Uganda cultural safari

The Karamojong culture in uganda

Uganda cultural safari,The karamojong are an ethnic community and indigenous residents of kaabong, kotido, Amudat, Napak. Moroto, Abim and Nakapiripirit districts of northeastern Uganda. They are traditionalists who take a lot of pride in their culture and custom.
The karamojong are descendants of Nyangatom of Ethiopia: a nomadic pastoralist community who migrated south around 1600 AD in search of permanent grazing lands and water for their livestock. Along the migration these groups split and one of the groups migrated to Kenya along the shores of Lake Turkana and acquired the name Turkana. The Turkana intermarried with the earlier settlers in the area and their offspring’s are Maasai and kalenjin.
The second group continued and settled into the current south Sudan, the Jie and Toposa of Sudan. They are cousins of the Jie who continued moving further south into Uganda. The groups of people mentioned as have many things in common: some words in their language, keep large herds of livestock, live a nomadic lifestyle, similarity in traditional wear, they have body marks that signify a hidden message and their customs and ceremonies have things in common amongst them.
The youths amongst the Jie of Uganda continued their nomadic lifestyle venturing further south in search of fresh pastures for livestock and water for their animals. Their elderly parents were tired of constant movements, so they opted to settle in their current regions. The Jie youths in their language ridiculed their elders” ekar imojong” meaning the old men are tired and cannot walk any further. The Jie youth intermarried with the itesot of Eastern Uganda. The karamojong speak a language called Nga Karamojong and their traditional culture called Nagi Karamojong.
They harbor foreign interference with their traditional lifestyle and view new trends in life, education, travel, technology, dress and fashion, housing, medicine, religion and many others as an unnecessary inconvenience.

The Karamojong traditional Culture

The karamojong are known to be warriors, stubborn and very violent people, this is a group of people that are still living and practicing their traditional way of life. They are known to be uncivilized people who have refused to change their traditional lifestyle ranging back to the Old Stone Age before civilization took over the world.
The karamojong are traditional nomadic pastoralists who roamed in large areas in search of fresh pastures and water for their livestock: cattle, goats, sheep and chicken.
The believe in their traditional god called Akuj whom they believe gave them birthright of all the cattle in karamoja region and the world beyond. The life of a traditional karamojong rotates around livestock, cattle in particular.

The social organization of the Karamojong on our Uganda cultural safari

When it comes to matters of marriage, as both a rite of passage into manhood as well as a requirement for engagement, a young karamojong man is required to wrestle the woman he desires to marry. If he is successful in winning the wrestling match against the woman, he is now considered to be a man and he is permitted to marry the woman he is desiring to marry, up to date the local karamojong who are still living in remote areas are still practicing these tradition as a way of their celebration.
This way of tradition ensures that the man seeking the woman’s hand in marriage is strong enough to care for and protect his wife from any harm or any cause of danger to this family. After a successful match, the dowry negotiations will be opened to be debated upon.
In an instance where the young man is unable to defeat the woman he desires to marry in the wrestling match and the woman defeats him, he will not be considered a man by the people to be man enough to marry their daughter .Therefore he will have to leave and marry a woman from a different group and having a tradition where a test of strength is not required.
On the other hand if a non-karamojong man desires to marry a karamojong woman, he is also required to go through this ceremony, this only applies to the fellow karamojong men and the women.
The karamojong lifestyle is mainly cattle keeping which is one of the strong cultural believe of this group of people. The cattle are mainly kept for milk and blood which is their main consumption. Due to the arid type of climate of the region, the karamojong have always run short of water and pastures for their animals, due to the shortage of pastures and water they are forced to move their livestock to the neighboring districts in search of water and pastures for their animals.

Conflicts of the karamojong

They are known to be cattle raiders, they go raiding cattle from the neighboring countries of Kenya, Sudan and Uganda which has made them involved in various conflicts due to the fact that their life hood depends on cattle therefore they are forced to attack other countries to raid the cattle from people causing conflicts and instability leading to loss of lives and destruction of property.

Tourist attractions in Karamoja

A visit to the karamojong Manyatta

Manyatta are traditional villages/ home steads that the karamojong live in, the karamojong villages are situated next to Kidepo Valley National Park. Therefore the travelers visiting kidepo national park will have an opportunity to visit the karamojong Manyattas, here you will enjoy viewing different animal species found in Kidepo valley national park, such as elephants, Zebras, giraffes among others. After game viewing you will also visit the local community of the karamojong this will expose you to learn about the karamojong cultures, their traditional way of life and also the history of the karamojong.
The karamojong areas are semi- desert area therefore you will experience a bit of high temperatures in Kidepo valley national park. During the cultural visit, you will need to be well prepared will the following essentials so as to enjoy the trip:
You will need to wear sun scream block and insect repellent to prevent you from the insect bites.
You will need to wear thick pants preferably jean trousers to avoid getting scratches from the thorns reason being that karamoja region is filled with thorny trees and bushes.
You will need brimmed hat to protect you from the strong rays of the sun and wear light clothes since this area is a desert place and hence experiences high temperatures

Lodges in Kidepo Valley National Park

Apoka safari Lodge
Kidepo savannah Lodge
Zebra safari Lodge
Adere safari Lodges
Apoka Rest camp
Nga’Moru Wilderness camp
Kara-tunga, Morungole Eco Camp
Inconclsion. The karamojong are an interesting group of people and you can learn a lot from them. Karamoja is one of the areas in Uganda with many tourist attractions. And you can have a great experience when you visit this region