Kasubi Tombs, Kampala

On Sunday 10th we visited the Kasubi Tombs in Kampala. The Tombs are located on a large plot of land upon a hill. They are a World Heritage Site.

The Bagandan tribe have had a king for thousands of years, but the first recorded king was appointed in the early 14th century.

Only the male line can be appointed and the eldest son cannot become king to avoid assassination attemps. Any other sons can be appointed king based on merit. The appointed king is not publicly declared after the decision is made. Advisors recommend the successor to the king before he dies and he makes the final decision. The appointed son is announced at the late kings funeral. This is done by the appointed son placing some bark cloth over the king’s body.

As women cannot be appointed one of the king’s sisters will be chosen to take control of the grounds when the king is absent.

The current king has been in place since 1993.

There is a strict clan system in place. Examples include the head guard coming from one clan and the assistant head guard coming from another clan. The grounds have a drum house with one specific clan being the drummers. No women are allowed to cross the threshold of the hut. The many tasks to keep the grounds running are all performed by specific clans.

The most recent burial took place late in 2018.

A fire destroyed the main house, in 2013 I believe, and the replacement is still being constructed. The main building is massive and the distorted steel girders from the destroyed house are visible in the grounds.

There are many women working on the site undertaking various tasks.

Within the hut there will be a screen, behind which the kings will buried. Access behind the screen is strictly limited to clan members carrying out specific tasks. Photos to follow.

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