In what follows are some cultural resources to have a wider understanding of Rukiga and the Bakiga. Included are books, websites, and community pages.
The first ethnographic account of the Bakiga – written by May Edel, an anthropologist and student of Franz Boas, who complete fieldwork in the early 1930s. This text is well regarded and has robust chapters on a variety of topics including Kinship, Marriage, Religion, Food, etc. (in the old anthropological style).
Emicwe n’emigyenzo y’Abakiga by Festo Karwemera
The title can be translated as the “Customs and Traditions of the Bakiga” or the “Traditions of the Bakiga”. I am not sure where this book can be found, outside of Uganda, but it is an important book to know about and to have for anyone trying to learn about Kiga culture. It is written by a recently deceased lorekeeper of the Bakiga named Festo Karwemera. In it, he tells about the history of the Bakiga, clans, religion, marriage, etc. It is written totally in Rukiga, so it is likely only accessible with advance reading skills or working with a mentor. That said, it can be helpful for learners to read a text by a mukiga man writing primarily for Bakiga in order to glimpse indigenous histories and folklore.
Bakiga nation is a non-profit organization that seeks to promote cultural revival and continuity as well as solidarity among Bakiga and friends through “through conventions, music, art, clothing and welfare.” I mostly seek Bakiga Nation as connecting youth but they also sometimes engage with elders as well. Most of their conventions and work seems to be in Uganda. They used to post Rukiga proverbs on their Facebook page which were fun to read and learn.
A nonprofit dedicated to connecting Banyakigezi (“people of Kigezi”) around the world. Their mission is: The International Community of Banyakigezi (ICOB) is: “the advancement of the cultural, social and economic interests of Abanyakigezi in Uganda and in the Diaspora. ICOB is a non-partisan organization that is committed to the advancement of the political and human rights of Banyakigezi wherever they are.”
A blog and website by a mukiga expat who works as a doctor in Canada. It is full of interesting past and contemporary reflections as well as occasional tidbits of Rukiga teaching. This is worth engaging for any learner of Rukiga.
Here is a Rukiga song entitled “enuuma” using the enanga (zither) instrument. Listeners can hear the beat that is associated with many Kiga folk dances and songs. Any learner should get used to this beat – this will allow you to get used to the rhythm that you are likely to hear at different times around you while learning Rukiga.