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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.

References[edit]

  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.
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818 news items

 
NTV Uganda
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 00:52:30 -0700

The Inter Religious Council of Uganda, an umbrella organization that brings together different religious institutions has responded by distancing itself from the pronouncements by the West Ankole diocese bishop, Yona Katoneene. The council's Secretary ...
 
Hungary Today
Fri, 07 Aug 2015 09:07:05 -0700

Three Ankole-Watusi cattle, also known as the “Cattle of Kings” or “Ankole longhorn”, have been born in Sóstó Zoo in Nyíregyháza, eastern Hungary. Living in the savannas and open grasslands of Africa, their diet consists of grass and leaves. The animal ...
 
AllAfrica.com
Tue, 04 Aug 2015 02:00:00 -0700

Kiruhura — The Rev Stephen Namanya was on Sunday consecrated new Bishop for North Ankole Diocese at Emmanuel Cathedral Rushere in Kiruhura District. Bishop Namanya becomes the second bishop of the diocese that was created in 2003.

BBC News

BBC News
Fri, 10 Apr 2015 07:48:45 -0700

Some breeds are rarer or more sought after than others, such as the Ankole Longhorns of Uganda. Not so long ago, this rare breed was on the brink of extinction, because of cross-breeding. The BBC's Roderick Macleod travelled to the south-west of the ...
 
AllAfrica.com
Mon, 31 Aug 2015 01:15:00 -0700

The competition was especially stiff between Ankole's Jaylor Birungi and Buganda's Mable Namala, who already had followings since they have competed in other beauty pageants. They were the crowd's favourites as they could not stop shouting their names ...

New Vision

New Vision
Sun, 02 Aug 2015 08:20:33 -0700

President Yoweri Museveni and his wife Janet posing with the new Bishop of West Ankole Diocese, Stephen Namanya and wife Lydia and the children, during the concecration ceremony at St. Emmanuel Cathedral Rushere on August 1, 2015. PHOTO/PPU.
 
AllAfrica.com
Tue, 25 Aug 2015 14:56:15 -0700

Sheema — Christians in Sheema District, who have been at loggerheads with the West Ankole Diocese Bishop Yona Mwesigwa Katoneene, have begun a fresh move they say will redeem the poor management of Church of Uganda-founded secondary ...

New Vision

New Vision
Tue, 02 Jun 2015 10:26:15 -0700

Reigning Miss Tourism, Ankole, Jackline Arinda and 2nd Runner-up Maureen Ninsiima carry babies at the launch of the run at Holy Innocents on Monday. PHOTO/Aloysius Byamukama. While speaking at the launch at Holy Innocents Children's Hospital on ...
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