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PEOPLE AND CULTURE IN UGANDA

Uganda has a population of approximately 34.5 million people (2011 estimate) with the most populous city being the capital, Kampala, at 1.6 – 1.8 million (2011 estimate). The majority of the population live in the central and south western regions, the northern regions are much more sparsely populated.
Uganda is home to 14 distinct ethnic groups with the most populous being the Baganda, making up roughly 20% of the total population, they are centred around Kampala. The others, in order of estimated population, are: Banyakole (Mbarara town), Basoga (Jinja-Iganga), Bakiga (Kabale/Bwindi), Itseo (Soroti), Langi (Lira), Acholi (Gulu), Bagisu (Mount Elgon), Batoro (Fort Portal), Alur, Lugbara (West Nile), Bunyoro (Masindi), Bakonzo (Rwenzori), Batwa (Semuliki, Kisoro).

Central Region

The central region is dominated by the Bantu group specifically the Baganda. The Buganda monarchy presents one of the best documentations of kingship in Uganda. The head of state is the King locally known as Kabaka. The current king of Buganda, His Highness Ronald Mutebi II was crowned the 36th Kabaka of Buganda in 1993 after his father Sir Edward Mutesa II died in exile. The kingdom also constitutes a Parliament (Lukiiko), comprising mainly of elderly heads of its 52 clans. Other people, who occupy important positions in the kingdom, include the Queen (Nabagereka), the Prime Minister (Katikiiro), the royal sister (Nalinya) and the Queen Mother (Namasole).

Traditional dances

Entogoro: Entogoro is danced by Banyoro and Batooro of western Uganda. The dance takes its name from the pod rattles (locally known as ebinyege) that the boys tie on their legs to make different rhythms as they dance. Ekitagururo: This is characterized by energetic stamping and tangling rhythms using the feet and aerial arm movements; it is performed by both Banyankole and Bakiga in the south western region. Dining Eshabwe: A traditional Banyankole dish comprising of ghee, skimmed from milk. This is usually eaten with Akaro. It’s a meal one would certainly get acquainted with on a visit to the western parts of Uganda. Others include; Akaro and Firinda.

Livelihood and Marriage

Traditionally, a man could marry five wives or more provided he could cater for them. It was easier to become polygamous in Buganda than in other parts of Uganda because the bride wealth obligations we’re not prohibitive unlike formerly when marriage used to be conducted by parents, for instance where the father of the girl could choose for her a husband without availing her any alternatives.
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