Friday, 9 December 2016


• Bunyoro’s background
• Analyze the political, social and economic organization of Bunyoro kingdom by 1885.
Background of Bunyoro
• Bunyoro came into existence after the disintegration of Bunyoro Kitara
Empire founded by the Bachwezi.
• In around 16th century small states emerged Bunyoro inclusive and came to be known as Bunyoro kingdom
• By the 1711 century Bunyoro kingdom had developed her political, social and economic systems.
Political organization
1. The kingdom was centralized headed by a king called Omukama.
2. The king had absolute power and was a final being i.e. controlled lives his subjects. .
3. He was assisted by the powerful chiefs both provincial and junior chiefs who carried out routine work in the state.
4. Chiefs collected taxes, tributes and maintained law and order in the kingdom they were answerable to the Omukama.
5. The kingdom was divided into counties, sub counties and village units all under chiefs.
6. The king had powers to appoint, dismiss official, chiefs were appointed from member of the first class.
7. When Kabalega succeeded Kamurasi, he centralized the administration appointing his supporters to various political positions.
8. Promotion was based on merit rather than birth; he could appoint and dismiss officials.
9. From 1870 onwards it became obligatory that county chiefs and hereditary leaders lived near the palace to be supervised by the king.
10. The king was the supreme judicial authority and several punishments were administered to criminals.
11. Courts could handle minor cases on behalf of the king.
12. They had a national standing army from 1870 called Abarusura headed by the king (Kabalega)
13. It was divided into 5 battalions of about 400 soldiers situated all over the country.
14. The army crushed internal revolts, defensive and offensive purposes.
Social organization.
15. The kingdom was divided into three distinct classes.
16. The Babiito royal and ruling class at the apex they were basically pastoralist
17. Followed by Bahima cattle keepers they loved cattle and detested cultivation
18. At the bottom were the Bairu agriculturalists, they owned land and were the peasants.
19. They were religious and believed in many gods but the greatest of all was Ruhanga the creator.
20. Each clan had its own god i.e. Musisi god of Lake Albert, Muhingo god of war etc.
21. They bad pet names like Amooti, Atooki, and Apuli etc
22. They carried out cultural ceremonies i.e. omukewo tree ceremony where sacrifices were made to their gods.
Economic organization
23. The economy was controlled by the Omukama; he controlled the wealth of the kingdom
24. Bunyoro carried out agriculture and grew crops such as maize. Millet cassava, ground nuts for domestic use and then for trade.
25. For purposes of food security each chief was encouraged to double food production especially during Kabalega's reign.
26. They carried out animal keeping especially cattle and goats which provided meat as well as hide.
27. They carried out fishing from Lake Albert, Edward. George among other minor water bodies.
28, Trade was also a common practice where salt from Lake Katwe.
Kibero and Kasenyi were sold to Buganda, Busoga, and Acholi etc.
29. There were several markets in Bunyoro like at Buyaga and Bugangaizi ~, Bunyoro carried out iron working and made military weapons like spear ... and arrows as well as fanning tools.
31. Raiding was also carried especially on their neighbours like Lango, Buganda for cattle.
32. The kingdom also did pottery whose products were sold to neighbours.
33. Bunyoro used to get tributes from the vassal states, such as Ankole, Karagwe in form of sheep, cattle etc.

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