Everything we do is tailor-made; our visit Busoga tour itineraries are just suggestions to give you an idea of what is possible. Please contact us so we can tailor the perfect Uganda culture exclusively for you.

Uganda Safaris focus on wildlife and many travellers don’t see a local village. We feel that to visit Uganda and learn nothing of its culture is to miss out on part of the experience so we give you chance to Visit Busoga

De Niro’s Tours give you chance to the Basoga the eastern neighbours of the Baganda. They occupy the region between Lake Victoria and Lake Kioga the present districts of Kamuli, Jinja and Iganga.

Origins

Due to the continuous movements and intermingling of the people within the Basoga region, the history of Basoga is complex. It can be asserted however that the earliest inhabitants of Busoga belonged to the same Bantu group comprising the Batooro and Baganda. Their origin can therefore be traced like other Bantu groups to the Katanga region of Central Africa.

Legend

There are three legends regarding the origins of the Basoga. One of them talks of the famous hunter, Mukuma, who came from the East side of Mt Elgon and crossed via present Bugishu and Budama. He is said to have been accompanied by his wife, various followers and two dogs.

Mukuma had eight sons during his stay in Busoga. These sons were subsequently appointed rulers over certain areas. Mukuma preceded Bunyoro where he set up a Kingdom. He died of smallpox and that is because the relatives of Mukuma in Busoga do not look at a patient with smallpox. It is also customary that no member of the Ngobi clan passes another one with smallpox without touching him.

The second legend insists that Mukuma did not come to Busoga at all and that Mukuma only sent his sons to rule Busoga because there were no capable rulers in Busoga.

The third legend talks of Kintu having been the man called Mukama and it was this same Kintu who came to Busoga from the east of Mt Elgon. This legend asserts that Kintu left his sons in Busoga and continued t Buganda. He is said to have returned to Busoga and lived in a place called Buswikira which is at Igombe, Bunya. He died and was buried there. Afterwards, his tomb became a rock which is worshipped even today by some Basoga.

Language

Lusoga language closely approximates Luganda, especially that spoken by the Ssese islanders. There exist many Lusoga dialects. However, Buganda influence over Busoga was so much that Luganda tends t be used as a lingua Franca in Busoga more than Lusoga itself. Within Busoga, there are so many dialects of the Lusoga language that is difficult to reach an agreement on the correct way to spell or pronounce certain words.

A chief

Whenever an important chief was sick, very few people were allowed to come near him. His death was first kept a secret until all his wives, cattle, hoes, ivory, and male slaves had been secured. Thereafter, the official announcement was made early in the morning by a Mujwa (funeral officer). It was then that the chief’s wives, herdsmen, and people wept and kissed the corpse. No work of any kind could be done, not even visiting or cooking could be done. If there happened to be any other dead people, their burials had to wait until the chief’s funeral rites were completed.

It was taboo for any cock to crow during the period. No one shaved until the rites were over. The older wives of the chief were gathered and kept in the death hut for seven days supporting the body of the dead chief across their feet. These days, they were not supposed to touch food of any kind.

Religion

The Basoga believed in the existence of a spirit world. They called the Supreme Being lubaale. Human agents worked as messengers of Lubaale, or the ancestors, or other minor gods. To the Basoga, the spirit world, places of worship, animated objects and fetishes had the power to do good or evil to the living. The Basoga call magicians, fetish men and spirit mediums Bachwezi.

The Basoga believed in the existence of gods and sub-gods. Below lubaale, there was mukama the creator of all things; Jingo, the public god who attended to the general needs of the people; Nawandyo; and Bilungo the god of plagues. Semanda, Gasani and Kitaka were other gods the Basoga believed in.

Political set-up

There was no paramount chief over the whole of Busoga. The Basoga were organized into principalities or chiefdoms under the sovereignty of Bunyoro and later Buganda. In early times, the death of a chief was first reported to the Omukama of Bunyoro who would send the funeral barkcloth and all the requirements for the burial rites. On several occasions, he used t appoint the heir or send back the son of the deceased chief if the son happened, as usually the case, to be at the Mukama’s court in Bunyoro.

Start thinking about your experience. The Uganda cultural itineraries here are simply suggestions for how you could enjoy some of the same experiences as our specialists. They’re just for inspiration because your trip to Visit Busoga will be created around your particular tastes.

Everything we do is tailor-made; our Visit Busoga itineraries are just suggestions to give you an idea of what is possible. Please contact us so we can tailor the perfect Uganda culture exclusively for you.

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