Concept

Bunyoro

Summary
Bunyoro, also called Bunyoro-Kitara, is a Bantu kingdom in Western Uganda. It was one of the most powerful kingdoms in Central and East Africa from the 13th century to the 19th century. It is ruled by the King (Omukama) of Bunyoro-Kitara. The current ruler is Solomon Iguru I, the 27th Omukama. The people of Bunyoro are also known as Nyoro or Banyoro. (singular: Munyoro) The language spoken is Nyoro, also known as Runyoro. In the past, the traditional economy revolved around big game hunting of elephants, lions, leopards, and crocodiles. Today, the Banyoro are now agriculturalists who cultivate bananas, millet, cassava, yams, cotton, tobacco, coffee, and rice. The people are primarily Christians. The kingdom of Bunyoro was established in the early 14th century by Rukidi-Mpuga after the dissolution of the Chwezi Empire. The founders of Bunyoro-Kitara were known as the Babiito, a people who succeeded the Bachwezi. The kingdom was formed after the collapse of the Chwezi Empire. Later, new kingdoms arose in the Great Lakes area, such as Ankole, Mpororo, Buganda, Tooro, Busoga, Bagisu (in present-day Kenya and Uganda), Rwanda, Burundi and Bunyoro itself. The kingdom rose to power and controlled a number of the holiest shrines in the region, as well as the lucrative Kibiro saltworks of Lake Mwitanzige. Having the highest quality of metallurgy in the region made it one of the strongest economic and military powers in the Great Lakes region. The kingship of Bunyoro is the most important institution in the kingdom. The king is patrilineal meaning that it is passed down through the male line. This tradition comes from a myth the Nyoro people tell. Once there were three sons of the Mukama, all having the same name. In order to name them, the Mukama asked the God to help him. The boys must go through a series of tasks before being named. The three of them had to sit all night holding a pot of milk. Milk is a sacred drink used for important events. Whoever had all their milk still in the pot by morning would be king.
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