culture of uganda

People and their culture

The culture of Uganda is made up of a diverse range of ethnic groups. Lake Kyoga forms the northern boundary for the Bantu-speaking people, who dominate much of East, Central, and Southern Africa. In Uganda, they include the Baganda and several other tribes.

In the north, the Lango and the Acholi peoples predominate, who speak Nilotic languages. To the east are the Iteso and Karamojong, who speak a Nilotic language, whereas the Gishu are part of the Bantu and live mainly on the slops of Mt. Elgon. They speak Lumasaba, which is closely related to the Luhya of Kenya. A few Pygmies live isolated in the rainforests of western Uganda

The Bantu-speaking tribes include the Baganda from the central region and, the Batooro, Banyoro, Bakiga, Bafumbira, Bakonjo, Bamba, Banyarwanda and Batwa from the western region, plus the Basoga, Banyuli, Bakenye, Bagishu, Bagwe, Bagwere from the eastern region. There are Bateso, Jopadhola and Karimojong, Kumam. Jonam, Sebi, Pokot (Suk) and Tepeth from the northeastern area, and the Nilotics who include the Acholi, Alur, Langi, Lugbara, Madi, Kakwa in the north. The Lendus from Zaire are also found across the border in Northwestern Uganda.

Uganda is a country of many cultural contrasts. For example if you go west to Mbarara District, you will meet the Bahima, a race of Ankole. This is an egalitarian group of tall beautiful people who live on their cattle, milk and ghee. They move from place to place in search of grass for their herds. The men are agile, temperamental when confronted and wear the elaborate shuka, a long woven cloth of rich colors around the shoulder and a handy stick in hand to shoo cows or fight the enemy. Their fat wives who walk in the same graceful manner like the cows, live on milk and equally wear colorful clothes. The women are usually of ample girth with beautiful chocolate colored gums and extremely white teeth. The Bahima have strengthened their lives around cows and milk. Many of their long-horned, graceful cows are given names to which they respond when called. There is a rich folklore of songs and dance among the Bahima, including some elaborate poems and recitals which give praise to the best cows or narrate some long journeys. Owing to the increasing shortage of cows and land, they are slowly settling down to a more sedentary way of life.


 

 

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