Sunday, November 26, 2006

The different levels of respect in Acholiland( Aromo Alice)

Elders in Acholiland always call for the youth and the young people to respect one other. There's a say in Lou that (OYOO KI RUBU KI PORO KI REKKE) meaning " Rats are supposed to be stringed according to their groups or sizes for that matter". You know in the olden days men in that land used to eat some rat species (edible ones of course) and they are always eaten roasted on sticks on the open fire. So in order not to get some burnt or uncooked, you have to group them according to their sizes and types. Hence this example of comparing the rats and the different age groups in gatherings, almost have the same implication. For example when there is a big occasion somewhere you find that a group of old people, medium sizes, and the young ones sit together according to their ages respectively and if you fail to follow or to sit according to your group, elders must give you a punishment.


When eating time especially when a bull is killed , there is a particular part which is meant for respecting the elders. The most important part is the Tongue (Lep) therefore you find that, that part is for the elders only. The head is always given to the nephew ( a daughter's son hailing from another clan of course). At all eating places , whether the homestead or a funeral place, children sit by themselves , of course boys separate from the girls and the elder women and the younger ones too by themselves so all the different age groups you can imagine will each be having their separate gathering. It's only at the evening fireplace where everyone share the same place though the different groups also have their particular area that they normally will be sitting. All these was meant to instill respect for one another wherever you are. Such are the kind of wisdom that the Acholi elders used to convey to their young ones.

Social life by Buzu Jenifer

In every Africa society you always find naturally people are categorized to do different function for the development of their society. The traditional leaders ‘rwot’ who normally preside over matters between clan or group so that things could go with total freedom and mutual understanding amongst the people they lead and bring about cooperation.

These are the traditional leaders who are the local doctors naturally trained by god to work with herbs to cure sickness and related problems like injuries during war or when people go hunting in the bush, people around the community go to such leaders to traditional medicine for protection of life. In most case water is spring led claiming to be water of life. With such believes that is why Africans at the time when Europeans were coming to colonize Africa, they resisted despite the machine guns they had.

The elders who are opinion leaders or consultants are very important groups of people in the society and African take them a well furnished library or source of information in all aspects of life. And also in most cases the naturally gifted people in dances, singers work together with the traditional leaders and such dancers, singers express a particular situation like war, peace, ceremonies and many other social aspects of life.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Naming could be used to pass information(by Atim Jenny)

Acholi as a group of people have a way of passing massage and information through naming of children in a cultural way that signify situations, relationship and possibly inherit from forefathers. Naming to help memorial situation of war! For example Olweny, Omony and in situation of famine, names like okech, is used and when death occurs Otto, Odongkara, and Onen are the names used. These that begins with Letter ‘O’ are applied to boys and the difference in naming of girls in this situation is that instead of beginning with’O’, it begins with ‘A’.

Relationship between parents and among the extended family generally are remembered for example ‘Ociti’ implies that mother and father were most likely to divorce the time when mother was pregnant but due to intervention from relatives, they did not divorce so such babies when the mother gives birth, they are named ‘Opoka’ for boys and for girls ‘Apoka’. Whereas ‘Omara’ are given to baby born whose parents have too much love for the other and also if the mother is loved by the extended family.

Children could also be named in memory of forefathers who were of great importance in the society. They do name like that so that may be the baby can take the same dignity of that person. That is why even when some important person visits a mother who has just given birth, they name that person. Naming also signify to remember important days. Like when Clinton former president of America visited Uganda, mothers who gave birth on that day named their children Clinton.

The Baganda Introduction Ceremony.(musisi Moreen)

In Buganda when two people meet and fall in love, a man has to organize an introduction ceremony, which requires him to go to the woman’s parents to pay a bride price. With him, friends and relatives help in meeting the financial costs of the ceremony, which are worth the bride price. Among the things that are bought with the money include sugar, salt, green vegetables, rice, goats, cows, and also inclusive are the brides outfits, unties, uncles, and the rest of the family, depending on their financial status.

On this day fifty men are chosen from the man’s side and fifty from the woman’s side, these putting on kazoos, which is the men’s attire of the ceremony, and women putting on Gomes’s for the women, they attack the woman’s parents smartly dressed. On this ceremony they talk about number of issues through which also a dission is made about the dates of the marriage. From the side of the man people come carrying baskets on their heads to the master of the ceremony. There after the woman’s side prepares and serves food to the visitors, the husband to be selects some close relatives to share the meal with in the main house, while the rest are left in the courtyard.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Acholi warious dance called "Otole"{By Aruba James}

Acholi community as a whole has some special dances that are performed for . specific functions. It is normally performed in some functions before the clan leaders and intime of war .One of this dance is called " Otole ", in English it is called Warious dance

Otole dance is a war dance that is performed intime of war and in its preparation . The people engage in this kind of dance normally remains in a bad mood showing the kind of unhapiness and they jump up and down ,left and right while holding spears as if they are going to spear people . The women also dance together with men whie showing bad moods to.Watching this kind of dance is actually not nice because of the bad moods of the dancers. They sing and dance while almost shading tears .

The men are dressed in a skin of animal while holding shield for protection or guarding against the enemy .In this dance also when you misbehave ,you can easily be speared and there would be no complain for that and you will not be compensated . That is briefly about" Otole "dance .

Some proverbs in Acholi{By Aber Dorin}

proverbs in Acholi community has different meanings for every proverb and also it teaches people on a number of things. .Below are some few of the proverbs that I can give with their meanings:- One stone can not shot two Birds at ago.This implies that , when you are taking one programme ,you should always aim at completing it first then move to the next one so that two ways do not confuse you.

Another proverb by Acholi people is that A word for a Wise man is enough ,which means repeating things time and agin is tiresome and make peoples mind exousted. Once you are told some thing you need to pick it right . This helps people to understand who they are and what they are suppose to do

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The meaning of some names in Acholi.{By Lucy Okello}

Most of the names in Acholi has different meanings and it is always named with different interest .For example the name Ayaa, Okeny ,Aber, Acan and Ocan.
When naming children , the names are always given accoding to the interest of the parents of the child .If the parents do not like the name given, It can be changed to another name according to their interest.If not ,the name may be there but they will not use the name . The meanings of the names above are looked at as below:-


The name Ayaa means, the only girl born among the boys in the farmily and the girl always have a lot of responsibilities to handle as a girl .This is because there is no any other girl {s} to help her doing other works which is basically for girls. The name Okeny is the opposite to the name Ayaa which means,the only boy born in the farmily among girls, The name Aber also means the girl who is soo beutiful and nice, The name Acan also means poverty or the girl born out of poverty. And the name Ocan is the opposite of the name Acan which means poverty or the boy born out of poverty.That is briefly all about different meaning of names in Acholi.

How the Acholi community value children{By Ajok Evalyn}

The Acholi community has a very nice and unique culture that started long time ago and they realy love the culture . They are always proud of any thing they do and what they have . Some times ago there used to be no bank for the purpose of saving money and people were not valuewing money soo much as a wealth but they were valuewing Cattle, children and crops grown as their source of wealth. They were only using money for paying school fees, bride price and other minor expences and that money is also got out of cattle , crops and bride price from girls.

Let me talk about children as the regarded wealth of Acholi community . They regard children as their wealth in the fallowing ways:-
The more children you have ,the more wealth you have because interms of domestic work, they contrubute much. They are also a source of protection to the farmily if any one comes from outside to abuse the farmily, boys in that farmily will always handle it .They also look at the children as a way of expanding the clan that will make the generation continues.

Planting some crops by Acholi community.{Arach Mangret}

In Acholi community ,crops are normally planted according to seaons and the duration that a particular crop takes.For example millet is planted two times a year which also have two seasons. The first season starts from the month of march with heavy rain fall amount and ends in ealy june with little amount of rain fall . The second season starts from the month of August and ends in the month of december ie the month for harvest.

Preperation starts from the month of january by ploughing the land and by february, millet is planted while it is still shinning heavily .The seed remains in the soil waiting for the rain to fall and it falls in march ,there after the seed will germinate after the fisrt rain falls heavily. Weeding starts after three to four weeks. the first harvest for the first season is done during the month of june. Planting for the second season commence from septmber and the harvest is in the month of december.

In Acholi community,millet serves the fallowing fanctions:-It is grown for home consumption, and making local brewery.

The value of a Woman in the past and today ( Jenifer Opoka ).

Marriage in Acholi society is considered when a person paid the bride price for the girl he want.

In the past in acholi Land women were so important at home. because they they helped in doing domestic work at Home. Like taking care for children,cooking food, weeding etc
for one to become a woman she has to be matured from her parent.
Untill she can does all the above activties and enough age for marriage eg above 25 years old.
But today the camps lives made a girl of 13 years old going for marriage,which is so distructive to our culture. this is becase people are living in camps.which creats difficulties in parent to control their daughters.

In the past our grant,grant parent and grant parent. were marriage using cattle, goats, chicken and even sheeps. Plus big sum of money. But in camps lives today in northern uganda agirl go for marriage without any bride price being paid. If paid then by the used of paper money ,since the war has
distroyed all our domestic lives stocks. I may end by saying peace should prevailed so first in northern uganda.

Many mice can not make a hole{A Proverb by Acaa Sareta}

Acholi has very many proverbs with different meanings which also serve different functions . One of which is "Oyoo mapol pe golo ot", In English this means, "Many mice cannot make a hole."
This implies that, too many people doing a work always the outcome is very low or poor. If Some people are lazy definately the rest will feel cheated and tend to relax and in the end nothing is done.

This proverb is always to encourage people to have a part to play in a given team work so that each one knows what excatly to do at a given period of time . It also encourages the nuclear farmilies to have everyone in the family know what their particular resposibilities are.

In other senses, this will mean employing too many people to do one thing should be discouraged , because the more they are the less that will be accomplished.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Few Proverbs from Acholiland ( by Thomas Odong)

Here are just afew from the long list of proverbs that still prevails in our land, there are two versions , Lwo and English to help translate for the non Lwo speakers.
Lwo - Gin Marii Doko Gweng
English - keeping something for too long makes it a stone
Meaning- the longer you keep something, the more useless it becomes.

Lwo - Gwok woto kama gobole iye kwon.
English - A dog goes where it's given bones.
Meaning - People only loves where they are well recieved.

Lwo - Lak matar ayee ngwee
English - It's the white teeth that are smelly
Meaning- Those whom you believe to be good are the worst ones.

Lwo - Odoo mabor pe goyo twol
English - A long stick does not beat a snake
Meaning - When something /body is far away, it's not of much help.

Lwo - Te Okono pe giputu
English- Don't uproot the pumpkins
Meaning - Do not throw away old things you may need to come back to it one day.

These are just e few of the proverbs that are still being used to date, I had the favour of growing up with my grandfather and managed to get so much of our culture which is really so rich and would advise young children to always stay close to the elders so as to have all these informal education from them.

Whose Property have I spoilt (Adyero Lucy)

This proverb in Acholi Land which includes some of the lwo speaking people ,derived from the story of a woman.
The woman had a very young daughter and a man came and asked for her hand in marriage So people started complaining about the woman accepting the marriage for that young girl. Then she replied by saying "whose properties have I spoilt." The girl is mine,not any body's daughter.Which made all the Acholi people to used it us a saying whenever they are for discussion.

How wisdom was passed on to the children in Acholi Land (Lanyero Josephine)

First of all, I would like to recognise the wisdom that the elders in Acholi used to have compared to the current situation, you find that. there is really a big change. Long ago the parents had so many ways of passing information to their children,and they could understand very well.
In a home, there used to be what we called (wang-oo) that is the "campfire" where all the children gathered and shared alot of experience with the elders through story telling, poems, and proverbs.

As for the mothers when it's time for harvesting simsim, they always carry bundles of simsim for the children to crack the pods so as to get the seeds out. In the process, lessons are given to the children e,g you find that when there is a sturborn child, they bring in a proverb like (Dyel ma lapele tur i bad dero)meaning that , "a sturbon goat always breaks at the grandnary," meaning the elder is telling you that if you don't listen to what you are told , you will always get problems , or sometimes can say (Latek keng wii ogwang ma otwo) meaning that "those who never want to be sent will always miss good things," and you find children really changed and behaving well, such were the wise ways our forefathers used to educate their young ones. I practically attended such lectures and still adores my parents for that, but things have long changed especially with the current war situation that our children are living in, sometimes you find their characters intolerable, how I wish we could go back to that kind of life !

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Wise African Living;Blood pack (Judith Achaa).

In african community blood pack is being looked at as sacrifices. This is normally done in our culture the Acholi culture to proved love.Which showed that you are ready to die with your friend.
.
The blood pack is carried by both of you cutting your bodies using any sharp objects.Then the blood that come out of your body you give it to your friend.You also get his/her blood drink it inoder to have permanent relationship.

Incase one of you died sacrfice has to be made.If not you will all die,assistance can be given by sloughtering of goat and the dead body is not supose to pass through the door .Only the back of the house wall will be cut and the coffin passes through.Without the remaining person seeing.Untill thebody is buried then the person get out.

Wise African Living: Marriage

This is how the Acholi people get their marriage partners. A boy can organise himself plus a friend with whom he goes to the home of the girl he is intersted in (for marriage), after reaching the girl's home, the family of the girl can welcome them whether or not they know them. The girl would take them to her mothers house and the mother would leave the house for them to discuss with her daughter and after the discussion, the girl will escort them on their way back.
In the evening the girls mother would ask her who the visitors were and she will tell the mother what is on the ground that "these people are interested in marrying me" the mother will then ask her daughters opinion as regards the matter and when she says yes then the mother proceeds to ask the caln of the boy in a way of verifying if they are not related.
And back on the boy's side, he will also discuss with his family members that he has found a friend (lover) whom he needs to marry. He will be asked of the clan of the lady to know if she is from a good home. It is upon the consent of the boy's family members that the boy is given power to get the girl and tell her parents that her visitors are comming on such and such a day in the procees of marriage.
The mother of the girl will call on the members of the girls family informing them that her daughter will be having visitors comming on a such a day to bring the report about marrying the girl.
The boy will prepare himself along side his father and brothers to go to the lady's home as indicated on prior arrangements and on their arrival, they will be welcomed in to the house prepared for them (the house of mother in-law), the house would be smired using cow dung and they will sit on animal skins (hides).
Then the father in-law will ask the visitors who they are. The father of the boy would answer that they have brought a report to marry her daughter and the father in-law ask her daughters if she know the people who have come.
The father in-law will give them the total of the items to be brought to marry her daughter. They will then agree on the day to bring those things to the family of the girl and on the day agreed upon the boy's family will bring what they have prepared, it does not neccessarily mean every thing should be brought at once.

The Acholi Homestead: By Adong Nighty

One of the most adored culture of the Acholi which has amost disappeared with the war and which am sure people will not stop mourning over is the homestead setup.

The Acholi homesteads were planned in such a way that all the sons in the home would build their huts surrounding that of their parents, the parent's huts were in the middle of the homestead symbolising the fact that they are the pillars on which the family stands.

The family structures were mostly extended families, but the huge family sizes did not soil up the spirit of togetherness in that all the family members would eat together when food was prepared, even in the polygamous homes the same spirit of generosity was in abundance without even the list tendency of a wife segregating agaist a child of a co-wife.

The members of the family also did alot in together, Ladies would go fetching water together, collecting fire wood together and the boys in the same way also went hunting and looking after cattle together.. Individualism was minnimal as people did most of their thing together to an extent that when one wanted to dig or weed his garden, he could invite his brothers and neighbours to come and help him, and the next time he is also invited and the trend continued.
One of the most adored culture of the Acholi which has amost disappeared with the war and which am sure people will not stop mourning over is the homestead setup.

The Acholi homesteads were planned in such a way that all the sons in the home would build their huts surrounding that of their parents, the parent's huts were in the middle of the homestead symbolising the fact that they are the pillars on which the family stands.

The family structures were mostly extended families, but the huge family sizes did not soil up the spirit of togetherness in that all the family members would eat together when food was prepared, even in the polygamous homes the same spirit of generosity was in abundance without even the list tendency of a wife segregating agaist a child of a co-wife.

The members of the family also did alot in together, Ladies would go fetching water together, collecting fire wood together and the boys in the same way also went hunting and looking after cattle together.. Individualism was minnimal as people did most of their thing together to an extent that when one wanted to dig or weed his garden, he could invite his brothers and neighbours to come and help him, and the next time he is also invited and the trend continued.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Naming in Africa cultures by Balex Omwony

Naming to African cultures and particularly to the Acholi has some important meaning, showing situation like war, famine, poverty, poor relation, extended family and clan. Names like Omwony are given to a baby boy during war times so that to remind people of “mony” which means war and for girls is Amwony.

Aname like Okech is a boy born during a period of famine or Akech for Girls, and Ocan is named to a boy born in poor family. 0poka is a name given to remind people where family would not forget a period of poverty, bad relation within extended family Omara is named to mean to love not forgetting Kony to mean help

Ankole marriage by Besigye John

For many years Ankole marriage was so difficult compared to nowa days because parents were the ones to look for their sons and daughters whom they were to marry. A son or a daughter could be told a day before that he/she was to recieve a visitor. And always happened in the evenings. Parents looked for rich families for their daughters and so sons for beautyful girls. It does not matter how handsome a boy is because they always say a" handsome boy is a rich one"

The bad thing with this culture that I belong to is that those days your father is the first to have sexual intercourse with the son's wife that to teach her what to do and find out if the girl is virgin and also for the bride wealth he was to pay for his son! In Lunyankore its " Okuleba Eyente Zigyire" which means to see where his cows have goen because parents of the girls always took very many heads of cattle in exchange with their daughters it used to be 20 heads of cattle or even 100 depending on the wealth of the family. This tradition is fading though some are still doing.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Acholi traditional dance "Apiti" by Ataro Margret

Acholi traditional dance "Apiti"


This is an Acholi traditional dance whish is normally performed during peace full situation when harvest is finished, plenty of food, people are peaceful and relax. It expresses jot and sigh of freedom.

It normally composes of men and women. Men are clad uniformly with short and bear chest, holding spear and shield in their hands, play the drums. Women on the other hand are clad with kikoy, which runs from waist to nearly ankle join with the upper body respectively honored with a full petty kind of women dress.

They tie jungle bell round their legs normally right leg, and holding a kind of designed stick in their right hand and dance moving round in a single line while men dance from the out side showing care and protection of the women who are mothers to all. This is a wonderful dance and is well entertaining.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Wise African Living

Ochii Richard

Dingi dingi

This is one of traditional dances organized for courtship and it is composed of boys and girls who dance some attractive rhythm putting the dances across to the public whereby that particular person becomes popular and potential for partnership in marriage.

So dingi dingi has some very important costumes which at all cost must be put on during the show. For men should dress in a pair of shorts and nice short sleeved shirt.

Men play the drums, calabash and tents in their line arrange in such a way that girls dance before them in public. For girls make very nice temporary fashion from kikoy from their waist down and a little bit above their knee, with beads on their waist and neck. On their leg above the ankle some tie jingle bell which jungle according to rhythm. A referee who is a very tactful girl normally has a whistle to make sure all the team follow the song, style and performance and another girl who moves very swiftly signalizing to other dancers to maintain the lining arrangement. This each rhythm is guided by a particular song.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Proverb for Ankole (Rose Mbabazi)

This is a proverb from Ankole in western uganda. It is from the kinyankole tribe.

"Linda kihweyo akacumita omukira"

It means that if one waits for time before taking action at the appropriate time on any given issue, will miss the fruit thereof and it qwill be a great loss.

I learnt this proverb when I was still young living with my grand mother in the village. Wealways had story times late in the evening before we allretired to bed. These were precious times when I was growing up.

I learn alot from this proverb. If you are told to do something, do it immediately before
you lose the goodness and profit of it. We lose alot of things and opportunities because, we are slow and lazy to act and then regret later on. Weshould learn to act when, how, why, and where whenever it is the right and appropriate and wise thing to do.

I would like to learn how to make paper beads, bracelets of different types, table cloths and many other things like mats baskets hats, bags. I also was to learn english and also
learn how to write it. I believe my life would be better off if i learned to read and write.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Circumcision In Eastern Uganda (Keefa Poloto)

I lived in the eastern ugandan disgtrict of Mbale where it is the norm to circumcise men. It is a very important rite of passage for all men from the Bagisu tribe. This also what distinguishes them form men of other ugandan tribes.

I learned of this tradition while staying in Mbale for a while.I went through my primary education while in Mbale district.

Its have a very high value among the Bagisu. Any man who on whom this rite is not performed is not considered a man but merely a boy who cannot even marry a wife.You are always laughed at and despised by all society. You cannot ask a girl to even just be a girlfriend. It is a very dead seriously thing to bve circumcised.

I would like to learn how to use a computer because, this world is moving much faster than I can cope. I would also like to learn alot more about other cultures around uganda and Africa at large. I find that African cultures are very unique and quite different form the rest of the world.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Proverbs from the Batooro Tribe of Uganda by Joy Kabalisa

"Akutwala bwizire akusiima bwakire" meaning, he who helps you at night, you always appreciate in the morning.

"Akagambo komukuru guba mukaro" meaning the elders word is wisdom.

"Ekitemba haiguru otegera hansi" meaning whatever goes up you wait from down.


"Amaino madoma gasekera akunobere" the teeth are stupid they smile for your enemy.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Bakiga Proverb by Becky Mbabazi

My name is Becky Mbabazi a mukiga by tribe from Kabale district in western part of Uganda. In my culture proverbs are commonly used to instill sense in children and also act as guide lines for the people not togo astray in their actions. Proverbs are also used instead of direct rebukes to one who has defaulted. They are words of wisdom and so it is wise to use them.

I will share two common proverbs that I learnt from my Father and also grandfather respectively “Akatii karainikwa kakyari kabisi “meaning that a stick can only be bent when it is still fresh, if you try to bend it when it is already dry it will definitely break. This is used often times to alert the proverbs to discipline their children when they are still young and can hid advise. It is close to impossible for an adolescent to hid advice if it hadn’t been given earlier. This proverb relates to the English one that says spare the rod and spoils the child. This proverb also alerts the parents that charity begins at home.

“Nyantahurira akarya erisho rye” meaning that he who failed to listen ate his own eye. This proverb has a story following it that there was famine in the land and when people came together, they decided to pluck out their eyes and one person was chosen to cook the eyes while others kept away to discuss the next step after the eye issue. Instructions followed that the cook should not dare to taste, but in the process of cooking he had to taste one to see if they were ready for eating so he called others back together. These members had come to a conclusion that they cannot do without their eyes so each one had to get back his pair of eyes, but the cook was supposed to be the last one to get back his pair, so he ended up with one eye because he had eaten his own eye earlier.

This proverb is important that it alerts people to take advice and instructions seriously. One is responsible for their mistakes always when they fail to take advice.

With the above proverb, I call for comment s and also would like to some views on how other cultures look at proverbs.

The Funeral Rites in Acholi ( Acen Doreen)

I have seen most of the different rites that is practiced in Acholiland , but the one for the funeral still impress me most . I don't know whether it's becauase it involve the invoking of the spirit of the dead person , or it's just my fantacy.

When a person dies, he has to be buried immediately lest he decides to go with another person. So after that , if a man then three days after burial, okey the third night, his spirit is brought back home by a woman and a man . The man keeps on blowing a horn while with a spear in his left hand , While the woman carries an oiled leaf , an egg and keeps on calling the name of the dead until they enter into the house where the spirit is meant to rest. This is repeated three times. Everybody would be gathered in the dark house and chanting his names and telling him they still love him, this is done to recieve him. This process is again repeated at the first cockcrow. Then the real celebrations begin early in the morning with those who took part in the digging of the grave washing their hands and all the tools that have been used and this water is poured near the grave. this is done to cleanse them.

I think this is really amazing to believe that this person is always going to be with the rest of the family, where he will be listening to every conversation and sometimes he is also given his favourite food just at the place he is believed to be.
I have been attending so many funerals and this is where I picked all this from.
Maybe it would also be nice to know what happens in the different parts of the world!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Chicken fried with rice by Asiimwe margaret

Chicken fried with rice is the best dish that most people in my community like. Below is how it is prepared

INGREDIENTS
½ cup sliced green onions.
¼ cup sliced celery
¼ cup chopped red bell pepper.
1 crushed clove garlic
½ teaspoon grated ginger root
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons of peanut oil
6 tablespoons of eggbeaters
3 cups cooked regular long grain rice, prepared in un-salted water
2 cups cooked diced chicken
2 table spoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon of sugar
METHODS
Put in a large non-stick skillet, over high heat, sauté green onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic, ginger crushed red pepper in oil until tender crisp. Pour eggbeaters into skillet, cook while stirring occasionally until mixture is set.
Stir in rice, chicken, soy sauce and sugar, and then cook until heated through and at this time its ready to eat. I learnt this from Women Education Center vocational institute of catering.

The Royal Sauce( Dek Ngoo) by Angee Rose

THE ROYAL DISH (DEK NGOO) GUINEA PEA SAUCE

SERVES 6

Ingredients:


1. Guinea Peas- 1kg cracked in two using Grinding stone


2. Bicarbonate of soda – locally made out of (sim sim stalk ash)


3. Peanut butter 1/4 kg

4. Sheanut butter (served on top or at table)


Method:



1. Sock the peas in hot water to remove remaining coated skin, wash till very clean.

2. Boil the guinea peas in soda until very tender

3. Keep stirring with wooden spoon till smooth (Can use blender in modern days)

4. Add the peanut butter and mix properly.

5. Serve in local clay bowls with melted shear- nut butter on top with millet bread or potatoes.

This is a very special dish which was originally served for royal people on visits or such other occasion that involves them.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Acholi traditional leadership (By Pamela)

In Acholi traditional understanding leaders are elected by the commuinty depending on how one behaves in the commuinty. if one is so cooperative in the society and also intellegence basing on the culture of the commuinty such a person is elected a leader. For example a person who knows the origin or the meaning of some thing like why some body or certain place is called so is considered to be a leader because incase of any trouble with other tribe, such a person can defend the community and its culture.

Even in the families parents always like the children who are clever to over take their belonging when they die. though some parents tend to give powers to the first born sons but it is always wise for the Acholi people to see among the children who is able to lead others and able to unit others. When I was still young my grand used to tell me that I would be a leader because I was so much attentive to his sayings.

However oginally, Acholi people like to be led by the elders because they are believed to have known alot. but I wonder wheather this also happens in other parts of the world!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Acholi Traditional Marriage (By Okidi Bosco)

In Acholi traditions, every body has to get married at the age of 18years and above. This concerns those who have either droped out of school, or did not attend school. Marriage can be organised by the parents without the concert of the couples. A parent of the boy may after seeing or appreciating the duaghter of his friend of different clan then sits and comes to an agreement that his son should marry the friends' duaghter which later the father tells his son that so and so's duaghter is the right person for me to pay for you daworry if you are to marry.

Likewise it is the mother to tell her duaghter the boy she is to get married with. However this system is disappearing but any how parents are concerned in far as marriage is concerned. Any body who fails to marry is considered as curse or unbonormality and in most cases the eleders are called upon to moniter the matter. For those who gets married, children are the fullfilment of marriage and failure to produce children may also lead to breakages of marriage.

In shoosing marriage, girls have to look for the boys who are well off interms of cattle becuase this is what the parents of the girls expect and always force thier children to get married. Traditionaly the parents of the boy has to pay five heads of cattle, six goats, and house holds right from the needle to the clothes of the parents. But the bad thing with paying the bride price, if a woman divoces, the parent of the girl have to return the Heads of the cattle and the goats as the agreement is made during the ceremony.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Smoked Beef in peanut butter sauce ( Florence Abalo)

This is one of the most famous dishes that originates from Acholiland. Initially , the most preferable one was the game meat as the Acholi people were known to be hunters, it was their main delicacy. These days though, things have quite changed, and beef is intead smoked to give a similar taste.

Ingridients (Serves 4)

1 - 1 kg smoked beef (fillet or top side)

2 - 1/4 kg peanut butter (smooth)

3 - Three medium sized tomatoes

4 - 11/2 litre water

5 - Salt to taste


METHOD:

1 - Boil smoked meat with salt in water, until tender

2 - Add chopped tomatoes and boil for furher 5 minutes

3 - Remove from heat and separate from cooking liquid and reserve liquid

4 - Add peanut butter to little cooking liquid , Stir until thick and smooth with wooden spoon, add remaining liquid while stirring, until sauce is slightly thin and very smooth. Check seasoning.Warm gently on low heat taking care not to boil it.

5- Serve warm or hot , with boiled rice, or 'posho'( maize corn bread) or 'matooke'(green bananas) or sweet potatoes.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

"Lakotokoto" Simsim sauce (By Akwero Evalyn)

Akwero Evalyn says that in Acholi simsim (sesame seeds) sauce for meat is called lakotokoto and this is how it is prepared:

Ingredients:
- 1/2kg of simsim
- 1/2kg of smoked meat
- two tomatoes

Methods:

- Wash simsim
- Dry simsim in the sun
- Pound
- Drip some water in the pounded simsim
- Squeezing is done to get the oil
- Boil the meat
- Drop the pounded simsim in while the meat is boiling
- Cut your two tomatoes then add on mixed meat and simsim and enjoy either with smoked or millet bread and you will discover the secret.

The whole process takes one hour.

Monday, March 13, 2006

My Acholi Name (from Ceiye Bosco)

CEIYE is my name,it was given to me by my parents and in our culture they used to give names acording to the prevailing stuation.therefore by the time i was born family members hard started migrating from their home areas to other places that were far away from their ralatives dua to misunderstandings between families this was commonly in brothers,sisters,inlaws and the grand parents so the Ceiye name explains all that has been mentioned above.

I would there fore like to let the rest of the peaple know that ever since i got to know the meaning of my name i learnt how to share and live with peaple in good terms and who ever reads this should also learn what it means.For getting the time when i was still young and when i hard just known what my name means,i could always feel bad when they called me by that name but now Iam grown up i know what it means by having such a name.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Naming of children in Acholiland (by Monica Achaa)

The culture of naming children in Acholi land is one the most amazing pratices that still prevails in this northern part of the country. Unlike the other tribes whose names comes from the clan that you originate from, ours is a result of a circumtance that would have affected someone at that time of birth.

It would be more clarifying if I give a few of such names. Mine for example is a very interesting one, I was born with the sac on so 'kichaa' means a sac thus Achaa for agirl and others say opiru for the same thing , we then have the boys called Opiru. 'Can' is poverty so 'Ocan' and 'Acan' are the names given , when a family have problems. If a wowan is not liked in the home, she names the boy 'Kidega' -- 'am hated'. Such are the situations which are used in naming, apart from the twins who have automatic ones-- like Apiyo and Acen for girls and replace the 'As' with 'Os' for the boys. then Akello for their followers and Adong for the next one, and Aol is the last of the twins line , you can then start the normal naming, if you have more children after the twins.

Being one of my grandmother's most favourite grand children, I have been very close to her and I managed to get all that has to do with our culture from her, I really feel that she must have been the most caring grandma in the world.

Acholi Dance Culture (by Nighty Ayaa)

Hailing from the northern part of the country, I always have a feeling that we are really the most blessed people who have the richest culture in the whole country. this ranges from dances , cooking ( over 80 dishes) and then the different customary practices , to mention a few.

This time I will mainly be dwelling on the different types of dances and the particular occassions when they are performed.I have picked on four major ones.

1--- ' Bwola' This is the royal dance, which is mainly perfomed when installing a chief or when welcoming a special guest.

2----' Otole' -- This is a war dance - though these days it can be done for entertainment.The Acholi people are very particular people who even have theguts to dance even when going to fight,

3--' Larakaraka'-- The youth's dance, this as the name depics, is danced by the youths who are still looking for partners. On many occassions , it takes about a week once organised and by the end of it , most would have got their would be spouses.

4-- ' Dingidingi' --- This is yet another one for the youths, but is more of an entertainment other than any specific meaning. Though the boys also take the opportunity to get the girls with the most flexible waist - because it's done by twisting the waist.

I was so lucky that I got to know all these, when I was a young girl and would join my friends at the arena, Oh! those were really lovely days, I wish they could come back.

Adhola proverbs (by Ocola Julius)

Proverbs: In African traditonal society, allmost all the African tribes, like speaking in proverbs and more so among the luo speakers like the Japadholas. These proverbs are only used by the elders, clan leaders and adults so that to defferreciate between the elders and the young ones. The reasons for the use of proverbs by the elders are to show macurity and also to avoid certain words beeng spoken openly for the children to know what is beyond their age and also these are short forms of talking among the elders.

A proverb like '' Berigaperin'' means that better to have your own! In this case one may go to beg some thing and fails to be given may be the owner is using or merely refuses to give or gives you but before you finish using, the owner has come for it! Another common proverb is ‘‘Mupothoiburiangeni’’ means that one bird in the hand is worthy two in the bush. To a Luo speaker like Japadhola, it is very important to take care of what you have got than thinking of many that you may not get.

I learnt these proverbs from my grandfather but today proverbs are so much used even among the youths because of education as they get from the books like Bibles, students compahnion and politics. I my self like speaking in proverbs because it is a very interesting way of talking and makes the listner feels and thinks what the person is meaning. It is cultural for the clan leaders when adressing the community or comphaining for any leadership to speak in proverbs to show that he is wise to be leader.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Acholi proverb by (Kilama George)

NGAT MA OCITO ITE KONGO PE MATO LAJALATA

The meaning of this proverb is that when one takes the initiative to personal reach to where local brew is being brewed, he always drinks the purest brew. Beer like to date was an important aspect in the lives of Africans and the society at large. It was instrumental in making friend ship sine a community would gather to share a glass, bottle or a full pot of local brew.entatainment was a companied in places where such local bars existed and undoubtedly dances of young girls and potential older women entertained the people of the community.

We should however not forget that local brew was so important in times of marriege; the groom was meant to give three to four Jericans of local brew as part of bride price to the brides parents. Though in the past big calabashes were used to carry this brew the culture still exists todate. This thus confirmed full possession of the bride by the groom among other goodies given to the girl’s parents. And in all locally conducted marriages local brew is the last thing the organizers of the ceremony should for get. This was a story told to me by my grand father who saw and new the importance of local brew, it the same story am telling and this story will live ever young as one in my Africa community (Acholi).

This proverb originates from the Acholi peaple and it means that, in case one wants to do something in life say you want to join a certain profession, want to know a certain fact an item or a girl you want to marry or information about some one demise, you are better off finding the information or facts your self disregarding rumors or here say to be on a safer side or to get the best of information. This will have save you from miss information and later trouble.

I would there fore want learn of how one can marry from a different culture

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Smoked Fish Stew (by Zarina Abdulghani)

Served over rice or pasta, Zarina's recipe for smoked fish stew has become a favorite in the expat home where she works as a cook. She makes it with smoked tilapia from Lake Victoria, but any smoked white fish should work.

Ingredients:

2 cloves crushed garlic
1 finely chopped onion
a bit of cooking oil
2-3 ripe tomatoes, diced
3 T. tomato paste
water
1 tsp. curry powder
a pinch of dill
1 medium sized smoked fish (without bones - shreddedor cut into cubes)

Directions:

Cook the onions and garlic in oil until translucent. Add the diced tomatoes, and cook until soft.

Stir in tomato paste, curry powder and dill. Allowthe mixture to simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add a bit ofwater if it becomes too thick.

Add the smoked fish at the last minute, just cooking it long enough to warm.
Garnish with a sprinkle of dill.

Serve over rice (or pasta), and enjoy!

Zarina Abdulghani has been a LiA member since the beginning, in 1999. Many of her recipes and stories about her life as a young widowed mother were featured at LifeInAfrica.com 1999-2001.

Naming in the Acholi tribe( from Oyet Abdon)

I n African traditional culture and mostly among the luo community especialy the Acholi and the langi tribes, naming of children was done according to the prevailing situation. Oyet is my name and it was given to me by my parents and this name discribes the situation of the poor families and according to my parents they say that I was born in the time when they were very poor that they did not even have any single coin on them. When I was still young my father made me sit down and he started explainig to me the meanig of my name.

Like any other naming for example the twins are named according to their sex.Male twins, the first one is called Opio and the second is Ocen.and the other child born after the twins is called Okello and again after the other child is named 0dong and then after this any name can be given to the other children.and for the famele twins the first one is Apio followed by Acen and after its Akello and the other one is Adong and still here any name can be given.
During the time of war like it is now in our area the female child is Amony and a male child is called Omony and in times of famine a male child is called Okech and a female child is called Akech.

I would therefore like to know how other cultures behave towards these cultural namings.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Naming in the Acholi Tribe (from Grace Ayaa)

Grace Ayaa says: The Acholi people gives names according to the situations at that particular time. At certain occassions though it may be an old relatives' name, but this is not very common these days. The daily happenings have taken over. This is how how children were and are named to the culture. A baby boy stays inside the house for three days whereas baby girls stay for four days with the mother with a believe that there is some bad wind which blows and very dangerious to babies. On the third day the mother is taken to the well for prification.

She brings her own water for bathing and also this is the day she makes her own fire meanwhile simsim paste sauce is made and she sits right at the door way of the hut while grandparents shout out names inside the house untill the mother says to a particular name as many names would be mentioned for the gods to also accept.

All this was the work of my grandfather who was considered the head of the family at the family fireplace, mainly during the simsim harvest period and he would tell us all the endless stories, legends, proverbs and many others...This was however meant to keep us unbored as we split, the simsim pods. It is a very tiresome work because the normal way is by first drying the pods. But the spliting system was used so that atleast there is some thing as we wait for the rest to dry.

These orignated from the Luo speaking peoplewho believe that every function had its own god, so by making that sauce, they aer believed to have come and eat of it and blessing of that baby who is being named. There is also common belief that if the gods dont like that particular name, they cause sickness to the baby until the baby is given another name. If this is among the Acholi people in Uganda then I would like also to learn from other tribes/cultures