The Bakonzo People Of Rwenzori: The Rich & Diverse Cultural Values
The Bakonzo People are one among the Bantu speaking occupants on the Rwenzori Mountains. The Bakonzo, though currently known as the Rwenzori Mountains national Park’s Native tribe, they are believed to have originated from Congo, in the past 300 years ago. They are now 800000 Bakonzo individuals scattered all over Uganda.
Rwenzori mountains National park has a strong cultural and spiritual attachment with the Bakonzo & the Bamba people. The Bakonzo believe that, right from the old days, they have always regarded the Rwenzori Mountains National Park, as a repository of many blessing to their social-economic well being. As such, the mountains constituted a form of reserve long before the colonial period(Yeoman et al 1990).
The cultural significance of the mountains is demonstrated by the traditional rituals performed within the park which includes the construction of the hunters shrines for animal sacrifices, ceremonies for exorcism of the evil spirits, and human burials among others. The Bakonzo tribes, as well as the Bambi believe that when a person dies in the rwenzori mountains, their bodies must not be brought back to their people, but rather be burried there.
Not only that! The Bakonzo also believe that the snow ice (also called the “Nzururu”) is the Fathere of the Baknzo deities, with “Kitasamba” and “Nyabibuya” are always responsible for all people who are in the mountain Rwenzori , the communities, & its welfare.
How do the Bakonzo benefit from Rwenzori mountains National Park
- The Rwenzori Mountains is the major source of small rivers, including Mubuku, Rwimi, Nyamwamba that provide water for domestic water at Kasese Bugoye & Kilembe
- Mount Rwenzori has modified climate. It has influenced the formation of Orographic rainfal rainfall at nyabirongo, muhokya, and bwera at kasese by trapping the moist Congo air.
- Mount Renzori has beautiful scenery such as margherita peak which stands at 5109m, glacier features such as lac.de.speke, variety of Vegetation which attracts tourists, who bring in Foreign exchange.
- Rwenzori Mountains is a home for a wide viriety of Conservation of Bidiversity within the Rwenzori National Park in Kasese including monkeys, Baboons, snakes, birds, among other animals found here.
- Water from Mubuku River is harnessed to produce Hydro electric power at the Mubuku Power station, whose electricity serves the entire Kilembe & Kasese town for domestic & Industral use.
- Rwenzori Mountains National Park, is also considered a field of study, where many research studies are frequently done, either by students or generally tourists, geologists among others.
- It is also an essential area where Cobalt is mined, at the lower slopes. which boosts the economy through exporting in exchange for foreign exchange.
- Lumbering also takes Place in this region