The Batooro of Tooro Kingdom and the Banyoro of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom share many cultural norms and values for the former broke away from the latter centuries ago.
Batooro’s language is Rutooro, while Banyoro’s is Runyoro. Therefore, most of the sex rituals between these tribes are similar.
Like in many other tribes, marriage is considered important and sacred among the Batooro and Banyoro-a man is regarded incomplete before he gets married.
Although marriage was traditionally arranged by the parents of a couple among these tribes through a middleman called ‘kirangabuko’, this act has tremendously reduced.
Elders attribute today’s increasing marriage failures to children taking matters in their own hands.
The ‘kirangabuko’ did research on the girl and her family. If he found out that the chosen girl was lazy or had bad manners, he would advise the boy’s parents against her.
If she passed the test, he would initiate negotiations with her parents.
Meanwhile, the girl’s family would try to learn about the boy’s family.
After paying the bride price, wedding would be arranged. Notably, on wedding day, the groom would go to bed with the bride, to perform a crucial ritual known as ‘okucwa amagita’.
If the girl was a virgin, a gift of a cow or a goat would be sent to her aunt (Isenkati) to congratulate her upon raising her daughter well.
If she was not a virgin, her aunt would be given a sheep with a piece of bark cloth with a hole in it.
This ritual is still practiced although the issue of virginity is not emphasized for some weds after many years of cohabiting.
In the event of a divorce, bride price would be refunded among the Batooro and Banyoro although part of the bride wealth would be retained if the woman had children.
But this has since lost meaning.
Additionally, unlike other tribes, the Batooro and Banyoro are traditionally not known for pulling/ labia elongation.
Births and names
According to elders we spoke to, when babies are born in the said tribes, it takes three and four days for a girl and boy to be taken outdoors.
It is the day that a child is given names including the pet name (empaako), which is precious among these tribes.
This is accompanied by a special meal. The empaako is purposely used when greeting.
“When a Munyoro or Mutooro meets another Munyoro or Mutooro, the first thing is to ask the other person’s Empaako, and then greet the person using this pet-name,” Luke Bagada, an elder in Bunyoro says.
There are eleven pet names shared between the Banyoro and Batooro.
These include Abwooli, Adyeeri, Araali, Akiiki, Atwooki, Apuuli, Abaala, Acaali, Ateenyi, Abooki and Amooti. The 12th pet name is Okali, and the king is greeted “Zoona Okaali”.
However, the twins and the child who come after them have special traditional holdings and pet names.
Male twins are named Isingoma and Kato- respectively, and the female twins Nyangoma and Nyakato with the pet names Amooti and Abooki or Amooti and Adyeeri respectively.
The child that follows the twins is called Kiiza and Amooti for her/his pet-name.
The Banyoro and Batooro don’t have punishments for pre-marital pregnancy. This is and has been the norm even in ancient times. The Batooro and Banyoro are also free to marry across races.
The restriction is on marrying clan mates who are believed to be a group of descendants from the same ancestors thus are blood relations.
It is only the royal clan of the Babito who are allowed to marry from the same clan in an effort to maintain their ‘blue blood lines’.