Masaba people

Masaba people

The Masaba people, or Bamasaaba, are a Bantu people inhabiting the Eastern Ugandan districts of Sironko, Manafwa, Bududa, Mbale, Bulambuli, Kapchorwa, Bukwo and Kween (Then Sebei County before Uganda achieved self rule in 1962) under the Bugisu district before the British colonial rule in 1962. Closely related to the Bukusu and Luhya of Western Kenya, they are a mainly agricultural people, farming millet, bananas and sorghum on small-holder plots. Maize became popular with the coming of Europeans in late 1890s.

The Bamasaaba are famous for their traditional male circumcision ceremonies, held every even year. In a three-day ceremony of dancing and feasting, preceding a couple of months preparations, the initiates are admitted into adulthood and expected to begin their formal contribution to the growth of their respective communities.

The name Bamasaaba is sometimes used interchangeably with the name Bagisu, even though the latter is actually a tribe of the Bamasaaba nation.

The origin of the Bamasaaba is not known but traditions carried over generations by oral history points at Egypt [Misri] as the traditional homeland, but this could be the similar epicenter where other migrations from the lower Nile and north-western Ethiopia took place at the close of the millennium, approximately 900 AD. These groups, including the Nilotics and Hermitic communities that constitute the Hima-Tutsi peoples of western Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. Indeed it is difficult to place the Bamasaaba among the Uganda communities because they relate to both Ugandan and Kenyan communities. The language architecture is close to the Baganda and Bakonjo of western Uganda while their cultural traits are close to the Hermitic groups of north-western Ethiopia.

The current Babukusu of western Kenya are believed to have migrated from the Bamasaaba, particularly from areas around Bubulo, in current Manafwa District. Many clans among the Babukusu have their origins among the Bamasaaba, a testimony to this linkage. Masinde Muliro, once a veteran politician and elder of the Babukusu from Kitale, was from the Bakokho clan, with its base at Sirilwa, near Bumbo in Uganda. Other clans common to both sides include Batiiru Babambo, Baata, Bakitang'a and Batiiru. There are other clans whose names, however, that are only on one side, such as Babichache and Balonja who are mainly among the Babukusu. The common cultural ties are a further indication of close relations among the two sister ethnic groups. During the Constituent Assembly that led to the 1995 Constitution of Uganda, Mulongo Simon, a Delegate from Bubulo East, introduced Babukusu as one of the ethnic groupings of Uganda, acknowledging the fact that both groups, Bamasaaba and Babukusu are intertwined.

The Bamasaaba and Politics. Before the arrival of Europeans, Bamasaaba were organised in a decentralized way, but maintained strong clan system that brought them together as a community. They had a strong fighting force of youths, whose pre-occupation was to herd livestock and to train in warfare. They warded off attackers from neighboring communities such as the Luo, Iteso, Elgon Masaai (Sabot and Sebei). Earlier, when the Maasai were still dominant in the eastern part of Mt. Elgon, they were the traditional hostile neighbours. The dual economic activity of both crop and animal husbandry generated a resilient economy that supported their livelihoods and developed into an independent cultural community that endured centuries of hostility.

The advance of the European missionaries in late 1890s, facilitated by Kakungulu, a British Muganda agent, established a base for the British colonial rule in the area. This changed drastically the geo-political settings of the Bamasaaba form there onwards. The Church Missionary Society (CMS)led by Bishop Tucker, assisted by Kakungulu, established British and particularly Anglican systems in the area. They built, through forced labour, road infrastructure and established administrative units.

By independence in 1962, Bamasaaba had had several western educated personalities with some schools, such as Nabumali High School, excelling in national examinations. Mbale town was the cleanest in the country. Professors Timothy Wangusa, Bigala and later Dani Wadada Nabudere were among the leading academics from the Bamasaaba. George Masika, the Chief Justice and Masette Kuuya, a youthful minister during Obote II in 1980s, James Wambogo Wapakhabulo, the foreign Minister in the Museveni regime are examples of leading personalities from the Bamasaaba.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

См. также в других словарях:

  • Masaba — may refer to: the Masaba people the Masaba language This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title. If an internal link led you here, you may wish to change the link to point directly to the …   Wikipedia

  • Masaba language — Masaba Lumasaba Spoken in Uganda Region Eastern, south of the Kupsabiny, Bugisu Province Native speakers 1,500,000  (date missing) …   Wikipedia

  • Nyaribari Masaba Constituency — Nyaribari Masaba is an electoral constituency in Kenya. It is one of four constituencies in Kisii District. The constituency was established for the 1988 elections. Members of Parliament Elections MP [1] Party Notes 1988 Sam Ongeri KANU One party …   Wikipedia

  • Bukusu people — The Bukusu are one of the seventeen Kenyan sub tribes of the Luhya Bantu language and cultural group of East Africa. Calling themselves BaBukusu , they are the largest single ethnic unit among the Luhya nation, making up about 17% of the whole… …   Wikipedia

  • Bida Emirate —   Traditional state   …   Wikipedia

  • Mount Elgon — (left) and Great Rift Valley (right) Elevation …   Wikipedia

  • Neena Gupta — Born 4 July 1959 (1959 07 04) (age 52) India Occupation actor, director Years active 1982–present Children Masaba Neena Gupta …   Wikipedia

  • Languages of Uganda — English is the official language of Uganda, even though only a relatively small percentage of the population speaks it. Access to economic and political power is almost impossible without having mastered that language. The East African lingua… …   Wikipedia

  • George Anyona — George Moseti Anyona (1945 2003) was a politician from Kenya. He not only coined a niche for himself as a fiercely independent thinker, but quite an unpredictable one too. There s no telling what Anyona might be up to, until it actually happens.… …   Wikipedia

  • Mohammed Bello Abubakar — Mohammed Bello Abubakar, also known as Mohammed Bello Masaba,[1] was an 84 year old Nigerian man who stirred up controversy in his hometown of Bida, Niger State, when he married 86 wives, and fathered 170 children.[2] Islamic scholars limit the… …   Wikipedia


Поделиться ссылкой на выделенное

Прямая ссылка:
Нажмите правой клавишей мыши и выберите «Копировать ссылку»