Buganda Nation

Looked at in one way, the story of modern political Africa is the story of powerful ethnic groups and how those ethnic groups have adapted to the national boundaries that were largely forced upon them by colonial powers.

In Uganda, the largest and most powerful tribe is the Buganda nation, making up nearly 20% of a nation of 28 million. Uganda, Swahili for Buganda, became the name of the country. Kampala and the area around it make up the historical area of the Buganda kingdom. The kings of Uganda came from the Buganda nation, and the tribe still has a great deal of power.

The current president, however,  Yoweri Museveni is a member of the  Nyankole nation, and currently there is a dispute over land between the Buganda and the national government.


The Kasubi Tombs, traditional palace and burial place of the Buganda kings. Currently there are four kings buried beneath the main structure, featured here. 


The doorkeeper of the Kasubi Tombs. 

grass-inside.jpg 3. Portraits of the four most recent Bugandan kings set against ceremonial spears.j-another.jpg4.

Joseph Mpanga, 20,  guide at the tombs. He claims descent in the royal lineage of the Buganda kings. 

portray-of-josephy.jpg5. Joseph also said that his grandmother was Chinese; his grandfather had been posted to China for the Ugandan foreign service, met a Chinese woman there, and married.grass-women.jpg6. Traditionally, the kings had many wives; one had more than 80. This woman is a descendant of one of the many wives.parliment-wild-shoot.jpg7. The Buganda tribe has its own parliament. Members of the more than 50 clans of Buganda gather together and develop policy for the tribe.parliment-indide.jpg8. Inside of Parliament house.big-man.jpg9.

Ssenteza Kalanzi Bulangi Mengo, Sergeant at Arms, Buganda Kingdom Parliament. The nation is currently engaged in a land dispute over the parliament building; the national government wants to use the land, but the Buganda nation is resisting.

Posted on Friday, May 16th, 2008 at 3:36 am and is filed under Photo Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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