digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















For the breed of cattle, see Ankole-Watusi (cattle).
Kingdom of Ankole and its districts
State flag of the Kingdom of Ankole

Ankole, also referred to as Nkore, is one of four traditional kingdoms in Uganda. The kingdom is located in the southwestern Uganda, east of Lake Edward. It was ruled by a monarch known as The Mugabe or Omugabe of Ankole. The kingdom was formally abolished in 1967 by the government of President Milton Obote, and is still not officially restored.[1] The people of Ankole are called Banyankole (singular: Munyankole) in Runyankole language, a Bantu language.

On 25 October 1901 the Kingdom of Nkore was incorporated into the British Protectorate of Uganda by the signing of the Ankole agreement.[2]

Due to the reorganisation of the country by Idi Amin, Ankole no longer exists as an administrative unit. It is divided into ten districts, namely: Bushenyi District, Buhweju District, Mitooma District, Rubirizi District, Sheema District, Ntungamo District, Mbarara District, Kiruhura District, Ibanda District and Isingiro District.

History of pre-colonial ethnic relations in Ankole[edit]

The pastoralist Hima (also known as Bahima) established dominion over the agricultural Iru (also known as Bairu) some time before the nineteenth century. The Hima and Iru established close relations based on trade and symbolic recognition, but they were unequal partners in these relations. The Iru were legally and socially inferior to the Hima, and the symbol of this inequality was cattle, which only the Hima could own. The two groups retained their separate identities through rules prohibiting intermarriage and, when such marriages occurred, making them invalid.

The Hima provided cattle products that otherwise would not have been available to Iru farmers. Because the Hima population was much smaller than the Iru population, gifts and tribute demanded by the Hima could be supplied fairly easily. These factors probably made Hima-Iru relations tolerable, but they were nonetheless reinforced by the superior military organization and training of the Hima.

The kingdom of Ankole expanded by annexing territory to the south and east. In many cases, conquered herders were incorporated into the dominant Hima stratum of society, and agricultural populations were adopted as Iru or slaves and treated as legal inferiors. Neither group could own cattle, and slaves could not herd cattle owned by the Hima.

Ankole society evolved into a system of ranked statuses, where even among the cattle-owning elite, patron-client ties were important in maintaining social order. Men gave cattle to the king (mugabe) to demonstrate their loyalty and to mark life-cycle changes or victories in cattle raiding. This loyalty was often tested by the king's demands for cattle or for military service. In return for homage and military service, a man received protection from the king, both from external enemies and from factional disputes with other cattle owners.

The mugabe authorized his most powerful chiefs to recruit and lead armies on his behalf, and these warrior bands were charged with protecting Ankole borders. Only Hima men could serve in the army, however, and the prohibition on Iru military training almost eliminated the threat of Iru rebellion. Iru legal inferiority was also symbolized in the legal prohibition against Iru owning cattle. And, because marriages were legitimized through the exchange of cattle, this prohibition helped reinforce the ban on Hima-Iru intermarriage. The Iru were also denied highlevel political appointments, although they were often appointed to assist local administrators in Iru villages.

The Iru had a number of ways to redress grievances against Hima overlords, despite their legal inferiority. Iru men could petition the king to end unfair treatment by a Hima patron. Iru people could not be subjugated to Hima cattle-owners without entering into a patron-client contract.

A number of social pressures worked to destroy Hima domination of Ankole. Miscegenation took place despite prohibitions on intermarriage, and children of these unions (abambari) often demanded their rights as cattle owners, leading to feuding and cattle-raiding. From what is present-day Rwanda groups launched repeated attacks against the Hima during the nineteenth century. To counteract these pressures, several Hima warlords recruited Iru men into their armies to protect the southern borders of Ankole.


  1. ^ The Observer Media Ltd. :: The Weekly Observer :: Uganda's Top Resource site
  2. ^ The Ankole Agreement 1901

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Library of Congress Country Studies.

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ankole — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
5310 videos foundNext > 

Ankole Cattle Feeding at the Houston Zoo

video taken 06-30-2012.

Two Ankole-Watusi Bulls Fighting (or sparring) with their MASSIVE HORNS in 1080P HD !

Check out these Two Ankole-Watusi Bulls Fighting (or sparring)! They both had ENORMOUS horns IMO. They locked horns as I was driving near them at Lion Country Safari in Florida. It was amazing...


These cattle have to be seen to be believed. Music by Jonathan Slatter, from the album World music. Tune; English pomp. Published by Sounds visual.

Ankole Culture

A peek into the beautiful Ankole culture as far as marriage, give-away ceremonies and the graceful cattle are concerned. For more news visit http://www.ntvuganda.co.ug Follow us on Twitter...

Gomungyeya - Bismac Ankole Squad New Ugandan music 2012 DjDinTV

Gomungyeya - Bismac Ankole Squad New Ugandan music 2012 DjDinTV.

Ankole cattle crossing bridge in Congo

Ankole cattle crossing a bridge in Epulu, Okapi Wildlife Reserve, eastern Congo. Ankole cattle go back several hundred years and are known for their beautiful horns. Filmed by WildlifeDirect...

Bahima of Ankole know for keeping large number of cows

Kjong Safaris visiting ankole cattle in Bahima (Banyankole) village south of Mbarara. Uganda.

On Location: The Ankole-Watusi (Cattle)

http://www.southwickszoo.com/ The Ankole-Watusi is a breed of cattle originally native to Africa. Its large, distinctive horns, that can reach up to 8 feet (2.4 m) from tip to tip, are used...

Ankole Actors

A comedy about an old man who wants to marry a young girl, but he is instead duped and left frustrated.

Baby Rhino & Ankole Play With Grass

Connect with us: http://facebook.com/sdzsafaripark http://www.instagram.com/sdzsafaripark http://twitter.com/sdzsafaripark http://sdzsafaripark.tumblr.com.

5310 videos foundNext > 

740 news items

New Vision

New Vision
Tue, 31 Mar 2015 00:18:45 -0700

One MP from Ankole should be “requested” to vacate his seat in Parliament them Brig. Muhoozi should contest in a by-election and everything must be done for him to win. If possible everything must be done for him to come out unopposed. Quiet diplomacy ...

NBC 7 San Diego

NBC 7 San Diego
Wed, 21 Jan 2015 10:00:00 -0800

So as he's being handraised (and getting 3 bottles per feeding), staffers have introduced Chutti to Moo Moo Kitty, an Ankole cow. If the two bond, they could spend time together until Chutti is weaned in 14 to 15 months, zoo officials said. The one ...
The Observer
Fri, 27 Mar 2015 03:33:38 -0700

What is so special about our children yet we people of Ankole were part of the group that brought this government to power?" asked Rwekihama. Sejusa said he would talk more about the predicament of his aides next week when he becomes "a free man.".

The Observer (blog)

The Observer (blog)
Tue, 24 Mar 2015 13:15:00 -0700

Oh! Ankole! Are you one of the Baganda whose forefathers migrated to Ankole or are you a Munyankore? I am mixed blood [sic]. My grandfather had two wives who were sisters. You know those things! One sister, who is my grandmother was a Munyankore, ...
New Vision
Thu, 12 Mar 2015 02:35:13 -0700

Indigenous cattle breeds in Uganda include: the long horned Ankole in south western and zebu kept in eastern and northern parts of Uganda. Indigenous cattle breeds can survive in the harsh environmental conditions and with stand diseases compared to ...
Cornell University The Cornell Daily Sun (blog)
Fri, 13 Mar 2015 07:33:26 -0700

Another nearby reserve offers African Ankole-Watusi cows and Alaskan-native Dall Sheep. New York has twelve hunting reserves in total. Most people aren't familiar with canned hunting because the reserves tend to keep a low profile. Although a few of ...

New Vision

New Vision
Sat, 21 Mar 2015 21:08:27 -0700

Like luck would have it, folklore has it, he (Mukasa) met a girl from Ankole with hips as wide as the cow's horns. He fell in love with her and confided in her on his war prowess. But the girl betrayed him and leaked the secret to her tribesmen. During ...
The Observer
Sun, 15 Mar 2015 12:30:00 -0700

Uganda's newspapers have reported that the Mbarara municipality precincts of Mugaba - the former 'Ankole' palace, itself in a state of disrepair - have also fallen victim to the murram diggers. In this case, the municipal and district authorities are ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight