The transfer, expected 19 years ago, faced delays due to regional instabilities. The ritualistic transfer of power occurred at Akiriket, one of the largest shrines in Lotisan Sub County. It involved the sacrificial offering of a black bull, symbolizing the transition from darkness to light within the community.
Elders generating new firefrom the to peices of woods. The fire will be used for roasting the black bull and then after they distribute the fire to the Elders who will take to their kraals for households to pick
Karamoja Elders Council has officially transferred cultural powers from the
Ngimoru clan, locally known as the Mountains, to the Gazelles clan, known as
Ngigetei, in Moroto district. Among the Karimojong community, three major
clans—Bokora from Napak district, Pian in Nakapiripirit and Nabilatuk, and
Matheniko from Moroto district—prevail.
Other clans like Dodoth of Kaabong, Jie
from Kotido, Ethur from Abim, and Pokot of Amudat are categorized as Visitors.
the last 60 years, the Ngimoru sub-clan under the Bokora Clan held power and is
now passing it on to the next generation within the Gazelles clan. The transfer,
expected 19 years ago, faced delays due to regional instabilities. The
ritualistic transfer of power occurred at Akiriket, one of the largest shrines
in Lotisan Sub County.
It involved the sacrificial offering of a black bull,
symbolizing the transition from darkness to light within the community.
became the first sub-clan to inherit the cycle of cultural administration in
the Matheniko clan, with the powers slated for transfer to another sub-clan
after fifty years. Papaa Angasuban Peter Adei, the Karimojong cultural leader
overseeing the ritual, observed that the Bokora and Pian clans had already
completed their traditional initiation, leaving only the Matheniko.
Adei explained that in a previous attempt in 2013, the Matheniko
initiation went awry, leading to improper initiations. Thus, several rituals
were conducted to rectify those erroneously initiated before the power
The ceremony involved driving the black bull around Akiriket
thrice before its sacrifice, accompanied by the singing of the zebra anthem,
signifying the transfer of power.
The newly kindled fire from this ceremony
would be used for roasting the sacrificial bull, and afterward, elders would
take the fire to their homes as a symbol of new leadership. Post the transfer, the Matheniko clan will appoint a cultural
leader responsible for internal affairs, reporting to the highest priest at the
Adei highlighted that all cultural leaders from the primary
Karimojong clans would oversee, mobilize, and manage cultural affairs before
reporting to his office as the general overseer.
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Baptist Lokii, a representative from the Clan, expressed readiness to manage
Matheniko's cultural affairs, affirming they now represent the first cycle of
cultural administration within the Gazelles clan.
He mentioned their cleansing and their capacity to actively
engage in elder forums to address peace, security, and cultural issues among
The elders foresee Ngigetei's leadership bringing total peace,
increased food production, and other positive developments.
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Lokii stressed their commitment to fostering peace, coexistence, and development and reinforcing their cultural values through community meetings.
Mark Illukol, a member of the Gazelle clan, emphasized their
intention to collaborate with government institutions to develop the region's cultural
He highlighted the need to focus on sustainable solutions for
lasting peace and development.
Illukol lamented that certain elites opposing the cultural
institution were driven by personal interests, hindering development in the
region. He advocated for strengthening the Karamoja cultural institution with a
cultural head overseeing Karamoja's affairs.
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David Koryang, an elder and LC5 Moroto district member,
underscored the unifying role of culture among Karimojong communities and its
impact on fostering respect based on age. Koryang highlighted the cultural
efforts addressing issues like forced marriages, early marriages, and cattle
rustling, contributing to community-wide respect and peace-building.
revealed that those granted power were mandated to avoid conflicts within their
family for a year, aiming to earn total respect within the Karimojong
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The elders appealed to President Yoweri Museveni to relocate the
military detachment from their traditional shrine at the Kobebe grazing area in
Lotisan Sub County. They accused the UPDF soldiers of encroaching on their
sacred space, cutting down trees, and settling within the area.
the chairperson of the Karamoja parliamentary group, mentioned the elders'
request to evacuate the military from the contested area to allow the community
to perform their traditional rituals without disruption.
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