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The Kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara is the remainder of a once powerful empire of Kitara. That Bunyoro-Kitara is only a skeleton of what it used to be is an absolute truth to which History can testify. One may ask how a mighty empire, like Kitara, became whittled away to the present underpopulated and underdeveloped kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara. This is the result of many years of orchestrated, intentional and malicious marginalization, dating back to the early colonial days.
The people of Bunyoro, under the reign of the mighty king Cwa II Kabalega, resisted colonial domination. On April 9th, , Kabalega was captured by the invading colonial forces and was sent into exile on the Seychelles Islands. With the capture of Kabalega, the Banyoro were left in a weakened military, social and economic state, from which they have never fully recovered.
Acts of systematic genocide continued to be carried out against the Banyoro, by the colonialists and other foreign invaders. Colonial efforts to reduce Bunyoro to a non-entity were numerous, and continued over a long period of time. They included invasions where masses were massacred; depopulating large tracts of fertile land and setting them aside as game reserves; enforcing the growing of crops like tobacco and cotton at the expense of food crops; sanctioning looting and pilaging of villages by invading forces, importation killer diseases like syphilis that grew to epidemic proportions; and the list goes on.
Bunyoro Kingdom was one of the most powerful kingdoms in East Africa from 13th century to the 19th century. It is ruled by the Omukama of Bunyoro. In the past, the traditional economy revolved around big game hunting of elephants, lions, leopards, and crocodiles. Today, the Banyoro are now agriculturalists who cultivate bananas, millet, cassava, yams, cotton, tobacco, coffee, and rice.
The people are primarily Christian. Omukama of Bunyoro is the title given to rulers of the central African kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara.
The kingdom lasted as an independent state from the 16th to the 19th century. The Omukama of Bunyoro remains an important figure in Ugandan politics, especially among the Banyoro people of whom he is the titular head.
History of Bunyoro The kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara was established following the collapse of the Empire of Kitara in the 16th century. The founders of Kitara were known as the Abatembuzi, a people who were later succeeded by the Abachwezi. One of many small states in the Great Lakes region the earliest stories of the kingdom having great power comes from the Rwanda area where there are tales of the Banyoro raiding the region under a prince named Cwa around The power of Bunyoro then faded until the mid-seventeenth century when a long period of expansion began, with the empire dominating the region by the early eighteenth century.
Bunyoro rose to power and controlled a number of the holiest shrines in the region, together with the lucrative Kibiro saltworks of Lake Albert; having the highest quality of metallurgy in the region made it the strongest military and economic power in the Great Lakes area. Bunyoro began to decline in the late eighteenth century due to internal divisions.
Buganda seized the Kooki and Buddu regions from Bunyoro at the end of the century. In the s, the large province of Toro separated, claiming much of the lucrative salt works. Thus by the mid-nineteenth century Bunyoro also known as Unyoro at the time was a far smaller state, though it was still wealthy due to the income generated from controlling the lucrative trade routes over Lake Victoria and linking to the coast of the Indian Ocean. In particular, Bunyoro benefited from the trade in ivory.
Due to the volatile nature of the ivory trade, an armed struggle manifested between the Baganda and the Banyoro. As a result the capital was moved from Masindi to the less vulnerable Mparo. Following the death of Omakuma Kyebambe III, the region experienced a period of political instability where two kings ruled in a volatile political environment. In July an agreement was settled whereby the entire region north of Lake Victoria was given to Great Britain.
In Great Britain declared the region its protectorate. In alliance with Buganda, King Kabarega of Bunyoro resisted the efforts of Great Britain, aiming to take control of the kingdom. However, in Kaberega was captured and exiled to the Seychelles and Bunyoro was subsequently annexed to the British Empire.
The country was put under the governance of Bugandan administrators. The Banyoro revolted in ; the revolt was put down, and relations improved somewhat. After the region remained loyal to Great Britain in World War I a new agreement was made in giving the region more autonomy.
Bunyoro remains as one of the four constituent kingdoms of Uganda, along with Buganda, Busoga and Toro. Traditions of Bunyoro Relations The Banyoro were traditionally a polygamous people when they could afford it.
Many marriages did not last and it was quite common to be divorced. Premarital sex was also very common. All families were ruled by the eldest man of the family Called Nyineka , and the village was run by a specially elected elder who was chosen by all the elders in the village.
Birth A few months after birth, the baby would be given a name. This was normally done by a close relative, but the father always had the final saying. Two names are given: a personal name, and a traditional Mpako name. The names were often related to specific features on the child, special circumstances around the birth of the child or as a way to honor a former family member.
Most of the names are actual words of the Nyoro language. Death Death was almost always believed to be the work of evil magic, ghosts, or similar.
Gossiping was believed to magically affect or harm people. Death was viewed as being a real being. When a person died, the oldest woman of the household would clean the body, cut the hair and beard, and close the eyes of the departed. In case the dead was the head of the household, a mixture of grain called ensigosigo was put in his hand, and his children had to take a small part of the grain and eat it — thus passing on his magical powers.
After one or two days, the body would be wrapped in cloth and a series of rites would be carried out. The following rites are only for heads of family:. The burial would not be done in the middle of the day, as it was considered dangerous for the sun to shine directly into the grave. As the body was carried to the grave the women were required to moderate their weeping, and it was forbidden to weep at the grave.
Also pregnant women were banned from participating in the funeral as it was believed the negative magical forces related to burial would be too strong for the unborn child to survive.
After the burial the family would cut some of their hair off and put it onto the grave. After the burial, all participants washed themselves thoroughly, as it was believed that the negative magical forces could harm crops. If the departed had a grudge or other unfinished business with another family, his mouth and anus would be stuffed with clay, to prevent the ghost from haunting. Read more. The Baganda Read more.
The Karamojong or Karimojong, are an ethnic group of agro-pastoral herders living mainly in the north-east of Uganda. Their language Read more. Click here to cancel reply.
Add to Favorites. Rating :. The people first […]. We are a leading independent tourism and holiday resource center responsible for marketing Uganda worldwide. Read More.. All rights reserved. Designed by Cyberspro. Register Sign In Add place Add event. No Comments. Decline of Bunyoro Kingdom: Bunyoro began to decline in the late eighteenth century due to internal divisions.
Sponsored Adverts. The Baganda Read more Read more Karamojong People and their Culture The Karamojong or Karimojong, are an ethnic group of agro-pastoral herders living mainly in the north-east of Uganda.
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Omukama of Bunyoro
The Kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara is the remainder of a once powerful empire of Kitara. That Bunyoro-Kitara is only a skeleton of what it used to be is an absolute truth to which History can testify. One may ask how a mighty empire, like Kitara, became whittled away to the present underpopulated and underdeveloped kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara. This is the result of many years of orchestrated, intentional and malicious marginalization, dating back to the early colonial days. The people of Bunyoro, under the reign of the mighty king Cwa II Kabalega, resisted colonial domination. On April 9th, , Kabalega was captured by the invading colonial forces and was sent into exile on the Seychelles Islands. With the capture of Kabalega, the Banyoro were left in a weakened military, social and economic state, from which they have never fully recovered.
Bunyoro , East African kingdom that flourished from the 16th to the 19th century west of Lake Victoria , in present-day Uganda. Bunyoro was established by invaders from the north; as cattle keepers, the immigrants constituted a privileged social group that ruled over the Bantu -speaking agriculturalists. The kingdom continued to expand under its priest-kings until about , when it started to lose territory to its neighbour, Buganda. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. See Article History.
Bunyoro People and their Culture
The kingdom lasted as an independent state from the 16th to the 19th century. The Omukama of Bunyoro remains an important figure in Ugandan politics, especially among the Banyoro people of whom he is the titular head. He is closely related to the Omukama of Toro Kingdom. In , the United Kingdom granted independence to Uganda. In February , Prime Minister Milton Obote suspended the constitution and seized power, abolishing all of the traditional kingdoms—including Bunyoro—in Unlike the pre Omukama, who was both titular head and a political figure of the government of Bunyoro , the Omukama today is a cultural leader above partisan politics, although the king remains the titular head of the Bunyoro regional government. Article of the Ugandan constitution provides: .