Gungu people


Gungu - Bagungu

The Gungu or (Bagungu) are a Bantu ethnic group native to Uganda. in North-western Uganda on the north-eastern shores of Lake Albert.

The Bagungu have historically lived in Buliisa District district of western Uganda and are traditionally fishers and farmers.

There are 83,986 Bagungu (2014 census) in Uganda.

The Bagungu are mainly found in Buliisa, Hoima, and Masindi districts.

Gungu peole map

The Bagungu are a mixture of Bantu and Nilotic ethnic groups. They originated from an intermarriage between Bantu from central, and southern Uganda, and the Paluo (Chope) nilotes from Northern Uganda.

The Bagungu belong to Bugungu región under Bunyoro Kingdom led by an Omukama (King). The current Omukama is: Omukama Agutamba Solomon Gafabusa Iguru I. The Bagungu are both fishing and agricultural people. They fish from Lake Albert, and also farm millet, cassava, maize, sorghum, sweet potatoes, and vegetables. Their staple food is Cassava which they cali "Mbumbwe". Cassava can either be boiled and eaten fresh, or boiled and mashed forming a mash called "Mugunu", or it can be ground into cassava flour from which cassava bread, called "Ndwa", is made. Cassava is eaten with "Nsu" (fish). It can also be eaten with meat. A drink called "Bungu", is made from cassava.

The Bagungu dress code is: kanzu (men), and gomosi (women). Men and women dress in a similar way as Banyoro, Baganda, Basoga, Bagwere, Jopadhola, and other southern Bantu tribes. Women also wear Kitenge (clothing from DR Congo).

The Bagungu have a number of dances which include: Kalihwa dance, Muzeenyo dance, Kikwele dance, and Gwada dance. Kalihwa dance is a courtship dance performed in a similar way as "Orunyege" dance of Banyoro, Batooro, and Banyabindi; where men put on "Kinyege" (leg rattles) while women tie "Kimaaya" (sashes) around their waists and dance in pairs of man and woman. Muzeenyo dance is a predominantly waist dance for both men and women. Dancers perform this dance by wriggling their waists. Kikwele dance is a celebration dance to celebrate the heroics of great hunters. Dance movements in Kikwele symbolize hunting adventures including tricks of how the hunters go about their exploits. Sometimes the dance also involves imitation of different animal moves like "kugoda", meaning to bend like horns of a buffalo. Gwada dance is a patting dance in form of greeting. It Involves dancers jumping and turning behind each other. The Bagungu language is called "Lugungu".

The Bagungu, and Banyoro, are the guardians and custodians of Lake Albert, a large fresh water lake in western Uganda. Lake Albert is the the source of Albert Nile: River Nile's second stream after Victoria Nile. It is home to Uganda's crude oil deposits - with the majority of the oil wells found in the región of the Bagungu (Bugungu región). 6.5 billion barrels of crude oil have been discovered in Lake Albert - making Lake Albert the largest onshore oil field in sub-saharan Africa. Lake Albert offers beautiful views of water loving birds and wildlife. Birds including the Shoebill stork, Great egret, kingfishers, and others, can can be spotted on a boat ride on the lake.