Are you planning your cultural safari but you do not where to visit? Uganda is credited not only for its stunning wildlife species but also as a cultural boiling pot in Africa. Think about the most exciting and thrilling cultural experiences and think not further than visiting the Mparo Royal Tombs, a few most sought after historical sites in Bunyoro Kitara Empire. Situated about three kilometers along the Hoima-Masindi route, Mparo Division, the Mparo Royal Tomb site is a famous burial site for the Great Omukama Kabalega, Bunyoro’s most popular King-Sir Tito Winyi; father of the present Omukama and many other royals. Most people visit this site to carry out rituals and also to pay homage or seek inspiration from the Omukama Kabalega.
|THE MPARO ROYAL TOMB SITE|
Omukama Kabalega is credited for his resistance against the British colonialists who had allied with Buganda to fight Bunyoro for opposing colonialism. He is a key figure in African history and stands as one of the remembered people for putting on a resilient resistance against imperialism. After being defeated eventually in April 1899, Kabalega was exiled in Seychelles. He later passed on in 1923.
As you head towards the gates to the tombs, there is a cone shaped monument painted in white and black. It was constructed on a site where Sir Emin Pasha first met Kabalega in 1971. Before getting the site, one will have to be thoroughly checked by royal guards at the site. The site was rehabilitated by Uganda People's Defense Force in 2009 before the activities lined up for the Heroes’ Day celebration in that year. The soldiers built a perimeter wall and renovated the traditional huts and tombs inside the site that was previously Kabalega’s palace. Kabalega’s tomb is inside a round grass thatched hut which has a wooden door. A tourist has to make confession to the caretaker of the tomb prior being allowed to enter the site. It is always a taboo for a visitor to access this tomb when he or she had an extramarital affair the last night! It is a requirement and a ritual for any visitors to deposit some money he or she feels in the basket prior getting guided through the tomb site.
As you enter inside the hut, the tomb is covered by a large cowhide pegged down with 9 pieces of traditional hoes. Lion and leopard skins that served as floor coverings in Kabalega’s palace are spread inside the steps of the tombs. You will also find smoking pipes, clay pots, milk and water containers, wooden tools, wooden bowls, sticks, spears, drums and shields and many more. Also, there are coffee berries that are said to have been used by Omukama Kabalega and Omukama Sir Tito. For most visitors with many challenges, they visit this area to find solutions from the spirits of the Kings. You will also find bronze and iron spears handed down from the Chwezi and Babito dynasties as they are well kept in royal tomb. Cone shaped crowns, flutes and necklaces worn by Kings in the Chwezi dynasty have also been kept inside this place. There is the tomb of Sir Tito Winyi father of Omukama Solomon Gafabusa. It is believed that Buyaga hill that is situated in the Kyanaisoke sub county in Kibaale District has been inhabited by the Kingdom’s healers and priests about 1200 years ago. Over 42 royal graves are said to be in this site popular as the Kyanku Kyamihingo. They could cure sickness and mitigate epidemics in the Kingdom. Bunyoro Kingdom consists of many royal sites and each of them is situated on an eight square mile piece of land.
Bunyoro Kingdom is composed of Hoima, Kibaale, Buliisa, Kiryandongo and Masindi districts. The recent King of the Banyoro is Omukama Solomon Iguru Gafabusa, the 27th king under the Babito dynasty. This region lies in East of Lake Albert and features as one of the culturally rich areas where most Uganda’s tribes have found refuge. Bunyoro hearty, Hoima town is situated 225 kilometers Northeast of Kampala and it is where the palace-Karuzika of the Omukama of Bunyoro is located.
In conclusion, a visit to the Mparo royal tombs is the best way for you to explore the history of Bunyoro. If you love cultural safaris, then visit this site and be rewarded with life time cultural experiences.