Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Bagisu People - Cultura Safaris in Uganda

Commonly known for their unique cultural practices,Bagishu people are part of the Bantu speaking people found in Eastern Uganda on the east and south halves of Mt.Elgon.They are also known as the Bamasaba and they are about 4.5% of Uganda is total population.
The Bagisu people speak Lugisu language also known as Lumasaba language and it is understood by some tribes in Uganda including the Bakusu.

One of the most outstanding cultural activity done by Bagisu people is Imbalu (male circumcision).This is a seasonal activity that is done around August of every year.

History about Bagisu people

There is no clear history about the origin of the Bagisu people.The believed story is that their ancestors known as Sera and Mundu came from one of the caves on Mt.Elgon and they were the first people on this land.Innitially,the lifestyle of the Bagisu was survival for the fittest and elimination of the unfit and they were unsocial compared to other tribes.
Some history states that Bagisu were part of the Bukusu people that are found in Kenya.They decided to separate away from the Bukusu people in the 19th century.However,it is believed that the first group of Bagisu arrived in their present land in the 16th century.
Though they have different tells about their origin,they are part of the Bantu people and their processors should have been Bantu speakers as well.

Kingdomship and polical organization
The Bagisu people are organised in clans clans and each clan has a clan leader known as Umwami wa Sikoka (meaning the leader of the clan).Age is the main factor that is considered when choosing a clan leader since old men are considered wiser than the young men.Another factor considered is wealth.They believe that a rich man will help the poor people and therefore he is more suitable for the clan leadership.

Imbalu(circumcision) in Bugisu
Boys lined up for Circumcision
Circumcision is the leading unique social custom of the Bagisu people and when you mention the word Imbalu in Uganda,the first thing that comes into the mind of a Uganda is the Bagisu culture.This cultural practice has no specific origin and there are many stories about its origin.One of them states that it originated from the demand by the Bampa who forced a young Mugisu man to get circumcised before taking their daughter.Another belief states that the prractice was used by the ancensters to punish wrong doers in the tribe.This practice continued till now.

The practice is done so as to initiate boys into men.If a man is not circumcised,he is taken to be a cowered and he is not allowed to marry any girl from this tribe.It is after circumcision that someone is called a true man.This practice is a way of cleaning the boys who are considered to be unclean.

This cultural activity is seasonal and it is mainly done in August.

Other rituals carried out by the Bagisu are;
If someone gives birth to twins,the gods must be surmoned and fowl is given to them by the medicine man.This is to beg the gods to keep the twins safe and alive.After the ritual ( after 2 days),the twins' heads are shaved  and their finger nails trimmed.
Another ritual is done if a one murders another.The murderer has to slaughter a goat and smear its blood on his chest.

In Bugisu,no man is allowed to marry a girl from the same clan.To avoid confusion,girls starting from the age of 12 are supposed to mark foreheads with keloids to show their clan.
The bride is supposed to pay dowry to the girl's parents before he is allowed to take the groom.
It is after paying all the requirements that the bride can take his groom to their new home.

There is no doubt the Bugisu has the most adventurous culture that will put a wondering look to the face of any visitor, and so you need to come to Uganda and see these enchanting people.

No comments:

Post a Comment