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Nov 29, 2005

The Gwere People

Written by Administrator

gweremap.jpgName of Language: Lugwere

Name of People:Bagwere

Name of Area: Bugwere

Location within country: Pallisa District, dominating 2 of the district's 4 counties. Over 99% of the Bagwere live in small villages on their traditional tribal lands (called Bugwere) in eastern Uganda, just west of Mount Elgon on the Kenyan border and just south of Lake Kyoga.

Geography and Climate: Tropical forest


Cultural Information: Peasant agriculturalists. The standard means of transport is by bicycle. There are no large towns or hospitals, but the main town is Budaka, a large trading centre with a number of schools.

Diet:Traditionally they survived by fishing and hunting wild animals such as buffalo and hippopotamus, but now along with fishing they practise subsistence farming. The main crops are maize, soy beans and rice, while other crops include millet, ground nuts, cassava, sweet potatoes and cooking bananas.

Economic Status:Very poor and disadvantaged socially and spiritually.

Alternate language names: Lugwere, Olugwere

Language Group Information:Their language is Lugwere, which is related to Luganda, the dominant language in central Uganda. Lugwere is used in primary schools if the teachers are Bagwere, but there are few books - those who learn to read do so in English.

milking a cowKeeping livestock is a sign of wealth.
(Gungu, Uganda)
Religion: Christian, Muslim, Traditional. Even though a majority of Bagwere would identify themselves as Christians, only 20% attend church on Sunday and most pastors will admit that only a small percentage of these are committed and trying to live a Christian life. The vast majority of those who call themselves Christian mix traditional religion with Christianity. The traditional tribal religion, with which about 20% of the Bagwere openly identify themselves, is what mostly impacts their day-to-day life.

Most churches are small and use the Luganda or the English Scriptures, neither of which is well understood by either the congregations or their leaders. Pastors tend to be poorly educated or not educated at all. Currently there are many Protestant and Catholic churches in the area and also many cults. Doctrine and church practices vary widely and this is due to a lack of understanding of the Scriptures.

Islam is making its presence felt in Eastern Uganda and Muslim evangelism is very active.


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