Bahima : The multicultural country in East Africa has a wide range of different cultures in terms of tribes. With over 56 different languages from several tribes from four Ethnic groups. Including the Bantu, Nilotes, Hamites and Nilo- Hamites . They are situated in different regions of the country with the largest percentage being from the Bantu group. The history of the different tribes in Africa is based on oral tradition and it’s most likely there are one or more stories of the different tribes in Uganda.

One tribe of people in Ankole, Uganda, are called Hima (Bahima). The Hima speech is classified in the ethnologies as a dialect of Nyankore (Nkore/Nkole). The ethnologies note, however, that this speech form “may be a separate language” The relationship of those speaking Hima and other varieties of Nyankore would likely be the same as with the dialects of the Cushite Tutsis and Bantu Hutus speaking Rundi/Rwanda. The cattle-keeping community who live in western Uganda, are more known for their unique attachment to their cattle. They are referred to as “hamiticised Negro Cattle “ people by the anthropologists. Arranged politically from the King, Prime Minister, Chiefs and Clan Heads. The Bahima were more if pastoralists and barely settled in a one place so their social organization was rare.

Some writers think the name Hima is also associated with a Nilotic people who came down from the Sudan along the Nile through Uganda. They conquered the Bantu people in what is now southwest Uganda and the neighboring portion of Zaire which is the present day the Democratic Republic of Congo.  It is alleged that they weren’t officially part of the Bantu group which migrated from the Cameron highlands. They were absorbed by the Bantu people and took up the local Bantu language. Their name in the language is the primary identification of their origin.

Bahima’s history has been shrouded in mystery for a long time. The mystery stems from John Hanning Speke who wrote in 1863 that Wahuma (Bahima) were white people, more civilized than black people or Negroes and entered Uganda from Ethiopia occupied by a ruling white race.

Other Europeans added that Bahima were more intelligent with superior qualities and born to rule. Colonial explorers, missionaries and administrators like Samuel Baker, John Roscoe and Harry Johnston in Uganda shared these views (G. Prunier 1995).These rather controversial opinions have shrouded the origin of the Bahima in East Africa. The race is predominatly located in the south Eastern DRC South Western Uganda as well as in Rwanda.


Bahima, Batutsi, Bahororo and Banyamulenge are cousins with  principal characteristics. One  of which is their immense love for cattle and their nomadic way of life especially in the yesteryear of their origin. The Bahima unlike most of the other tribes in East Africa, cross cousin marriage is allowed. Cows are the main form of bride price and in case the groom isn’t rich enough to afford the dowry then he can smear his bride with butter as a sign that she is taken. The young ladies preparing for marriage are always guaranteed to fatten up.

The general view of the Tutsi is that they have come from a Cushite background in north-eastern Africa. Some scholars have seen connections with Nilotic. Over the centuries the similarities in the situations of the Nilotic and Cushite upper class possibly led them to be more closely associated. In modern times, the Tutsi-Hima appear to be so closely associated that they can be considered one general class across the variety of speech in the various political divisions of the Lakes Region. Their Bantu speech forms are very similar. Uganda is so rich in culture and all different historical cultural sites are available for tourists to visit and explore.

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