Tuesday 11 October 2022

Lugbara People of Dr. Congo, Uganda and South Sudan

Lugbara People can be found in Dr. Congo, Uganda and South Sudan. They are part of the Nilo Saharan language family a central sudanic languages spoken in Central African Republic, Chad, Uganda, Dr. Congo and Cameroon. Lugbara has a small population in the Northern part of South Sudan. Lugbara grow crops such as millet, sorghum, cassava and their symbol is a leopard. In the early days, Lugbara were a community mainly based on chiefdom, they did not have Kingdoms and Kings presiding over them like others in Present day Uganda also they formed friendly alliances with neighboring chiefdoms.  

Traditionally, Lugbara are agriculturalist and they raised livestock. Ope which is a guinea fowl is kept,  maize is grown for brewing traditional beer. It is said Lugbara men have great hunters very powerful, they used bows, long arrow that have fish lie tips, Ayivu, Maracha, Terego, Aringa, Vurra are related to the Lugbara and in the Lugbara concept God is known as Adora which is the Creator or Supreme being. It is believed Adora appeared in both good and evil aspects and Adora came on earth as a human, he is described as very tall with children known as Adroanzi.  

According to Lugbara Oral history, In the 19th Century they had mainly chiefs who were leaders. Lugbara settled in Present day Uganda in the late 16th Century. It is believed there were human being which is Gboro the male and Meme the female both were described to be part of the super human. Some oral traditions claimed Adroa filled the womb of Meme with living things in the world, others claimed the first human being were twins called Arube which is a boy and Oduu which is a girl and their parents were believed to be Meme and Gboro. In some myths, it is believed that Meme died after the birth of the twins,  the twins grew up and formed clans.   

Lugbara mystery hill known as Mount Wati is the highest hill. It is said a superman came as Oli Banyale which is their ancestor. His grave is a natural crater that the locals named Mbindri the waters flow but never dry. It has its for ages atop of the mountain,  grinding stone, four poles of granary clay pot shaped like a calabash, Saku, were placed on Oli Banyale’s grave. These items symbolize the most common things that Oli used in his lifetime.  

According to Lugbara elder called Oaja Aludi from Odoa village the visitors placed coins on the grave to seek the blessings from Adora and the Ancestors tracing the roots of Elder Oaja his great grandfather called Tèrè settled in Present day Uganda and intermarried with his great grandmother who belong to the Acholi ethnic group and gave birth to two sons known as Gboro and Tifoli. Gboro was a hunter who hunted hippopotamus, crocodiles, elephants while hunting in what is now Western part of Uganda on a reed raft the river to the west a strong tornado blew across the river. Gboro did not return back to his father’s hometown but settled in Imvenga in the  Northern part of Uganda and married a Madi woman and they had four children called Oli, Kibra, Olu, Obaru. Oli was powerful just like a Spiritualist and he had privileges of Kingship. An elephant came to destroy millet in Oli’s garden he took his younger brother spear and tried to kill the elephant, but the elephant ran into the wilderness with the spear stuck in its side. When his younger brother Kibira heard this he wanted to have his spear back but Oli had prepared Akarafi and decided to trace the elephant on his way he met an Older woman she offered him water to drink, she asked his mission and his quest for his brother’s spear. Alungaru went ahead to hunt the elephant but was killed by the elephant he had no spears with him but the Older woman was able to show him many spears and asked him to identified which one belong to his brother.

Lugbara Origins , migrations and settlements.

According to Anthropologist and a Writer Lugbara originated from Present day Rajaf in South Sudan some claimed they migrated from Present day  Rajaf in South Sudan and settled in Present day Serengeti in Northern Tanzania migrated Southward  before they migrated to Murambi in what is now Rwanda then split into three groups the first group settled in Present day Uganda later the second group settled in Present day Dr. Congo finally the last group which was the third group settled in Present day Northern part of Sudan due to wars in the 16th Century,  Lugbara were originally known as Madi and the term ” Lugbara” was a term being used after the Intrusion of the Khartoum Arab Slaves in the 19th Century,  In their tradition when a child was born there is a ritual cleansing petformed if the baby was a boy after giving birth the mother would stay in confinement for three to four days depending on the sex of a child besides that She must abstained from eating certain food and she could received few visitors because they believed some visitors might have bad thoughts to harm the health of the child after cleansing period they celebrate festivities and naming ceremony for the child,  Lugbara believed name given portrayed memorable experience of his or her Ancestors when even a child is not born.They undergo Intiation girls and boys used marks such as tribal marks to Indentification face tattoo and extraction of 6 frontal teeth from the lower jaw this Intiation done during adulthood before planning on finding a partner to get married to,  In their tradition Avuti clan is a clan of one’s mother including mother’s relative but a mother’s relative is referred as ezaapilmy simply my daughter the symbol of the Avuti is a bull and women produced various type of baskets and pots the most common one is Iva the food cover or sauce pot, aijiko the sauce fir preparing millet flour and any one who specialized in Iron smelting is known as Okebu.  They celebrate a festival known as Okuza the festival of gathering this festival bring the people together, sharing folklore,  sharing of local food, having fun,  they perform traditional dances such as Gaze it reflect the transition of the movement,  Agwara dance involved playing trumpets and drums celebrating their  rich culture and heritage.

1 comment:

  1. Good article an excellent way to articulate. Keep it up

    ReplyDelete

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