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Bigo Bya Mugyenyi |cultural site| bigo bya mugenyi in uganda ssembabule
Bigo bya Mugenyi, located in Ssembabule District, is an archaeological marvel that translates to “a stranger’s fort” in English. This site holds a place of immense historical importance, being one of the oldest and largest human settlements. It is believed to have been the residence of the Bachwezi, a dynasty steeped in legend and mystique due to their rumored supernatural abilities, allowing them to vanish without a trace.
Bigo Bya Mugenyi is a late Iron Age site in Uganda, the capital of the Kitara or Chwezi Dynasty, that occupied the land about 1000-1500 AD. The Chwezi/Bachwei were believed to be demigods who disappeared after their rule and believed to have occupied Bigo bya Mugenyi and other parts of central and western Uganda between the 11thand 16thcenturies. It is found 16 km north of Ntusi and the discoveries from there included pottery, clay kerbs, beads, and the iron tools like a tagged arrowhead, a broken bracelet of oval shape, a spear and a broken knife as well as grindstones. It covers about 4 square miles of an enclosed area.
The making of the sacrifices before the opening of the place for iron ore mining, helped in bringing the people of the clan together that promoted unity and cooperation and strengthening the family bonds that still help people to live together in the communities and maintaining the traditional activities. Some of these places being connected to the Bachwezi legendary, they are still used as the active shrines for the people from the surrounding communities that makes them of great importance to them and hence the need for their protection.
According to the Ankole tradition, Ntusi later became the capital of the Chwezi Wamala who succeeded his father Ndahura who had resided at Mubende hill. This therefore gives a cause for the protection by the Banyankole as the former capital. Just as a hoe signifies the agricultural prosperity of the people, or again as the smiths’ hammer signifies strength and skill, so the iron spears has signified power and commanded in an equal obvious way. This therefore indicates that iron smith gave the kingdoms power and pride as they were regarded as the source of strong weapons. Don’t miss out this interesting place during your Uganda safaris.
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