People & Culture
The pearl of Africa has a very strong cultural heritage well-endowed with different cultural and historical sites. With more than 50 different indigenous languages belonging to two distinct linguistic groups, and an equally diverse cultural mosaic of music, art and handicrafts, Uganda is a one stop center for a rich African cultural experience, ranging from Bantu in the Central, West, South-west, and East, to Nilotic groups of people in the North, North-East and North-West.
Ugandans are remarkably hospitable and hail from a diversity of rich cultures and lifestyles with each tribe having its own distinct cultural values that describe who they are. All these values are based on tribal traditional activities from all spheres of life; including, food and welfare, traditional dances, clothing and organization of societies. Many regions in Uganda have kingdoms, including Buganda, Busoga, Bunyoro and Toro. Other regions still value their heritage of chiefdoms which is traceable and equally treasured.
Long-horned Ankole cows, a treasured domestic animal in many tribes from the western part of Uganda. The western region is also rich in culture, consisting of; Bakonjo/Bamba, Batooro, Banyoro, Banyankore, Bakiga, Bafumbira, Batwa and Bachwezi among others, who are well recognized for their wealthy culture connected with their strong link and love for their long horned cows – thought to have originated from the former rulers of the mighty Bunyoro-Kitara Empire called the Bachwezi – demi-god people who introduced the centralized system of governance and led to the birth of the inter-lacustrine kingdoms that occupy the area between Lakes Kyoga in Central Uganda and Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania.
Currently, the dominant kingdoms in western Uganda include, Tooro and Bunyoro, and the famous Batwa community.
The central region is dominated by the Baganda, a tribe belonging to the Bantu group, forming the Buganda Kingdom with over 17% of the total population of the country.
The Buganda monarchy presents one of the best documentations of kingship in Uganda, with its highest leader locally known as the Kabaka.
The current King of Buganda, His Majesty Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II was crowned the 36th Kabaka of Buganda in July 1993 after his father Sir Edward Muteesa II.
Buganda is renowned for the distinct ceremonial occasions organized for observance, commemoration, inauguration, initiation, remembrance or fulfillment of cultural rituals and norms. Some of the common (highly recognized) ceremonies in Buganda include; the initiation of twins (okwalula abalongo), the introduction (okwanjula) and last funeral rite (okwabya olumbe).