Bwindi Forest National Park Uganda

Uganda People And Culture

Uganda is a country that is rich in culture and has a very strong heritage. Uganda as a country has different kingdoms and chiefdoms and these have helped maintain a strong culture among the people reducing on the degeneration of manners in the ugandans. The different kingdoms that are found in the country are the Toro kingdom, Buganda kingdom, Bunyoro kingdom and Busoga kingdom and other tribes in Uganda have chiefdoms that are headed by chiefs.

The different kindoms and chiefdoms in Uganda have different norms that they follow from the way they conduct themselves in public, the dance moves that is the Banyankole have kitagururo, the Baganda have Baksimba, the west Nile people have the Agwal dance, the Acholi have Otole and Bwora dance, the Bagisu have Imbalu dance that they perform during the circumcision celebrations and the Banyoro and Batooro have Runyege dance. All these show the richness in every tribe and culture in Uganda.


The cultures of the Ugandan people can be seen through the different cultural sites and the wide range of art craft that are sold in the different parts of the country like wood carvings, beads, papyrus mats and reeds, knives, clothes and many more others.

There are different sentiments that are attached to the different items found in the different kingdoms and these include.

Spears and Shields

The Spears are used as a symbol of hunting and the shield is a sign of protection. These are mostly held by the Kabaka of Buganda and other Kings and they show superiority over other people. Hunting was considered the main job for most of the people in kindoms and the king was the chief Hunter. These are considered as Royal regalia and normally kept in the palaces.

The Spears and shield plus a back cloth are also used when announcing an hier to someone who has died. When an hier is announced,, he is given a spear and a back cloth is toed around him to show everyone that he is the new head of the family. This is mostly done in Buganda during a big ceremony known as Kwabya Olumbe.

The drum

The drum is a common instrument that is used all over Uganda and it is used for different purposes.Druns are made from animal skin mostly from cows, goats and other animals.

In Buganda, the drum is used during the inauguration of the king and anniversaries of the Kabaka. It is also used for purposes of announcing trivial matters to the public and this is done when the person announcing drums to get people’s attention and then they start announcing the message they want to be passed on. Drums are also used during traditional worship, circumcision of the Mable male people, last funeral rites and during church services and Masses.

The drums are also another way of entertainment and there are different techniques that are used by the different tribes and these techniques match with the dance moves of the different cultures.

The Buganda people and culture

Luganda is the language that is spoke by Baganda and the cultural system of Buganda is centralized with the Kabaka being the overall head. The Baganda people are divided into different clans and these clans have totems that they follow. The lineage in Buganda is passed on from father to son and they all have to be of the same totem.

All clans have a structure that is heirarchical in nature with the clan leader locally known as Owakasolya at the top, the subdivisions follow and these are locally known as Ssiga, Mutuba, Lunyiriri and lastly the family comes in and this is known as Enju. And it is a must for every Muganda to know all these and all that entails in their clan so that they can easily trace their lineage.

The clans have aong history and when one is introducing themselves to others especially during traditional ceremonies, the person says his name’s, the father’s names, the paternal grand father’s name and great grand father’s name.

The clans are not known by the names of the people that founded them but are known by the different totems that were introduced locally known as Omuziro and the secondary totem known as Akabbiro. The only people who do not have totems are the princess and princes.

When you are greeting in the Buganda kindom especially the Kabaka’s, the ladies are supposed to kneel down and the gents are supposed to lay down as a sign of respect to the kabaka.

The Baganda’s cultural wear is the Gomesis for the ladies and the gentlemen put on Kanzus especially for the traditional ceremonies

The Banyoro/ Toro people and culture

The Banyoro/ Toro people live in the Western part of Uganda and they live in the districts of Kibale, Hoima and Masindi and they belong to the Bantu people. Their king is referred to as Omukama and he was re installed when the kingdoms were brought back to Uganda after being banished.

The Banyoro/ Toro have pet names that they give to their children after birth and these pet names include Abwooli, Atwooki, Adyeri, Amooti, Atenyi, Akiiki, Araali, Apuuli, Bala and many more others. The naming of the child also depends on the sex of the children that is if the baby is a girl they wait for four months before naming the child and if the baby is a boy, they wait for three months before naming the child. Thanks names are normally given by the parents Grand parents or any relative. The names are normally given out according to the state in which the parents are in and the circumstances surrounding their birth.

The marriage in Bunyoro in the previous years was always arranged by the families although now days the children can get married to any person that they want as long as the family accepts.

The Banyoro normally greet using their pet names but the greetings differ according to the superiority of the person that is being greeted. When greeting the king for instance, one has to go to the place where the king is seated and greet them from.there and the process of greeting the king is known as Okurata in Runyoro.

The Ankole people and their culture

The Ankole people are known to be a cattle keeping tribe and they own the largest cattle in Uganda known as the Ankole cattle. Ankole people speak Runyankole and they are found in the districts of Ibanda, Mbarara, Ishaka and Bushenyi. They Norma deal in cattle products like milk and ghee and they are found in the Western part of Uganda.

The Ankole people have Mishanana as their cultural wear or Bussuti which they put on especially when they head for traditional ceremonies. The ladies put on Bussuuti whereas the men put on Kanzus and they add a cow hide on top of it. They also have their drums that are used during the traditional ceremonies. They are organized into different clans but their kingdom ship is still being investigated because many people have come up to claim that they are the true Kings of the Ankole.

They rarely kneel down when greeting and they are known to give hugs when greeting and they are known for their local dish know as Ishabwe.

There are other cultures that we have not talked about but they are all similar to the ones we have read about and irrelevant of the different cultures potrayed by the people the culture makes us what we are and it binds the people more and reduces the immorality in the country. The rich culture in Uganda is worth experiencing especially for those who have not experienced it.

The Basoga people and culture

The Basoga people live in the south Eastern part of the country. The Busoga kingdom is filled with chiefdoms that are headed by the chiefs but all these are under the king who is locally known as the Kyabazinga.

The Basoga are believed to have come from Congo and they arefrom the Bantu ethnic group. The Basoga are also from the different clans and their staple food is Lumonde. The Basoga have a similarity to the Baganda culture and this is the reason as to why most people say that the Basoga are Baganda in their own right.

The Batwa people and their culture

The Batwa people also known as Twa are the original inhabitants of the Bwindi forest and they have been living there for more than 300 years. The Batwa are Pygmies and their main activity was hunting and farming. They poached on the mountain gorillas that are found in the area until they were told to leave and the forest was gazetted as a National Park. The Batwa still use rudimentary tools for farming, cooking and they are still.far from civilization as compared to the other parts of the Uganda although they have now improved.