Banyole people



The Banyole are among the minor Bantu tribes in Uganda. They speak Lunyole. They are also called 'Abalya Lwooba' which means mushrooms eaters because they love eating mushrooms.


The Banyole are found in the eastern district of Butaleja, their neighbors being the Jopadhola, Bagisu, Bagwere and Basoga in south, east, north and west respectively.


The Banyole have two major religions where they are Christians and Muslims. However, there is also a small percentage of traditionalists who still strongly believe in them. Due to limited literacy, it is hard for people who converted to Christianity and Islamic to understand the scriptures which are most of them published in English and Luganda.

Some people have failed to keep up with the religión due to hardships in understanding the scriptures leading to vulnerability and to turn back to their traditional religious prácticos and beliefs while others turn from Christianity to Islam. There is a lot of need for missionaries and other volunteers who can assist in translating and helping them in understanding the scriptures as well as deepening the local leaders' and pastors in understanding the discipleship and training. Witch craft has declined largely though there is still some people who believe in it.



There are many clans and every clan leader is called Omutuusa who on many occasions he puts on skins for recognition. The Banyole live in Tororo district in Banyole County. They are closely related to Basamia - Bagwe in customs, language and origin. They also seem to be a sub- group of the Basoga

They claim to have originated from Banyala of Kenya just like the Bagwe and their marriage, birth and burial ceremonies are similar with slight differences



Their lives are surrounded by carrying out subsistence agriculture, originally they would grow finger millet but these days they have turned to rice growing which serves as a nontraditional cash crop. The Banyole are mostly polygamous people.



They are mostly polygamous people and due to modernity it has got an impact on the Banyole. The older men worry about the younger men going off to earn as employees instead of staying home to build their house and provide for their families in the traditional way. Women originally would stay home to cook while men go to look for what to eat.


Food and beverages

Their staple food is finger millet, but they also eat sorghum, cassava, sweet potatoes and maize. Their sauce includes meat, peanuts or tomatoes to accompany the staple food. They plant their food and most of their cultivation is done by hand.

Naming and giving birth

When a child was born among the Banyole, the placenta was taken and buried where no one could see it or use it for any evil purposes. The Banyole always believed that if an evil person landed on the placenta, there were high chances of that person using it to harm the newly born baby or bewitch them to death or do something to the mother of the child like stopping the from waking up or do something that will stop her from giving birth ever again. The mother of the new born baby was kept in the house until the umbrícal cord breaks off from the navel. The remains of the umbrical cord were kept in the special place and the mother of the new born baby had to be take care and keeps the number of cords for the children she had because these cords were

believed to work as antidotes if anything evil had happened to any of them. The food cooked for the mother after birth could not be given to any other person apart from the mother and her husband.
In case a woman gave birth to twins, the newly born twins were just left where they were as demanded by tradition. Special porridge was also given to the mother and father and later were followed by other functions similar to the Basamia - Bagwe. The mother could leave the house in special circumstances during the time of the confinement and in such an event; she would be covered with winnowing tray before she moves out of hiding or house
Historically, surnames evolved as a way to sort people into groups of place of origin, clan affiliation, occupation, parentage, patronage, adoption and even physical characteristics.



Among the Banyole when a girl grows up, she's asked by the parents about who she want to get married to. Then the girl introduces the man to her parents and later they will discuss will discuss the bride wealth negotiations and make arrangements. The day the girl is released to go and get married, they will make a feast and celebróte. If the father of the girl died, the paternal únele (brother to the father) chose by the clan members would be the one to hand take her and gives her hand in marriage. If a woman was already elderly, she would remain with her children.


Death and burial

If a man died among the Banyole, there were observed three days of mourning and there would be no bathing during the days of mouming and after they would perform a ritual known as the Kasanja on the road and people would bathe then resume with their ordinary business. In case it was a woman, morning would take four days and still no bathing until the days are over and a ritual is performed. There death rituals were similar almost in all aspeets to those of the Basamia-Bagwe.
If twins died, mouming and wailing was not allowed because custom forbids it. When burying, the Banyole face their dead in the eastem direction to symbolize their origin as it is said.


Tradional way of birth among banyole

When a child was born, the placenta was taken and buried where no one could see it and use it for evil purposes. It was feared that if the placenta landed in the hand of an evil person, he could manipulate it so as to use it to inflict death or harm on the newly born child or to prevent the mother from ever conceiving again.
The mother would be confined in the house until such a time when the remains of the umbilical cord would break from the navel.The remains of the umbilical cord were kept in a special gourd and the mother took care to keep as many cords as the children she had.
In the event of evil, these cords were believed to be of great importance as an antidot.
The food cooked for the mother after birth could not be given to any other person save the mother and her husband.
Immediately twins were born, they were just left were they were. Special porridge was administered to the mother and the father rand there followed other functions similar to those of the Basamia-Bagwe.
The mother could leave the house in special circumstances during the time of the confinement. In such an event she would be covered with a winnowing tray before she got out.