Collection Description

Culture Name


Culture Description

The ancestors of the Ganda were people of mixed origins who migrated to their present location -- Buganda province in Uganda -- between the 13th and 16th centuries. Oral histories of Buganda chronicle a succession of 36 kings beginning with Kintu, who scholars reckoned immigrated to Buganda in the 14th century. At the time of European contact Buganda was a powerful kingdom. The Ganda are primarily agricultural. The Ganda speak a Bantu language called Luganda. The Ganda are primarily an agricultural society; their staple crops are bananas and yams.


Select the Culture Summary link above for a longer description of the culture.


Africa --Eastern Africa



OWC Code


Number of Documents


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Number of Pages


Collection Overview

Documents referred to in this section are included in the eHRAF collection and are referenced by author, date of publication, and eHRAF document number.

The Ganda file contains 28 books and articles. The studies focus on Baganda history before British overrule (1200-1900), acculturation during the subsequent period of British administration (1901-1961), and various subjects in the contemporary period following independence in 1962. General ethnographies give an account of Baganda culture and society both before and after 1901 (Roscoe 1911, no. 2; Kagwa 1934, no. 8; Mair 1934, no. 1; Fallers 1960, no. 12; Southwold 1966, no. 15.) Studies of Baganda history up to 1900 are found in Kagwa (1971, no. 23), Kiwanuka (1972, no. 22), and Ray (1991, no. 19). The file includes studies of the traditional system of authority (Southwold 1961, no. 14; Fallers 1964, no. 25; Richards 1964, no. 29) and changes in the system that occurred after 1900 (Richards 1960, no. 9; 1966, no. 13; Southwold 1964, no. 28.) Other studies focus on post-1900 changes in land tenure (Mukwaya 1953, no. 11), status (Wigley 1964, no. 24), social mobility (Fallers 1964, no. 26), and marriage (Mair 1940, no. 5.) Two labor studies examine labor migration under the colonial administration (Powesland 1954, no. 6) and the assimilation of immigrant laborers in Buganda in the 1950s (Richards 1954, no. 7.) Other postwar studies include examinations of political behavior and attitudes (Doob 1964, no. 31; Richards 1964, no. 30), changes in occupational structure (Fallers 1964, no. 26), and the effect of the Baganda authority system on innovation and change (Apter 1967, no. 16.) Post-Independence studies include an examination of ethnic categories of mental health (Orley 1970, no.17), infant care and development (Ainsworth 1967, no. 18; Kilbride 1974, no. 20), and the impact of microtechnologies on rural life (Robbins 1987, no. 21.)

For more detailed information on the content of the individual works in the file, see the abstracts in the citations preceding each document.

The culture summary and synopsis were written by Ian Skoggard in August, 1997.

BAGALAGALA--court pages--644


BAKUNGA--king and appointed chiefs--631


BATAKA--lineage heads or clan chiefs--614


GGOMBOLOA--subcounty, subcounty chief--634

GREAT LUKIIKO--national assembly--646


KINTU--personal name of founding king--773, 643

KITIIBWA--prestige, respect, "to fear"--152, 554

KUSENGA--patron-client relationship between chief and villager--571

KYALO--village chief estate--631, 423


LUKIIKO--chiefs council--631, 623

MAGEMBE--mass executions--782

MAILO--freehold estates--423



MPISA--proper demeanor and conduct--576

MUKONGOZZI--spirit medium--791

MUKOPI--commoner, undistinguished person--565

MULUKA--parish chiefs--632

MUTAKE--head of a unilineal descent group--614

MUTONGOLE--(sing. Butongole) administrative chiefs--631


SABADDU--head of royal servants--644

SABAKAKI--head of gate guards--644

SENKOOLE--second sub-chief in charge of royal fuse and caretaker of royal fire, a county chief--631, 635, 644

SSAABAKAAKI--head of court pages--644

SSAZA--county, county chief--635

SSEKABAKA--guardian of the king's shrine--793

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