Edited by Azizi Powell
This post showcases a video of Bakiga traditional dancing in Uganda. Information about Bakiga people is also included in this post along with selected comments from this video's discussion thread.
The content of this post is presented for folkloric, cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.
All copyrights remain with their owners.
Thanks to all those who are featured in this video. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the producer and publisher of this video.
INFORMATION ABOUT BAKIGA PEOPLE
"The Kiga people, or Abakiga ("people of the mountains"), are an ethnic group located in northern Rwanda and southern Uganda. The Kiga speak a Bantu language called Rukiga. They are sometimes referred to as the Chiga or Kiga, while the singular form is Omukiga. Additionally, a large number of Bakiga were still living in Rwanda at the time of European colonization....
The Bakiga people live in southwestern Uganda and North Eastern Rwanda, mostly located in Kabale District (and Byumba Prefecture in Rwanda), and number about 8% of the population of Uganda or nearly 3 million according to Population Estimates. Another 3 million have been naturalised in other ethnic regions of Uganda such as Bunyoro, Tooro, Buganda, Northern Tanzania, Eastern Congo and Rwanda as well as those living in Europe and North America. This puts the total population of people of Kiga origin at about 6 million....
There has been a variety of experiences in the life of the Bakiga, such as interactions with other Kingdoms, religions, and many other cultures. The bakiga are very hospitable and enjoy the privilege of having a mixed language. Rukiga, as a language, is a combination of the influence of the accents and alphabets from Rwanda, Ankore, Toro, Bufumbira, and Swahili.
Before the Bakiga were educated about Islam and Christianity, they believed in one God. The Bakiga understood God as creator who is neither male or female, known as Ruhanga. God is also known through many attributes. As the supreme elder and the ruler of the universe, he is called Mukama. When associated with the power of the sun, he is Kazooba-Nyamuhanga. In his aspect as the one who makes things grow, he is called Biheeko. Many Bakiga with the influence of Christianity adopted 'theo-phoric' names.
While the Bakiga would later be classified as Hutu, originally they considered themselves an entirely separate people. In modern Rwanda, the Hutus of southern Rwanda are called Banyanduga, while the Hutus in the northern Rwanda are collectively referred to as Bakiga....
When the British came to nowadays Kabale in 1908, they found farmers and hunters living without any central authority as they preferred to exist in this way not wanting to be organized in manner that the other Rwanda groups were...
There were very many clans and so, the Europeans applied the concept of a tribe to the clans, with little grounds for it because the Bakiga are a myriad of very distinct clan groups. Though the ruling class of the Abahitira existed and still exists today (Abungura had collapsed), at that time, the groups were not united in any way and the language they were speaking was a dialectical variation of Runyankore, Kinyarwanda, Kihororo and some kind of Kihaya. The term "Bakiga" could be translated from Kinyarwanda as "Highlanders", and it was in the beginning most frequently used by the Royal clan of the Abungura, though at later time, they were mostly referred to by the outsiders, and rarely did the people themselves recognise it as a whole tribe. Over time it has become a part of local consciousness and today, it is widely known as the people of the hills...
among the older generation, traditional weddings of the Bakiga were being neglected by anyone who could afford a Western-looking ceremony. Clothes were borrowed, music equipment and generators brought to the area, every possible thing done to imitate foreign customs. However of recent, most youth are going back to their cultural ways. Traditional wedding ceremonies are being held more often than before, everyone comes dressed in the Kikiga - Kinyakore wear, as the traditional ceremonies are carried out...
At the meetings of district councils, English is used although everybody is a Mukiga, though it is the problem of the entire country. Parents who know English well, sometimes resort to speaking it with their children. Those who use English are supposed to be educated and successful."....
Here's an excerpt from a Wikipedia article about Bantu languages that provides some historical information about Bantu languages/Bantu people and explains the "ba" and "mu" prefixes as found in this article and as used in this and other Bantu languages:
"The Bantu languages descend from a common Proto-Bantu language, which is believed to have been spoken in what is now Cameroon in West Africa. An estimated 2,500–3,000 years ago (1000 BC to 500 BC), although other sources put the start of the Bantu Expansion closer to 3000 BC, speakers of the Proto-Bantu language began a series of migrations eastward and southward, carrying agriculture with them. This Bantu expansion came to dominate Sub-Saharan Africa east of Cameroon, an area where Bantu peoples now constitute nearly the entire population.
The technical term Bantu, meaning "human beings" or simply "people", was first used by Wilhelm Bleek (1827–1875), as this is reflected in many of the languages of this group. A common characteristic of Bantu languages is that they use words such as muntu or mutu for "human being" or in simplistic terms "person", and the plural prefix for human nouns starting with mu- (class 1) in most languages is ba- (class 2), thus giving bantu for "people".
I'm still not certain about the correct referent. Is "Bakiga" the correct referent for the ethnic group (tribe) and "Mukiga" (and "Omukiga") the correct referent/s for an individual from that group?
Here's a comment that I received on July 22, 2016 after posting that question in the comment section of the video that is showcased below:
"Hi Azizi ,
It's always good to hear african americans who are interested in their ancestral African culture.
With pleasure I will explain :
Bakiga are a a group of people ( tribe ) which is found in parts of Uganda, Rwanda , even D.R Congo ,
their language is Rukiga The difference between Bakiga and Mukiga is only in numbers, prefix ba and mu are used to precise the number of people , ba is for the plural ( ba-kiga ) and mu is for singular ( mu-kiga ).
This is common with other regional , bantu languages like Kinyarwanda , kiswahili , kiganda or luganda , rukiga, kirundi, kikuyu , kiluo , kihaya, kinyankole or runyankole , kikongo...
1 person from rwanda is munyarwanda , if it's more than 1 ,we say banyarwanda. Me I am munyarwanda.
You have also muganda/baganda , mukiga/bakiga , muswahili/baswahili , murundi/barundi , mukongo/bakongo munyankole/banyankole....
While in many if not all western languages to define numbers, gender, the change is done at the end of the word. French and english add s to plural ,example : ugandan/ugandans ,
In our bantu languages , we put the defining word or letter at the beginning.
I hope I explained good enough, I am not a linguistic person , but I enjoy african culture , dances , music and also from other parts of the world . Peace ."
SHOWCASE VIDEO: Bakiga-Dance in Uganda
Klaus Kowalewski, Uploaded on Feb 5, 2009
The Mukiga live in the southwesten part of Uganda. This dancing event took place at the shores of Lake Bunyonyi, close to the town of Kabale. Kalebas Cafe, owned by the Dutch Bas, was the host at the New Years Eve in 2006.
Here are some selected comments from this video's discussion thread are given in chronological order with the oldest comment given first, except for responses. However, these comments may not be in consecutive order. I've assigned numbers to these comments for referencing purposes only.
1. Skype OrphanSchoolkids
"Search for SkypeOrphanSchoolkids (dot) org and help the school at Lake Bunyonyi: Kyabahinga Primary School (400 studens from which 70 orphans)"
2. Hilder N. Mwebaze
"Very nice traditional dance. Live long Uganda, live long Bakiga, Banyarwanda, Banyankole"
3. John Namwamba
"Wonderful and harmonious dancing. The Batwa and Banyarwanda dances are somehow related to these dances. Can a mkinga understand a mnyarwanda if each talks in their own language?"
4. Mwesigwa Tumwesigye
5. Wensi MUJUNANTE
"Proud to be am mukiga"
6. Aquila Williams
"Its much like New Orleans second line dancing. Buck jumping."
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/05/new-orleans-buck-jumping-information.html to find information and videos of New Orleans second line dancing (buck jumping).
7. A . Z Mouchigga
"Proud to be an Omwana wo Mukiga👍👍"
"All children of the diaspora feel this in their bones."
10. ohcomeon1 
"+pamdfos you are correct"
11. Nitusiima Doreen
"Proud to be Omukiga 100% NO sugar added...."
12. byensi elton
"Proud to be mukiga...i can feel the joy and excitement deep down in my borne marrows"
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