The Unique Bakonzo Cultural Tribe, Another Epic Attractions In Semuliki National Park.
Welcome to the second segment of our story about attraction in Semuliki National Park. In the last 3 episodes that we have ventured 441 birds species in Semuliki and birds that make Semuliki a truly remarkable Uganda birding safari destination and Sempaya hot springs. In today’s episode let’s look at Bakonzo people.
According to population census results of 2014 census, there are 850,646 Bakonzo in Uganda hence representing 0.025% of the country’s population. The Bakonzo people are closely related to the Nande people of eastern D.R. Congo in their ways of living and both the Nande and the Bakonzo are occupying the slopes of the Rwenzori mountain and certainly you will be able to encounter the Bakonzo on the when you visit Semuliki National Park
Just like many other African tribes, the Bakonzo undergo an initiation ceremony (Circumcision) especially the boys that ushers them into adulthood. Though no longer very much practiced as of today among Bakonzo, circumcision had to be done by the Bamba as it was a taboo for a Mukonzo to circumcise a fellow Mukonzo. No Mukonzo was expected to marry without being circumcised.
Just like many other African societies, when it came to courtship and marriage among the Bakonzo, the parents of the children had to do the scouting for a good suitor for their child.
Naming among the Bakonzo
The most unique cultural norm about the Bakonzo is their naming culture have a un culture when it comes to giving names to their new borns. The Bakonzo name their children following their birth positions which is unique from the rest of other great lakes tribes which usually give names basing on their clans or families. The Bakonzo have a total of 13 names for boys and girls that are born by one wife, Boys have 7 names given to them following their birth positions and these are; 1st born is named Baluku/ Mumbere, 2nd born is named Bwambale, 3rd born is Masereka, 4th born is Kuule, 5th is named Thembo, 6th is named Mbusa and 7th is named Ndungo. The girls have 8 names and they are 1st born is Masika, 2nd born is Biira, 3rd born is Kabugho, 4th is Mbambu, 5th born is named Ithungu, 6th born is named Kyakimwa, 7th born is Nziabake, and the 8th girl is called Bulubasa.
Religion among the Bakonzo
The Bakonzo believed in 2 supreme gods ie Kalisa and Nyabarika. Kalisa was depicted as a half man like god with one arm, leg, eye, half a nose and half mouth but the structure of the Nyabarika god is unknown. The Nyabarika god was very powerful and welded powers over life death, ability to bare children or not, famine and good harvest while the Kalisa god was majorly for hunting powers. This, therefore, meant that these two gods had to be appeased by the Bakonzo in order to have success in their way of life as hunters and farmers. Many small-sized huts for the gods were constructed and in these huts sacrifices of animals and foodstuffs were offered to appease these gods, these huts are believed to still be in existence in the areas of Nyamugasani. But with the coming of Christianity and Islam to the region, the Bakonzo abandoned their small gods for the new Christian and Islamic faiths.
Would you like to encounter the Bakonzo?
You can encounter the Bakonzo on your Uganda wildlife safari trip to Semuliki National Park. The Bakonzo form part of the local tribes that live on the edges of this park. Besides the Bakonzo, there are many other tourist attractions that you will encounter on your safari to Semuliki national park, some of which we have already discussed in our earlier segments such as the 441 bird species, the 2 hot springs of Sempaya and numerous primates species. In order to maximize your Uganda safaris tours experience in Semuliki national park you need to make an overnight stay in any of the numerous Uganda safari lodges in Semuliki national park. Some of these Uganda hotels in Semuliki include luxury lodges like Semuliki Safari Lodge, Ntoroko Game Lodge, Kyaniga Safari Lodge which is located near Semuliki. Mid-range lodges that can be used while on a safaris Uganda to Semuliki National Park include Kirumia Guest House, Bumuga Camp Site. If you are interested in a safaris Uganda to Semuliki National Park there are various tour companies in Uganda that offer Uganda safaris tours to Semuliki for birding experience and these include Prime Safaris & Tours Ltd and Wild Gorilla Safaris.
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