the burial, the women were accorded 3 days of mourning while men were according 4 days. The relatives, friends and neighbors would remain that the deceased’s home camping and sleeping there. In the neighborhood, no serious work would be carried out and it was feared the hailstorm would hit the area. The person who attempted to do that would be noted as a sorcerer and would be easily suspected to be responsible for the deceased’s death. However, the whole thing of not working in the neighborhood was meant to console the relatives of the deceased. If the dead was a family head, the leading bull (Engundu) would be killed and eaten throughout the mourning days. Other rituals would be practiced if the man was old and had grandchildren. If the deceased had a grudge with someone in the family, he was buried along with some objects to keep the spirit occupied so as to desist it from coming back to haunt the living. Special burials for the people who committed suicide were also arranged. The body would be cut off from the tree by a woman who had reached her menopause locally known as Enchurazaara and that the woman would be heavily fortified by charms as it was believed that anyone who cut the rope used during the suicide would also die. Traditions also show that the corpse of the person who committed suicide was not touched on and that a grave would be dug directly to where the body is hanging and after the rope would be cut and the body falls directly into the grave and buried. The tree would also be uprooted and burnt and the relatives of the deceased would not use any piece from it for fire wood.

The Spinster also had a special burial arrangement. The Spinster was sought to have died unsatisfied as she was not married. Thus in order to prevent this, one of the brothers was supposed to pretend making love with the corpse. This act is locally Okugyeza empango ahamutwe. The body would then be passed through the rear door and then buried. If the man (bachelor) passed on unmarried, he would be buried with a banana stem to occupy the space of the supposed wife. The body was also passed through the rear door.


The Banyankole also has a practice of blood brotherhood locally known as Okukora omukago. The ceremony involved in two people who sat on a mat close to each other and their legs would overlap. They would hold ejubwe grass and a sprout of omurinzi tree (erythina tomontosa) in their right hand. In Bairu, they could hold a sprout of omutoma (fig tree). The head of the event would make a small cut to the right of naval of the two men, the end of omurinzi tree and ejubwe grass would be dipped in the blood at the incision and put into the hands of each person. The master of ceremonies would make a small cut to the right of the naval of each man. The end of omurinzi tree and ejubwe grass were dipped in the blood on the incision and put into the hands of each person. The paties would then swallow at the same time. The blood brother hood could only be made by people from different clans as the people of the same clan were regarded as brothers. The blood brothers would treat each other with great respect and love till death.

Regarding the political setting, the Banyankole had a centralized system of governance it was headed by the King called Omugabe assisted by the Prime Minister called Enganzi and then there were provincial chiefs called Abakuru by’ ebyanga. Below these, there were Sub County and Parish chiefs that assisted in local affairs. The King’s position was hereditary and monarchical in nature and the Bahinda Clan were detained for this position, the lineage if the throne descends from Ruhinda an offspring of Wamala the last King of the Bachwezi and Njunaki. Whenever the King finished his race, the suitable heir would be coroneted and the time of burying him his wives would commit suicide or forced to do so as to be buried together. Some servants in the Royal Court would also commit suicide. The corpse of the King would be called Omuguta to differentiate from that of ordinary Munyankole which is called Omurambo. One would not mention that Omugabe afire but would mention that Omugabe ataahize because the King does not die. Ankole Kingdom suffered the 1966 Obote crisis when he abolished all the traditional Monarchs in Uganda and though other Kingdoms were restored with coming of National Resistance Movement under President Museveni, Ankole has been denied such a chance up to now. The King is there but with no Royal Regarding as the Royal Drum Bagyendanwa is in captivity at the Uganda National Museum.


The Royal Regalia of Ankole consisted of a spear and a drum Bagyendanwa which was made by the last King of the Bachwezi, Wamala and left to is son Ruhinda. It would only be beaten when the new King was being coroneted. The drum had its special hut and it was a taboo to shut its hut, had a burning fire that would only extinguished when the King dies, had its own cows and the attendant drums namely Nyakasheija, Kabembura, Eigura, Kooma and Njeru ya Buremba which was obtained from the Kingdom of Buzimba. omugabe Barigye

The Banyankole in the supreme creator Ruhanga the creator and was said to be above the clouds in heaven and was not noted to be the giver and maker of all things. However there were other cults followed at lower level named Emandwa and these were gods of different clans and families and would be approached when in need.

Regarding the economy the Banyankole kept the long horned cattle which were source of food, prestige and status in society. The Bahima had great attachment to the long horned cows and formed center of their lives. They could graze in morning up to the night time without returning home. The depended on milk, blood and meat for the food. The cow’s urine and dung was used for medicine. The Bairu practiced cultivation and they mostly grew millet and Cassava.

About the entertainment, the Banyankloe have their traditional performances called Ekitaguriro and the Bahima would swing their arms in the air imitating the horn of their cattle while the Bairu would hit the ground with their energetic feet to produce a vibrating sound. The Banyankole could also sing; (okweshongora) and rap (okwevuga).