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What you do not Know about Buganda Kingdom and Uganda

Kasubi Tombs  of Buganda Kingdom Uganda

The Tombs of the famous Kings of Buganda Kingdom in Uganda

The Land of the Matooke Eaters- The Buganda Kingdom and the The Baganda

Located in the in the south central region of Uganda is Buganda kingdom. This is right in the heart of Africa, near the source of the Nile and it lies on the equator. The people of this great and largest kingdom are referred to as Baganda and in singular – Muganda. They speak a language referred to as Luganda and their staple food is Matooke ( Smashed Green Banana).

Buganda kingdoms is currently headed by His Majesty Ronald Muwenda Mutebi because of its location it is home to the Nations political, economic and commercial capital city Kampala. Actually the country’s name Uganda was derived to Buganda kingdom from a Swahili word to mean the “Land of the Ganda”

Uganda to mean Land of the Ganda was mainly used by the Arab and Swahili traders on the East African Coast to Refer to the Kingdom of Buganda located deep in Africa in the mid nineteenth century during Ivory and slave trade.

Buganda culture is divided into clans and there are over 46 clans clans that are currently recognized. In simple terms a “clan represents a group of people who can trace their lineage to a common ancestor in some distant past,” online source. These clans are described by totems (Omuziro) but not for the founders. Clans have a hierarchical structure beginning with the clan head ( Owakasolya), followed by ssiga, mutuba, lunyiriri and lastly enju ( the Family Unit ) . The king comes from the Royal clan referred to as abalangila and it is the only one that has no Totem.

Buganda’s traditional dance is called Amaganda and their tradition dress Busuti for women and Kanzu for men.

Historically before the coming of the colonialists the Baganda believed and still believe in a spiritual world beyond the one they could see. This spiritual workd was considered to be grouped or organized in 3 levels starting with the supreme creater- Katonda- meaning the creator and lord of all creation and the father of all gods’. There were 3 shrines dedicated to this supreme God and these were all located in Kyaggwe. The head priest of these shrine came from the elephant Clan.

Second to the supreme creator was Lubaale and this was comprised of more than 2 dozens of them. Despite the fact that Lubaale was translated into English as small gods, however these were humans with exceptional power when still alive. These were worshiped even after death and it is believed that their spirits would interfere in the national issues and affairs. To best describe them they are like saints of the Christian belief. These in simple terms where referred to as Guardians because they were an important institution in the kingship as they guided the kind on all issues and there is no Buganda ceremony that would proceed without first consulting with the Guardians.

The shrines for these guardians were referred to as ‘ekiggwa’ and headed by a priest or priestess called Mandwa. The Most popular one of the guardians was Mukasa, the Guardian of the Lake who had temples all over the country. However the major temple was on Bubembe Island on Lake Victoria.

Lastly but not least , was the numberless lesser spirits and these were of immediate importance to the lesser spirits. These were mostly the departed ancestors ( Mizimu), however they also included spirits of the mountains, rivers and forests, mostly kind but some known to be viciously harmful if not kept happy (misambwa). The Banganda used to carry out rituals that were 77 aimed at keeping the goodwill of these spirits on a daily basis. These rituals did not require a priest but every home contained a shrine and the family head lead the rituals. Every village recognized the presence of numerous local spirits, and the only duty one owed them was to avoid displeasing them. I most cases this meant giving them offerings, food, blood to mention but a few. It was also believed that wood and stream spirits known as Misambwa were known to bathe at certain times and during those times one wouldn’t dare to go to the wells.

There are some people to date who still follow this and they believe in these Guardians, however with the introduction of Islam and Christianity. For cultural safaris contact ugandasafariguide.com