Wednesday, 4 December 2013

The Iteso people of Uganda - Cultura Safaris in Uganda

The Iteso people are part of the Nilotic peoples and they are believed to have come from Ethiopia into Uganda.They mainly occupy the eastern part of uganda and they are also known as the "wise men from the East".
The king (Emorimori) of Teso
Iteso means people of Teso,an ethnic group in Eastern Uganda,while as Teso and Ateso mean a homeland for Iteso people and their language respectively.

The king of Teso is known as an Emorimori.

In Uganda these people are found in the districts of Amuria,Soroti,Katakwi,Kumi,Ngora,Pallisa,Serere,Kaberamaido,Bukedea and some parts of Busia and Tororo. They are about 4.2 million in number and this about 6.4% of Uganda's population.

There are various histories about this ethnic group (Iteso) but the most reliable one is that they originated from the now known Ethiopia in the early days and migrated to the west.They are part of the Nilotics people who are said to have originated from Sudan.Part of this group formed small sub-divided groups called the Karamojong Cluster.This later split to give rise to Jie,Karamojong,Turkana and Teso.

The Iteso people moved to Uganda and found north-eastern Uganda favorable place to stay because of their lifestyle.This was around the mid-18th century.
From then,these "wise men" have continued to stay in this location of Uganda.

Social organization
The Iteso people are organised in clans and people of the same clan share similar elements.In the past,Iteso women used to wear barkcloth while the girls used to wear bead-decorated itibire.This kind of clothing was coped from the neighboring Basoga and the Karimojongs.

Marriage in Teso
An Iteso man playing an African-styled instrument
Unlike today where young boys and girls are allowed to choose their own partners,in the past,parents used to choose partners for their children especially for a boy.The father would choose a girl for his son and then talks to her parents for an agreement.
If the girl's parents accept,then the date is set when the boy is expected to come for an introduction at the girl's home.He is supposed to come with dowry and offer it to the girl's parents.The most common dowry used are cows.
After all the proceedings,the marriage is then formalized and the by leaves with his girl.
In Teso,a boy is not supposed to marry a girl from the same clan as his.

Foods eaten by Iteso people
Iteso people eat various types of foods but they mainly feed on millet as their stable food.Other foods eaten by Iteso people include;pumpkins,milk,wild berries,fish and butter.

Cultural dances
In Uganda Iteso people have one of the most adorable dances that are hard-to copy unless trained.Some of the dances include;

Toto Idwe dance: This is done when a woman gives birth to twins.People gather around and dance to beats from the drum and they move in circles.
-Akembe dance:This dance was performed with an aim of invoking the ancestors for consultation.Drums would be sound and people would dance to their tunes.It involved shaking the rattles.

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