The Bafumbira In Life
Bafumbira are found in kisoro district and are also located and distributed to different parts of uganda and rwanda. They are known to be hard working people and cooperative in all ways, they basically depend on agriculture as the source of both food and income in kisoro and other parts of uganda.
In other parts of uganda where you find Bafumbira there in kiboga, mubende, kampala, mbarara and many other places.
WHO IS A MUFUMBIRA IN SETTING?*
_1_ . *WHERE ARE THE BAFUMBIRA*.
It is good for the youth and everyone to know their origin for old age goes “« *_A person with out culture is like a tree with out roots»”._*
The bafumbira are found in the old districts of kigezi bordering Rwanda to the south and Congo (DRC)to the west.
They have however, spread to many parts of Uganda, Ethinical, they are the same as banyarwanda of Rwanda.
Kisoro is the only district that is inhabited almost exclusively by Banyarwanda.
The bafumbira land is cool and mountainous.
It was part of Rwanda until the boundary adjustments of1910.
Thanks actual inhabitants of Bafumbira, in descending order of numerical superiority, are the Bahutu,Batutsi and Batwa. Essentially,they are banyarwanda and they speak kinyarwanda. The Batwa are said to have been the original inhabitants of Bufumbira and they are closely related to Bahutu who are said to have been the second group to arrive in Bufumbira. Then came the Batutsi before A.D150.
The Batwa do not have traditions of early migration from anywhere. They are believing to have been the earliest inhabitants of East Africa together with the Bambuti of MT. Rwenzori and Ndorobo of Kenya . To date they do not lead apermanent settled life.
The Bahutu and the Bantu are like other Bantu, they are believed to have originated from the Congo region of Central Africa around A.D1000.They are said to have entered Rwanda. The original of Batutsi is however mythical. One theory says that they originated from Karagwe in Northern Tanzania. Another controversial one is the “Hamitic Myth”.
This theory has it that the Batutsi are not indigenous to East Africa, and that their original homeland might have been either Ethiopia or Somalia or Egypt. This theory is based among other things on the fact that the Batutsi tend to resemble the Somali and Galla
*2:THE BAFUMBIRA SOCIAL SETUP.*
The Batwa were a minority in Bafumbira and other Banyarwanda communities.They were the most scorned, mainly because their culture was very little understood and in fact they live a simple life. It is said that no one ever saw a Mutwa’S grave; no one knew when and how the Batwa organized their wedding ceremonies. Their incessant begging ( *guseega)* from the Bahutu and Batutsi increased the scorn and disrespect directed at the Batwa. Those Batwa who lived around the Chuya Bamboo forest reserve were experts at shooting with bows and arrows. They lived by hunting and gathering, eating and not only what they hunted and gathered but also what the Bahutu neglected. They were also reputed mutton eaters. The cultures of Bahutu and Batutsi were similar.Like the majority of the Bahutu,the Batutsi did not eat sheep and chicken. These they gave the Batwa. Besides the Bahutu and the Batutsi women were not supposed to eat goat meat.
*3:THE TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE.*
Compared to the Batwa and Bahutu,the Batutsi married at latter age. Although there seemed to be no taboos against marriage relationships, intermarriages between the Batwa, Batutsi and Bahutu were very rare. Among the Batutsi and Bahutu,intermarriages between close relatives were prohibited on the claim that this connection would render the resulting offspring weak and vulnerable to spiritual attacks. Amongst the Batutsi,boys were usually pressed to marry even before they were ready. The girls were closely watched by their mothers and aunts. In Bafumbira virginity was highly prized. Premature pregnancies were unwanted. A girl would be thrown into the forest and left to the mercy of wild animals if she conceived before marriage
Formerly, parents would arrange marriage for their children.But there was also what was known as Gufata or Guterura. Gufata was an acceptable forced marriage in which a boy would conspire to and carry away a girl by force to become his wife. Among the Bahutu, there was also what was known as kwijana. This was a pre-arranged marriage in which the girl would sneak away from her parents and go to the boy’s home to get married. This occurred whenever a girl had pre-marrital pregnancy. Both Gufata and Kwijana were socially acceptable but not praise worthy.
Clapping was, and still is a common feature for both groups. The Batwa were renowned harp players while the Bahutu like the Bakiga played the Zither. Among the Batutsi, the girls sang and danced in pairs while men danced in groups usually of more than ten people, called In tore.
Among the Bafumbira polygamy was not acceptable practice. Not only did it increase the man’s status but it also increases the family size “Being monogamous was like marrying one’s mother ” so they said. Divorce was also acceptable and could occur in any of the following instances; drunkness, ill-treatment, adultery, gluttony, refusal or inability to offer sex and several other undesirable instances.
*4* *.THE ECONOMY:*
The economy of the Batwa was quite simple ,
They depended on hunting and gathering,
They valued land least for they did not dig,
They would get grains and beer from Bahutu and Batutsi in exchange of wild animal skins,trophies,bows and arrows,
Some Batwa would live by just begging,
There huts were as simple as those of Bambuti,
They used to wear a simple skin to cover their private parts,
Batwa were and continue to be good at basketry and pottery.
Among the Bahutu and Batutsi, the ownership of amutwa was a sign of wealth and security. Among the Bahutu and Batutsi, cattle were the main economic index. For this reason, the Batutsi were most respected because they had many herds of cattle.
People did not have individual ownership of land because all land belonged to the king.
An individual could dig or graze on any piece of land within reach of his home. For digging, they used a hooked widen hoe. The main crops included Sorghum, peas and beans. The society had iron-smiths who manufactured hoes, knives and other implements on small scale. To harvest sorghum, they used sickle, machetes( *umuhoro* ).
Men cut sorghum down and women used iron knives ( *indiga)* to cut the sorghum from the stems. The produce were stored in bamboo granaries constructed in the compound.
Bahutu were good brewers. They brewed beer from sorghum. The local brew had various names; umuramba, wutunda, nyirakabisi and amarwa. If mixed with honey, it would be referred to as Inturire. Inturire was a brew for elders and chiefs. The women were not allowed to drink in public. In fact their preserve was dregs. The elders smoked pipes containing unprocessed tobacco. The Batwa could, in addition to tobbaco, smoke opium.
*5* . *THE DWELLING OF BAFUMBIRA.*
The Bahutu and Batutsi lived in homesteads.
The exact structure of their Hut was round, grass thatched and white sand washed. Unlike Batwa,the duty of constructing and marinating huts among the Bahutu and Batutsi was entrusted and patrilineal. Single clans tended to live together in one locality.
*6* . *SPORTS AND PERSONAL ADORNMENTS AMONG BAFUMBIRA PEOPLE .*
The most favored sports among the Bafumbira people was hunting.w
When hunting, they used dogs with bell tired around their necks,huntingnets,
spears, clubs, bows and allows.The other favered sports were wrestling, jumping,mweso board game, especially among the Batutsi. It was called Igisoro. The Bahutu branded their faces using very small iron knives.This was done as a way of treating headaches. The Batutsi put on small mark on their faces for purposes of identification. The Batwa went further than other groups to the extent of decorating their arms.
Neck beads and bangles were common adornments for women.
*7* : *BAFUMBIRA TRADITIONAL RELIGION.*
The Batutsi and the Bahutu belived in a supreme being called Imaana Rurema.Imaana was belived to be the creator and the giver of all things and was believed to have mediums in form of Nyabingi or Lyangombe Biheko. Sacrifices were offered to Nyabingi and Biheko and each family had a shrine ( *Indaaro* ).
Indaaro was regarded as very sacred place and the family head would offer sorghum, bread and beer to the gods as circumstances indicated. If the head of the family died, his first born or first son would take over all the duties of tending sacrifices to the gods in the family indaaro.
*8* : *THE BURIAL AMONG BAFUMBIRA.*
The Bahutu and Batutsi bury their dead. For anybody above eighteen years of age, there would be four days of mourning, there would be no digging or any other kind of manual labor. During the dawn of the fourth day, a special ceremony of throwing off the ash known as ( *Guta igiti* )was conducted by a skilled medicine man; and the heir to the deceased, where appropriate was installed. In case the deceased was was an old man with daughters in law, the wife of the oldest son would dress the corpse and she would be given one of the deceased’s gardens for this task.
*9* : *THE TRADITIONAL BAFUMBIRA UTENSILS.*
The traditional household utensils included baskets, winnowing trays, grinding stones and an assortment of pottery products like `_calabashes, gourds, mortars and pestles,wooden stools, spears, knives, bows and_“` “`arrows“` and “`imitiba“` ( “` **huge bamboo store baskets inside`)**. Cattle keepers kept in addition, inkongooro for milk and cows and ibisabo ( “`churning gourds)“` and other milk containers.
The inner rooms were kept covered with nicely and decorated mats made of swamp grass and embroidered with strings.
These mats made favorite seats for women during ceremonies and feasts.One could also find huge marts known as ibirago used for drying sorghum and other produce.
TOURISM IN KISORO
Kisoro is located in the real and perfect setting of the touristic heritages as surrounded by the national parks of Mgahinga and bwindi gorilla national park,
Mgahinga gorilla national park is located in kisoro district just over 20 minutes from kisoro town. And this place is known for the mountain gorillas, monkies like the golden monkies and many others,
The cultural heritage including the local dances, marriage activities and many others will always make your safari more remarkable in kisoro district. For examle Gorilla Tracking Safari
Despite of this, the beautiful mountains and hills in the setting are also good and give the great view and remarkable moment in kisoro, the lakes like lake murehe, lake Chahafi, lake mutanda and others all found in kisoro , will give you the chance to have a fresh breathtaking time as you may have a boat ride within the places..
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR THE REAL AFRICAN SAFARI IN UGANDA??
3 Days Chimpanzee tracking safari,
5 Days wildlife and chimpanzee tracking encounter in uganda,
3 Days ultimate gorilla tracking experience,
5 Days wildlife and Gorilla tracking in Uganda,
3 Days wildlife experience in uganda,
4 Days wildlife in queen elizabeth and lake mburo,
For Birding Safaris;
Information gathered by:
SAFARI DRIVER GUIDE
Kenlink Tours And Travel