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The Ganda people of the East African country of Uganda reside primarily in the sub-national Kingdom of Buganda.
Millions of Baganda (commonly referred to as the Ganda people) make up the largest Ugandan ethnic group, representing approximately 20% of Uganda’s total population. Buganda (which means bundles) is the largest sub national kingdom in the present day Uganda. The name Uganda is a Swahili word meaning “land of the Ganda” which was first used by the Arab and Swahili traders on the East African coast to refer to the Buganda Kingdom. Learn more
The Kingdom of Buganda represents an undeniably significant opportunity for the diversification of the tourism product in Uganda. If tourism is loosely defined as the things visitors see and do while at a tourist destination, these products are distributed all over the Kingdom’s eighteen counties. This distribution is based, in part on the fact that the natural environment in Buganda has shaped the culture of the people and in turn the emerging cultural values and practices have ensured the existence and conservation of the natural environment... Learn more
The Baganda regarded marriage as a very important aspect of life. A woman would normally not be respected unless she was married. Nor would a man be regarded as being complete until he was married. And the more women a man had the more of a man he would be regarded. This presupposes indeed that the Baganda were polygamous. A man could marry five wives or more provided he could manage to look after them. It was easier to become polygamous in Buganda than in other parts of Uganda because the bride wealth obligations were not prohibitive...Learn more
The knowledge of bark cloth making is over 400 years old. Bark cloth -comes from the fig tree species ficus natalensis locally known as omutuba. A piece of bark is peeled from the tree and it is pounded with mallets. This allows the bark to expand to three times its original size. The first piece of bark peeled from a tree is always rough and tough but after it regenerates and is peeled for the second time, it is supple. The bark of tree regenerates after every eight months and hence the need to quickly cover up the patch where the previous one has been peeled off to avoid drying. ... Learn more
Buganda royals first wore bark cloth until the last quarter of the 15th Century when ordinary citizens started wearing it too. Then it was followed by cotton when the missionaries and Indians came to Uganda.... Learn more
Buganda palaces were made with a special ceiling technique known as eddali. This basket-like shape has been regarded as a masterpiece due to its intricate formation and the time that goes into making it. The colobus monkey clan (Ngeye) was in charge of creating these great structures. The gentleman who supervised this work was given a title called ‘wabula akayole’ because he was such a perfectionist. This work is hereditary and even today, the Ngeye clan is responsible for rebuilding the Kasubi Tombs. These ceilings were made of palm fronds, raffia, reeds, tree barks and banana fibres. Clusters of spear grass (lusenke) were used on the exterior... Learn more
The staple food in Buganda is matooke, which is a type of banana. It is peeled, wrapped in banana leaves, tied up with banana fibre and then pressed and mashed to a form of mound. There are over 27 species of bananas in Buganda and Uganda as a whole. Omubisi is derived from the embidde species of the banana plant. When the bananas ripen, they are mashed using spear grass which helps to extract the juice. This process should only take between 20 to 40 minutes; beyond this the juice goes bad... Learn more
This is one of the oldest games in Buganda. The Buganda version is slightly more complicated because it has four rows as compared to other versions across the world which typically have two rows. While the objective of the game is to capture opponent’s pieces, omweeso also plays an important role in teaching arithmetic. Culturally women are not allowed to ‘kweesa’; to play this game... Learn more
Baganda are engaged in utility arts and crafts such as weaving and pottery. Baskets (ebibbo) are made for storage and decoration. They are also used during special occasions such as traditional weddings to carry gifts and to serve meals. These beautiful works of art are made from palm leaves which have been dyed. The palm leaves are then woven together to create colourful patterns. Mats typically are woven by women.... Learn more
Like in any African culture, Buganda music was for entertainment, communication and story telling. Particular drum rhythms were used in the palace and were strictly played for the King such as “Omujaguzzo”. Drums were also used to communicate when a royal family member has past away or to tell a particular time and season. Clans in Buganda also own there own unique drums which are used during the traditional ceremonies... Learn more