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Karimojong people

Karimojong and their cultures

Are you motivated by culture? Do you enjoy different cultural practices and looking for the best destination to fulfill your ideas and interests? Uganda is one of the best cultural gifted countries in Africa and the whole world at large. Uganda has got different cultures with different enticing ways of life like dressing, language, dancing and also economic activities. Among these cultures and tribes, there is the Karimojong tribe which is far different and interesting than the others.

The Karimojong tribe is a cultural tribe in Uganda belonging to a Nilotic ethnic group which is part of the Nilotic language family, speaking a language known as Karimojong. They are said to have stuck in the ancient ways of life thus making them a great figure for cultural tourism. The Karimojong are agro-pastoral herders living in the north- east of Uganda occupying an area of one tenth of the country. The word Karimojong is translated as ‘’the old ones who stayed behind’’. This came after different cultural tribes moved in search of food and a better life and the Karimojong stayed behind.

Origin of the Karimojong people

The Karimojong are believed to have migrated from Ethiopia and splited into two groups of Kalenjin and Maasai in Kenya. Another group called Ateker migrated westwards and divided into many other groups like Turkana, Iteso, Dodoth, Jie, Karamojong and the Kuman.

Now in Uganda, the Karimojong are located in districts of Kaabong, Abim, Kotido, Moroto, Napak, and Nakapiripirit.

The Karimojong move to different areas mainly in search of water and pasture for their large number of livestock. Also, the growing population within their ethnic group has also led to the migration of some people to other locations.

Ways of life of the Karimojong people.

The Karimojong live a simple life that is they stay in houses known as manyattas which are made of grass, mud, and cow dung. These houses are enclosed by fences of thorn like plants which help in keeping away the animals from their home steadies. The Thorne plants also help in protecting the Karimojong from dangers such as wild animals.

The Karimojong practice livestock farming rearing animals like cattle, sheep, and goats where they get products like ghee, meat, skin, milk and blood.

In order for a man to be respected in the Karimojong, he has to have the highest number of cattle. This is so because the Karimojong greatly depend on their cattle for survivals.

The Karamojong way of dressing consists of a blanket like shawl in different colors, bangles, beads, cow horn ring, and skin. The women wear a number of colorful beads around their necks and arms. Men always carry stick as they herd their cattle.

The Karimojong are good at local arts and crafts and they make products like baskets, bows and arrows, pottery and calabashes. The traditional dances of the Karimojong involves jumping while singing songs. Such dances and songs are always done by the Karimojong when welcoming visitors to their community.

Among the Karamojong people, labor is divided according to gender, age and status. Children are taught work at a young age for example young girls help assist their mothers with the domestic works.

Marriages among the Karimojong involves giving in cattle as a bride price to the girl’s family. The bride price giving is sign of recognition of the man and awards him access to participate in decision making in the society.

Besides all the negative words said about the Karimojong, the beautiful culture among them is a memorable and unforgettable experience full of lots to learn, listen to and participate in.

Hiking in Karamoja region

Karamoja region has a number of mountains making it one of the best destinations for hiking and trekking experiences. A various mountain combined with cultural tours makes the Karamoja region one of the exciting safari destinations in Uganda.

How to reach to the Karimojong.

Karimojong can be seen during a visit to Kidepo valley national park in north eastern Uganda at the border of South Sudan and Kenya. The Karamojong province can be reached by either road or air types of transport.

By air.

There are domestic airlines like Aero link Uganda limited that operates scheduled and chartered flights to Kidepo valley national park from Entebbe international airport and Kajjansi airstrip to Kidepo airport and Apoka airstrip.

By road

The Karamoja region can also be accessed by the use of public means of road transport like buses and private cars from Kampala via Jinja, Mbale, Soroti, Moroto, and Kotido which takes a drive of 14 hours.




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