Are you a cultural enthusiast? Have you ever read the story of Kintu and Walumbe? Have you ever heard about the Walumbe Tanda Pits? Situated in Western Uganda are the Walumbe tanda pits. They are exceptionally Uganda’s most remarkable archeological sites that reward visitors on cultural safaris in Uganda with life time experiences. The tanda pits are believed to offer refuge to Walumbe which means “death”, the brother of Nambi who was the wife of Kintu-the first Muganda who are still respected by most people thinking that they can easily die up on visiting the site due to the mythical stories that link Walumbe to suffering and death. Kintu was the first person and actually the only person on the planet, surviving with his cow and he fed on its cow dung. For tourists who want to explore in depth about the story of Kintu, Nambi and Walumbe, you can visit the Walumbe tanda pits while on your cultural safaris in Uganda. The site incredibly features over 240 pits and two shrines with one entrance that has spears shields, calabashes and fire places that are named after various gods.
|THE MYSTERIOUS WALUMBE TANDA PITS|
The black African occupants on top of the Nile still keep the memory of the mysterious light skinned people “the Bachwezi.” They entered to Uganda from the North, constructed stone cities and towns, canals were established for irrigation, cut down in some areas in the rocks of the trench and a hole, similar to mine to a depth of 70 meters. The Bachwezi surprised the locals with their knowledge and skills. They flew over Lakes, perched on a sheer cliff and treated all diseases, reported on the events which occurred a “long time ago.”
The legend of the mighty fair skinned tribe featured from nowhere and gone nowhere, passed from mouth for centuries. Thus it is of no wonder that the arrival of the first Europeans in 1862 caused the number of Ugandans, the entire range of feelings-from fear to awe. After all, they went with legendary Bachwezi. The Bachwezi left behind buildings, ruins of which have remained up to date. After the drastic disappearance of this people, archaeologists have explored unique objects that at the time belonged to the era of the BIGGA bla Mugenyi, but the outlook never correlated to those products which have given birth to the tribes occupying Uganda. The mystery is covered tightly and so-called pits Walumbe on the hill tanda in 70 kilometers from the Fort Mugenyi. The language Luganda “Walumbe” denotes death! It is said that one day the God of Heaven Gulu was annoyed at Valume and drove him to the ground. And after, he sent his brother Caikui to kill the unwanted. Down Walumbe discovered the chase. Then he hides from Caikui and started to dive into the ground. Dive in Caikui. And Walumbe came from under the ground in another area. Never got him Caikui and left death with people.
After that crazy race on the tanda hill, there are over 240 holes now within thick bushes covering the hill and without a guide a visitor can easily fall into the pit. The holes are positioned one after the other in given pattern. They feature about half a meter in diameter. Their depth ranges from 3 to 70 meters. Dug holes in the rocks and go down perpendicularly. These same holes feature in other areas in Uganda. Their age is uncertain but local residents put it that they are “very long time.” The local residents have associated these holes with mythical powers. Once you reach to this mysterious archaeological site in Mityana, you will certainly get a white gate behind which a seemingly dark forested area featuring over 240 circular deep pits, one would about the person who spared the time to digging these pits. Entering the forest via a 5 meter path leads you to an entrance of 2 (two) shrines enclosed in a reed fence. At the gate, you will be informed of not entering with your shoes due to its holiness that is attached to this place. Visitors usually dress black tunics because Walumbe comes to them in black tunic! As you reach to the second entrance, spears, shields, calabashes and fire places that are named after different gods such as Kibuuka, Musoke, Mukasa and Ddungu. While in the fire places, people with various challenges meet for blessings. There is another large fire place with a heap of bark cloth that has always caught visitor’s attention. It is a site where people worship Walumbe who believers refer as Jaaja Bulamu meaning the god of life “Locals come to worship and return when they are happy!” Jaaja Bulamu is offended when you call him Walumbe because he is no longer responsible for the death of people.
|THE WALUMBE TANDA PITS|
The Sacred corner
One of the 2 shrine enclosures is the most high worship site that features several bulbs around it. People go to mediate and get prophesies from the most high priest. Located about 50 kilometers from Tanda is Nambi Rock where Nambi used to live. The site is a curved rock with a natural source of water that people take to get blessings. Nambi pits are also run by traditional worshipers who get blessings from Nambi or Walumbe. Most visitors come to this site to sight its stunning sceneries around the pits as well as worshiping in the shrines in order to get blessings. Kintu was the first person on the planet and the father of all people. He was the only person on the planet who lived with his cow. Ggulu the creator of all things lived up in heaven with his children who occasionally came down to the earth to play.
Ggulu’s daughter Nambi and some of her brothers met Kintu and his cow in Buganda. Nambi abruptly took a liking to Kintu and decided to live and marry him. After her brothers pleaded with her, she went back to heaven with Kintu to ask for her father’s permission to get married. Ggulu was not happy but blessed the marriage after Nambi persuaded him to accept her relationship with Kintu. Ggulu advised Kintu and Nambi to leave heaven secretly such that Walumbe could not know more on marriage till they had to leave. It was feared that Walumbe could insist with them and bring them misery. Kintu and Nambi came to the earth the following morning, taking with them the few items which Nambi had packed and her chicken. While they were descending, Nambi recalled that she had not brought the millet which her chicken would eat. Kintu attempted to persuade her not to go back to collect the millet but still lost. While on her way back, she encountered Walumbe. She didn’t tell him where she was heading to but filled with curiosity, Walumbe insisted on going with her. Kintu and Nambi were then forced to go to earth together with him. His presence on earth brought suffering and conflicts and that how sickness and death began to afflict people on the earth. Tanda pits are the sites where Walumbe traditionally thought to have fallen on earth and to have hidden from Ggulu.
The other part of the myth is that Walumbe claimed one of Kintu’s children as his but Kintu rejected to all him take the child. Walumbe kept on doing so for several years. Stressed he started to kill a single child each day. After a talk with Ggulu, Kaikuzi, Nambi’s brother was sent to assist Kintu and send Walumbe back to heaven. He fought with Kaikuzi till he retreated by digging and hiding within the ground. Kaikuzi gave up pursuing him and requested all mankind to be silent for 2 days to lure Walumbe out. After Walumbe had finally emerged, children cried out at the sight of him and he again went into the pits.
In conclusion, Walumbe tanda pits are still a mystery that only his believer claim to know but locally meant death. Visiting these pits offers breathtaking cultural experiences for cultural lovers on a safari in Uganda.