+256783521691 / +256783666817 info@mandrillsafaris.com

The Basoga culture

The Basoga

The Basoga are the eastern neighbour of the baganda. They occupy the region between Lake victoria and lake Kyoga in the present districts of Jinja Kamuli Bugiri, luuka, Namutumba,Bukhooli, Mayuge and Iganga.

An elderly man drum during  the tradiditional rituals of installing James Christopher  Mutyba [ middle]as

 the Nkono of Bukono county one of the eleven hereditary counties of Busoga at Ivukula.


Due to the  continuous movement and intermingling of people with in the Basoga region,the history of the Basoga is complex

.It can be asserted , however , that the earliest inhabitants of Basoga belonged to the same Bantu group comprising the Banyoro and the Baganda.

Their group can therefore be traced, like other Bantu group to the Katanga region of central Africa.

     Tradition holds that the earliest inhabatants  were the Langi, the  Iteso  and the Bagisu.

They were later engulfed by migrants from Buganda. The earliest settlers in Busoga  are said to have occupied the lake-  

areas of modem Bukoli  Nanyumba`s Banyole are believed to have been among these earliest inhabitants.

These early settlements to place  for back in 14th century.

Mt Elgon region.These people are said to have settled in Bugabula and Bulamogi .They were later joined by others from Budama and some  from kigulu in Kenya.


There are three legends regarding the origins of the Basoga . one of them talks of the famous hunters, mukama,

who came from the east side of Mt.Elgon and acrossed into Busoga via present day Bugisu and Budama.

He is said to have been accompanied by his wives, various followers and two dogs. Mukama had eight sons during  his stay in Busoga.

These sons were subsequently appointed rulers over certain areas.Mukama proceeded to Bunyoro where he set up a kingdom.

He died of smallpox in Bunyoro and that is why the relatives   of mukama in Busoga  do not look at a patient suffering smallpox.

It is also customary that no member of the  Ngobi clan passes by another one suffering from smallpox without touching him.

   The second legend insists that mukama did not come to Busoga at all, that Mukama only sent his own sons to rule Busoga because there were no capale rulers among the Busoga.

The third legend talks of Kintu as 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 to  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 arock which is at worshipped even today by some Basoga

  Originally, the Basoga were  a disunited people . they could not unite even in the face of a common enemy.

This explains why they were  incessantly prone  to foreign influence first from Bunyoro  and later from   Uganda.


lLusoga language closely approximates to Luganda, especially that spoken by Ssese Islanders.

There exists  many Lusoga dialects. However Buganda  influence over Busoga was so much that Luganda tend to be used as lingua franca in Busoga more than lusoga itself.

With in Busoga, there are so many dialects of the Lusoga  language that it is difficult to reach agreement on the correct way to spell or pronounce certain words.

There is Lulamongi and then Lusoga . for instance ,in the north of Busoga  there is  distinct but people from southern Busoga do not accept  this H as  being  appropriate to the Lusoga language.


The Basoga dance is  known Tamenbaibuga literally translated, Tamenbaibuga means

1 Response

Leave a Reply

Text Widget

Nulla vitae elit libero, a pharetra augue. Nulla vitae elit libero, a pharetra augue. Nulla vitae elit libero, a pharetra augue. Donec sed odio dui. Etiam porta sem malesuada.