Buganda is described as the largest ethnic group of people within Uganda and Luganda is the Native language spoken by them, the Baganda occupy the central parts of Uganda formerly known as the Buganda province. Baganda can be found around Mpigi, Mukono, Buvuma, Wakiso, Luwero, Buikwe, Kayunga, Masaka, Nakasongola and other districts within the central location of the country and therefore also categorized as the Bantu speaking people with a unique language Luganda joining them through efficient communication.
Baganda are said to be descendants of Kintu who a brother to Nambi was but others are contrary to the origin of Baganda as they assert that Kintu came from heaven and others from eastern parts of Uganda occupying mountain Elgon region. Therefore, Kintu who came from heaven is believed to have occupied Podi and then to Kibiro and later occupied Kyandondo from where he formed the Buganda kingdom. The origin is still believed to have been either from the western parts of Uganda that’s Bunyoro or from the east through Busoga though depending on the philosophers, Baganda are Bantu speaking people and therefore are believed to have come from central Africa which is the origin of all the Bantu speaking people.
The Baganda believed in their human spirits that were named as Mizimu, Lubaale and Misambwa, the Balubaale were believed to be men who had exceptional attributes after their death and the Misambwa were regarded as to have been formed as the Mizimu entered into a natural object whereas the Mizimu were believed to be the ghosts of the different people who died and it was on an assumption that after death, it’s the body that rots and the soul remains hence the remaining soul qualifying to be called Omuzimu in singular.
The supreme in the religion of the Baganda was believed to be Katonda who was considered to be part of the seventy three Balubaale in Buganda. Katonda had three temples that were being taken care of by someone from Njovu clan in Kyagwe. Other Balubaale such as Kiwanuka god of lightening, Gulu god of the sky, Kawumpuli god of plague, Musoke god of rainbow, Musisi god of earthquake, Wamala god of lake Wamala just to mention but a few. Each of the gods had a specific function to the people of Buganda and was worshiped through special shrines that were constructed in a unique format.
The Baganda have got a centralized system of administration which was well organized by 1750 within the interlacustrine region, at the top the Kabaka is the overall with superior powers and the and therefore the king has no clan since the powers are hereditary and therefore the king used to marry from the various clans of the kingdom as it provided hope to the clans as they expected to produce a king. This was done as a symbol of loyalty and unity within the kingdom.
The king is followed by the prime minister locally known as the Katikiro; the kingdom is divided administratively into counties “Amasaza” which were subdivided into Amagombolola known as the sub counties. These were further sub divided into parishes locally Emiluka and to the Bukungu which was a smallest village. The Kabaka had the powers and the authority to appoint the local chiefs.
The back born of Baganda is agriculture with bananas and coffee being the most grown as well as cassava, beans, yams, cow-peas, sweat potatoes and goats, sheep and cows were reared. The land within the region was owned by the Kabaka and it was attached an importance value which was used by the Kabaka to retain the loyalty of his chiefs. Fishing and hunting were also of economic importance as all men were hunters as women were left home to do domestic work.
The Culture of the Baganda
The Baganda are unified under clans as part of their culture and the clan is regarded as a group of people who share the same lineage ranging from the ancestral background. According to the customs of the Baganda, the people from the same clan regarded themselves as brothers and sisters regardless of biological births as longer as they are of the same lineage.
This structure enabled the Baganda to trace their ancestry, clans are named after the totems, and every clan found in Buganda has got a unique totem locally known as Omuziro and Akabbiro translated as secondary totem. Every clan has got a clan leader who reports to the Buganda Lukiiko “Parliament” situated at Bulange in Mengo in the City of Kampala. Socially, people from the same clan and from the same totem are neither supposed to marry themselves nor marry from the clans of their mothers.
The traditional dance for Baganda is an interesting one as per now, there are different cultural troupes that perform the different folk songs including Bakisimba, Mbuutu, Mbaga songs and dances. Children were required every evening to seat together in a group and the elders used to tell them stories, Tales and poems that were educative and this encouraged unity among the children from the different families.
The Baganda never believed that there is life after death, and everyone who died his/her death was attributed to have been caused by the ancestral spirits. People would gather for five days before burying though women were buried earlier than men since they were considered to rot earlier than men, everyone was required to wipe the dead body and whoever refused was believed to have witch crafted the deceased and caused the death.
Ten days for mourning followed after the burial and what followed was the funeral ceremony locally known as “Okwabya Olumbe” where they installed the heir to the deceased person. These were buried on a grave yard known as “Ekiggya” were all deceased members from the same clan were rested. The Kings were rested in the tombs known as “Amasiro” and the most known one which is a tourist attraction site and also a UNESCO heritage site is the Kasubi Tombs located in Kampala.