Visit the Bakonjo People on our Uganda Cultural Safari : The Bakonjo who have a similar origin with other Bantu cultural groups live in Kasese District on the lower slopes of Mountain Rwenzori. They are generally stout as well as short usually seen on a Uganda safari to the western part of Uganda. According to history, it is said that these people inhabited the slopes of Mount Elgon found in eastern Uganda, and as Kintu migrated, the Bakonjo joined Kintu and crossed into Buganda. Instead of settling within Buganda region, the Bakonjo moved further and settled in western Uganda in the highlands of Mount Rwenzori, which have a similar climate at Mount Elgon where they originally stayed. Below are some of the things to explore when one is to Visit the Bakonjo People on our Uganda Cultural Safari
Marriages within the Bakonjo People
Marriages was only be recognized after the two families had organized and settled bride wealth, which was paid as goats. The number of goats given was based on the financial status of the families. In addition, a digging stick, plus animal skin was provided. Back then divorces were very rare and in the event of it, the goats which were given as bride wealth would then be returned. Only virgins would marry and incase a girl conceived before getting marriage, they would be punished to death
The Bakonjo people believed in two main supreme beings; Nyabarika as well as Kalisa. It is said that Kalisa was seen as a monster having a single arm, eye, leg, ear, half-nose as well as half for other body parts. He was considered to be half-man, whereas Nyabarika physical structure wasn’t known. It is thought that he was the strongest spiritual being with power to provide fertility, make successful hunting-expeditions, haunt as well as kill. Kalisa was very important when it came to hunting.
Initiation of Bakonjo Boys
This initiation ceremony of circumcision was considered as a transform to adulthood from childhood. This was done to all boys before reaching puberty. The initiation ritual was done every after 15 to 17 years. This ritual was performed on all male children from 3 years of age.
To the Bakonjo, hunting was a major activity. Although it was mainly enjoyed as a leisure-sport, it served as a source of food. In their society, skilled hunters had a position of importance. They main used traditional hunting instruments such as spears, ropes, hunting nets and bows & arrows. They also had hunting jobs.
Hunting was carried out on small and large scale, and this was either by individual hunters, small groups of two or the more interesting large hunting groups, which could have as many as 50 people. However they has strict rules regarding sharing of meat especially on the group hunting expeditions.
Secret Method of Communication
These Bakonjo people had a secret communication system that was used by families. It was precisely a father-to-son affair, and the conversations were conducted through whistling in a peculiar way, not very loud but seriously infiltrating. This kind of communication was used during the hunting to pass on messages such as ‘The animals are turning away’. These messages may go as far as a kilometer away. This form of communication is believed to be very secretive that even the neighboring local communities do not even comprehend it. During your cultural safari in Uganda, you will have an opportunity to meet these amazing people, learn about their unique lifestyle, interesting cultural practices as well as personally interact with them