By Edward Nimusima
The Moonlight Festival is the core of any kingdom in Uganda. To many, basing on its name, they might think it’s a festival held under a bright African moon. No. The Moonlight Festival is a traditional ritual. And, this time round, Bunyoro Kingdom is having its celebrations. It’s as prestigious as it is traditional and deeply rooted in the Bunyoro Kingdom rich culture. Bunyoro Kingdom is the oldest kingdom in Uganda. The kingdom covers 5 districts (Masindi, Buriisa, Hoima, Kibale and Kiryandongo).
Busoga Kingdom has over 350 clans most of which claim to have originated from Bunyoro Kingdom. One such clan is the Igaga Clan, the biggest in the Kingdom under a single cultural leader, the Igaga. The first Igaga, Prince Byaruhanga, migrated from Bunyoro, crossed Koki chiefdom of Kamuswaga, sailed on L. Victoria and landed in the current forest of Kityerera, around 1350. He moved to Bukowe Hill in Bugweri chiefdom, sighted the Nhenda Hill and settled there. He produced children one of whom, Mutamba (Kawanguzi), migrated and founded the Busiki chiefdom.
Following the restoration of peace, the Karamajong is happiness reigns in Moroto. And happiness is synonymous with dance. You will be sorry to leave Moroto without experiencing their energy consuming dances.
One such is a Edonga, a dance that entails repeatedly jumping like the earth beneath one's feet is ablaze with hot charcoal. Like it, most of the dances showcase the unconditional love that the Karamajong have for their cattle and how they wouldn’t hesitate striking gunning down anyone who attempted to raid them. Their love is so strong, a partial reason as to why they only kill the cows if they really must. In this case, they carry out the execution in a way that is less agonizing to the skinny cows.
At the moment, the District does not have an established auditorium or setting where the dances can be seen. However, the locals are never hesitant to exhibit their dances at the request of a tourist. Regardless of where you bump into them, they will always put up for you a world-class-performance. In appreciation, you could offer them tips.