The flag of Buganda’s Kingdom

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By Eric Barigye

Welcome back to our weekly blog which explores a particular aspect of Ugandan life, to learn more about the people and place that plays host to our Adventure Like No Other.

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Each week, Eric will be helping us to explore all things Uganda!

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This week we will be continuing our study of the Buganda Kingdom’s (of whom Masaka is part) months of the year. Last time we looked at the first six months stating with Gatonnya (January) and ended with Sseebaaseka (June), which you can read here.

We will start with Kasambula, the name given to July. As mentioned previously Sseebaaseka is a month of great harvest. The farmers among us will know that after the harvests are complete, the land has to be cleared and that is where this month gets its name. “Kasumbula” literally means clear the land. This is done in preparation for a new planting.

The month of August bears the name Muwakanya. “Okuwakanya” can mean argue or dispute, and is the inspiration for the name for August. This month is filled with rain showers and thunderstorms. It became folklore that there was a great fight raging between two seasons in the sky.  Depending which one of these seasons won, a time of plenty or less would follow, hence the name.

September is given the name Mutunda. Like Kafuumuulampawu this is another month that gets its name from white ants. The “Ntunda” white ants that surface during this month are different to the “Mpawu” which appear in April. As mentioned previously, white ants are eaten by many among the Baganda people and this is also where this month gets its name.

Mukulukusa bitungotungo is the name given to October. “Ntungo” is Luganda word for sesame seeds. This month is a time of harvest for the popular seeds that were planted earlier in the year. Given their size, the farmers find while harvesting these seeds, it is inevitable that some will spill and land on the ground. This month precedes a time of great rains which will come and “Kukulukusa(drag) the seeds to different places.  This inspires this month’s name.

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Watch Eric’s vlog to help with the pronunciations of the Buganda names!

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November is given Museenene. Yet another coming of a flying insect is celebrated with this month’s name. “Nsenene” is the Luganda word for grasshoppers. Many people would agree that grasshoppers are the most popular local snack for the people of this region when they are in season. With this status, it is no surprise they have a month named after them. This is also a month of great rains.

Last but not least it’s the month of Ntenvu, December. “Ntenvu” are little white worms much like maggots that are rarely seen these days. They are both regional and seasonal specific and this makes them hard to identify in English. It is known to have been a pest that appeared in this time and therefore it inspired this month’s name.

These are Buganda’s last Six months of the year! Thank you for getting this far and we hope you join us as we continue this journey with us.

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