Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Lugbara Artefacts (Courtesy of Uganda Museum)

While rumours circulated in 2010-2011 that the Uganda Museum was going to be demolished, I was amazed by why the facts had been distorted. The Trade and Tourism Minister (before he became Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs), Major General Kahinda Otafiire, actually revealed, “No one, not even me, has said the building is going to be demolished. Instead of demolishing it, it will be preserved but within the new structure.” Having the tallest building in Africa would be amazing indeed, besides Uganda also has the Biggest Baha’i Temple in the whole of the Black Continent.

As a Museum goer myself, I believe the Heritage preserved here is interesting and very valuable for all Ugandans plus foreign tourists. Demolishing this effigy of Ugandan Architecture would be a Tragedy. I spent A Day at the Museum in 2009 to fish out the Best I could about my Culture and here is what I found. Luckily, the scary exhibits like the Leopard and Prophetess Nakayima didn't come to life.

The Lugbara End Blow Trumpet called LURU is made from a bottle shaped gourd.

The Side-Blown Trumpet MARE is made from a gourd and a wooden tube. It is blown through the hole in the gourd with the wooden tube pointing downward or under the left arm. Bee Wax is smeared inside the gourd which is wetted before it’s played only at death dances in union with the drum called NAITO.

The GUKE Trumpet is used by men and boys in most of their dance.

Both men and women smoked Water Pipes. Tobacco was ground to make Snuff. Special pipes were used for Hemp consisting of a bowl below a tray of hot embers. The smoke was drawn through a water filled container.

JUSTICE: Discovery of Crime
Misfortunes could arise from offending ancestor spirits. Both Lugbara and Madi used divining pots to assess the guilt of the accused. The small Lugbara pots represent possible suspects. They were heated and filled with medicated water. If the water boiled over, the suspect’s innocence was established. An accused was required to pass a similar test by the Madi. A pot was set on the ground and water poured in. If it did not flow out of the hole in the bottom, the accused was considered guilty.

The Lugbara Sun-Cover extends over the whole of the child’s body.