Clans and Totems in Buganda

CLANS AND TOTEMS IN BUGANDA

Clans and totems are central to the culture of Buganda because everyone belongs to a particular clan used to identify them. When asked to describe or introduce oneself, Baganda will mention their father, paternal grandfather, family lineage, clan, and totem. So much revolves around clans and totems, which dates back to the formation and organization of the Buganda kingdom.

In Buganda, a clan is defined as a group of people who had the same ancestor in the distant past. Therefore, a clan is one big extended family that includes members who might not know each other but are related by blood. They are thus referred to as brothers and sisters regardless of how far their blood ties are. The earlier Baganda made sure they could trace their ancestry through the clan system. Every Muganda is expected to know their clan and lineage.

Clans have a hierarchical structure. The clan head is referred to as the owokasolya, and immediately below the clan head are subdivisions of ‘ssiga,mutuba,lunyiri, and lastly enju.’ Initially, there were five clans referred to as Banasangwa (original clans). These include Ffumbe, lugave, Ngonge, Njaza, Nyonyi. At the moment 46 clans are officially recognized by the Buganda kingdom. Clans in Buganda are named after the totems adopted by that particular clan. The primary totem is called ‘omuziro,’ whereas the secondary totem is called ‘akabiro.’ The Sabataka heads the royal clan. Clans members have totems, and it is taboo for one to eat their totem.

 

CLANS IN BUGANDA

  1. Abalangira (royal clan)

The Abalangira is the royal clan of Buganda. The men are referred to as “abalangira.” In contrast, the women are called ‘abambejja.’ The royal clan is also referred to as ‘olulyo.’ This clan has no totem which distinguishes it from the rest of the clans (the rest of the clans have totems). It is also unique because it has its paternal genealogy tracing all the way back to Kintu. Kintu is known as the first Muganda and hence the first Kabaka of Buganda. Therefore, whoever belongs to this clan is considered royal and special. Each clan has a particular set of names it uses, and so does the royal clan.

Obutaka is the seat meaning the headquarters of the royal clan.

2. Butiiko Clan (mushroom)

The akabbiro (secondary totem) of this clan is Namulondo the clan head is Ggunju and their seat (obutaka) is at Bukalango Busiro.

The clan motto (omubala)

is ‘ Weekirikite,Ggunju ajja gabolokota

teggwa nte’.

3. Babiito-kooki clan

There akabbiro (secondary totem) is mazzi ga kisasi, and their clan head is Ssababiito, and their seat (obutaka) is at Rakai kkooki.

4. Babiito-Kiziba clan

Their clan head (owakasolya) is lutayinzibwa and their seat (obutaka) is at Sanje,Bbudu

5. Babiito-kibulala clan

Their clan head (owakasolya) is kitahimbwa and their seat (obutaka) is at Kibulala Ssingo.

6. Kayozi clan

The secondary totem is Nsombabyama the (owakasolya) clan head is kafumu, and they sit at Kyango mawokota.

7. Ffumbe Clan (Civet cat)

Their secondary totem is kikere, and their clan head ( owakasolya ) is Walusimbi. They sit (obutaka) at Bakka, Busiro.

These are there clan mottoes(omubala):

  1. Galinnya e Bakka (amafumbe).
  2. E Bakka basengejja (mbu ebirungi tebiggwa Bakka).
  3. Kasolo ki? Ffumbe.
  4. Ka muti gumu.
  5. Kakozaakoza alikoza mu lw’effumbe.
  6. Taatuuke Bumpi.
  7. Kasimba Clan(Genet cat)

Their secondary totem is ngo, and their clan head (owakasolya) is kabazzi, and they sit at Kyango mawokota.

Their clan motto(omubala)is:

Kiiso bwe kikulaba obulungi, naawe okiraba.

  1. Kibe Clan(Jackal)

The secondary totem(akabbiro) is kassukussuku, and their clan head(owakasolya) is Muyige, and they sit at Buluutwe,Kyaggwe.

Their clan motto(omubala) is:

Nambuuze, kibe kyekubye nsiko.

Kyasanku, bakuzaala wa? Ku kizinga Wambogwe.

Gw’akwana amalirira, Muteesa; bw’anywa, bw’anywa, anywa nvuba, Muyige wa ddalu, wa ddalu.

  1. Kkobe clan

The secondary totem(akabbiro) kaama and their clan head(owakasolya) is Namwama, and they sit at Buwama,mawokota.

  1. Kinyomo clan(Black ant)

The secondary totem(akabbiro) mutima and their clan head(owakasolya) is Nakigoye, and they sit at Kyasa, Buddu.

  1. Kiwere clan

The secondary totem(akabbiro) Sekafu and their clan head(owakasolya) is Luwonko and they seat at Kitanda Bugangazzi.

  1. Lugave clan(Pangolin)

The secondary totem(akabbiro) Maleere and their clan head(owakasolya) is Ndugwa. They sit at Katende Mawokota.

Their clan motto(omubala)

is:

  1. Lwa Ndugwa, lwa Katende.
  2. Sseruku lulengejja, simanyi lulingwira?
  3. Saagala balangajja, bw’ompa akawala ako ng’ebbanja liwedde.

 

14.Mbogo clan(Buffalo)

The secondary totem(akabbiro) Ndeweere and their clan head(owakasolya) is Kayiira Gaajule.They seat at Mugulu,Ssingo

Their clan motto(omubala)

is: ‘Katutu Kaagwa.’

15. Mazzi ga Kisasi clan

The secondary totem(akabbiro) is Ggongolo, and their clan head(owakasolya) is Wooyo. They seat at Kaska,Buddu.

16.Mbwa clan(Dog clan)

The secondary totem(akabbiro) is Kyuma kya mbwa, and their clan head(owakasolya) is Mutasingwa. They sit at Kiggwa, Busujju.

There clan motto(omubala)

is:Ntegereza Abataka kye baatukola.

17.Mpindi clan

The secondary totem(akabbiro) is Kiyindiru, and their clan head(owakasolya) is Mazige. They sit at MuyenjeBusiro.

18. Mmamba clan(Lungfish)

The secondary totem(akabbiro) is muguya and their clan head(owakasolya) is Gbunga.They seat at Ssagala,Busiro

.Their motto(omubala)

is:’Silya mmamba amazzi nya.Mbandaba okulya empola nebampita omukodo.Silya mmamba amazzi nya.’

19.Mpeewo clan(oribi)

The secondary totem(akabbiro)is kayozi, and their clan head(owakasolya) is Kiggye. They seat at Kkungu Kyandondo.

Their clan motto(omubala)

is Mpiima ne Nampiima bagenda e Kkungu

20.Musu clan(Cane rat)

The secondary totem(akabbiro)is kayozi(kangaroo rat), and their clan head(owakasolya) is Muyingo. They sit at Sama,Mawokota.

Their clan motto(omubala) is ‘Kivu kizze, okuluma n’okutwalana’

21. Mpologoma Clan (lion)

The secondary totem(akabbiro) is ngo and their clan head(owakasolya) is Namuguzi .They seat at Kasagga Bulemezi.

Their clan motto(omubala)is Namuguzi akaabira Kasagga

22 Mutima(heart) clan

The secondary totem(akabbiro)is Mawuggwe, and their clan head(owakasolya) is Kakeeto. They sit at Bbaala Buddu. Their clan motto is Kifa ennyanja, omuvubi y’abika

23. Nakisinge clan

The secondary totem (akabbiro) is kkunguvu, and their clan head(owakasolya) is Kyeyune. They sit at Mirembe Kyaggwe.

24.Ndiga(sheep) clan

The secondary totem(akabbiro) is mpologoma, and their clan head(owakasolya) is Lwoma. They sit at Mbaale,Mawokota.

Their clan motto (omibala) is ‘Nyabo Nabbosa, Mpaawo alimuliisa endiga.’

25. Ndiisa Clan

The secondary totem is (akabbiro) Namunye and their clan head(owakasolya) is Mulindwa.They seat at Mukungwe,Buddu.

26. Ngabi clan(bushbuck)

The secondary totem is (akabbiro) Jjerengesa, and their clan head(owakasolya) is Nsamba lukonge.Tthey seat at Buwanda,Mawokota.

Their clan mottoes (omibala) are:

  1. Tadde, Kakku.
  2. Kalikuta.

(“Kalikutanda ne kakutwala mu Bengabi Abasambaganyi”)

27. Ngaali clan(crested crane)

The secondary totem(akabbiro) is kasanke akeru, and their clan head(owakasolya) is Mawesano. They sit at Buzooba, Buddu.

Their clan motto(omubala) is:

Bwaali, bwaali wa nnyonyi abuuse abuuse —

Tudde, tudde e Buzooba, mu Kaabaana mulimu engo.

28 .Ngeye clan(colobus monkey)

The secondary totem (akabbiro) is Kunguvvu and their clan head(owakasolya) is Kasujja .They seat at Busujja,Busiro.

Their clan motto(omubala)

is: ‘Tatuula.’

29.Ngonge clan(otter)

The secondary totem (akabbiro)is Kanene, and their clan head(owakasolya) is Nakigoye Kisolo .They seat at Lweza Busujju.

Their clan mottoes(omibala) are:

Bakyanjankete.

Lwajjali.

30. Ngo clan (leopard)

The secondary totem (akabbiro) is Kasimba and their clan head(owakasolya) is Muteesasira.Tthey seat at Bukesa, Butambala.

Their clan mottoes(omibala) are:

Akaala k’engo nnamuzisa

Nabbuto ggwe mpita

31. Njaza Clan (reedbuck)

The secondary totem(akabbiro)is Ngujulu and their clan head(owakasolya) is Kitanda .They seat at Kirungu Kyaggwe.

Their clan mottoes(omibala) are:

  1. Ow’omugugu aliguta.
  2. Ssendabanyoro tentama
  3. Akaana k’enjaza, alikatta alikalya

32. Nkejje clan(sprat)

The secondary totem(akabbiro)is Nkejje Kiyemba and their clan head(owakasolya) is Kikwata .They seat at Namukuma,Kyaggwe.

Their clan motto(omubala) is ‘Kiiso kya mbuzi.’

33. Njovu clan(elephant)

The secondary totem(akabbiro)is Nvubu and their clan head(owakasolya) is Mukalo.They seat at Kambugu Busiro.

Their clan motto(omubala)

is ‘Nsimbye Amasanga, Nakate ajja.

34. Njobe clan(marsh antelope)

The secondary totem(akabbiro)is Bugaala, and their clan head(owakasolya) is Kiyise. They sit at Mpummudde, Ssingo.

Their clan motto(omubala)

is ‘Nsimbye Amasanga, Nakate ajja’

35. Nkerebwe clan(squirrel)

The secondary totem(akabbiro) is kikirikisi and their clan head(owakasolya) is Kidimbo .They sit at Budimbo, Ssingo.

Their clan motto(omubala)

is ‘Nkerebwe nkulu, esima ng’eggalira’

36. Nkima clan(monkey)

The secondary totem (akabbiro) is Byenda, and their clan head(owakasolya) is at Bugema. They sit at Bbira Busiro. Their clan motto(omubala) is ‘Talya Nkima.’

37. Nkula clan(rhino)

The clan head(owakasolya)

of this clan is NMuwangi, and they sit at Mayobe, Bugerere.

38. Nnamug’oona clan(crow)

The secondary totem(akabbiro) of this clan is mutima. Their clan head(owakasolya) is kajjabuwonga.They seat at Kyabuwngwa,Ggomba. Their clan motto(omubala) is ‘Yajja aseka, mu Kyambadde mulimu engo’

39. Nseenene clan(grasshopper)

The secondary totem (akabbiro) of this clan is Nabangogoma,their clan head(owakasolya) is Mugalula.They sit at Kisozi, Ggomba.

Their motto (omubala) is: Ggwe mpagi, ggwe luwaga.” Nakimera muka Ssuuna bw’asa bw’anegula Byala ne bigwa(Guno gwa mugalula)

40. Nyonyi Nnyange clan(Egret)

The secondary totem (akabbiro) of this clan is Kkunguvvu, their clan head (owakasolya) is Kakoto-Mbaziira .They seat at Bulimu -Kyaggwe.

Their clan mottoes (omibala) are:

‘Bampe omuggo neewerekeze’

‘Si Mwana Kijjolooto’

  1. Nsuma clan (fish)

The secondary totem(akabbiro) kasulubbana and their clan head (owakasolya) is kibondwe. They sit at Bukibondwe .

Their clan motto (omubala) is ‘Kibondwe yeddira Nsuma, Kibondwe atambula.’

  1. Nswaswa clan (monitor lizard)

This clan’s secondary totem (akabbiro) is Goonya, and their clan head(owakasolya) is Mayengo. They sit at Bugabo Buvuma.

Their clan motto is (omubala): ‘Mayengo tutu.’

  1. Ntalanganya clan (duiker)

This clan’s secondary totem (akabbiro) is Maleere, and their clan head (owakasolya) is Bbambaga.They seat at Bbambaga, Bulemeezi.

Their clan motto (omubala) is Omusajja Kalamazi ne jjo ndiramaga. Mussukundu Butiko

  1. Nte clan (cow)

The secondary totem (akabbiro) of this clan is Ngaali. Their clan head (owakasolya) is Katongole.They sit at Mulema, Buddu.

Their clan motto (omubala) is: “Ekyuma nkiridde n’omukimba ngulidde.”

  1. Nvubu clan (hippopotamus)

The secondary totem(akabbiro) of this clan Njovu and their clan head(owakasolya) is Kayita. They sit at Mbazzi,Kyaggwe.

Their clan motto(omubala)

is: Mu nnyanja weddiramu ki?: Nvubu

  1. Nvuma clan ( underwater plant)

The secondary totem (akabbiro) of this clan is Katinvuma their clan head (owakasolya) is Kyanddondo. They sit at Kawempe Kyanddondo.

Their clan motto(omubala) is: Mpaawo adduka (okulwana) aliddayo e Kyaddondo

The following clans are the ones that complete the list to make 52 but were not included on the Buganda official list of 1996

47 . Kasanke clan

48. Kibuba clan

49. Lukato clan

50. Mbuzi clan

51. Nkebuka clan

52. Nsunu clan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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