His father, Jebedayo Opi, was a schoolteacher, while his mother, Lacwaa Cerina, was a traditional singer, storyteller and dancer. Acholi is a dialect of Southern Luo , one of the Western Nilotic languages. University[ edit ] He travelled abroad first as a player with the Ugandan national football team, in He gave up on football as a possible career, stayed in Britain, and studied education at the University of Bristol and then law at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. This had major consequences for his attitude as a scholar of African tradition, which was by no means accepting of the general run of earlier work, or what he called "dirty gossip" in relation to tribal life.
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It refers to people known locally as Luo Gang. That is why the Lango neighbours refer to the Acholi as Ugangi, meaning people of the home. Starting in the late seventeenth century, a new sociopolitical order developed among the Luo of Northern Uganda, mainly characterized by the formation of chiefdoms headed by Rwodi sg. The chiefs traditionally came from one clan , and each chiefdom had several villages made up of different patrilineal clans.
By the mid-nineteenth century, about 60 small chiefdoms existed in eastern Acholiland. Women daubed the walls with mud, decorating them with geometrical or conventional designs in red, white or grey. The men were skilled hunters, using nets and spears. They also kept goats , sheep and cattle. The women were accomplished agriculturists, growing and processing a variety of food crops, including millet , simsim , groundnuts, peas, sorghum and vegetables.
In war, the men used spears and long, narrow shields of giraffe or ox hide. In contrast, the Acholi and other northern ethnic groups supplied much of the national manual labour and came to comprise a majority of the military, creating what some have called a "military ethnocracy ". Notable among the Acholi soldiers who made the ranks were Gen. Tito Okello -Lutwa, Brig. Pyerino Okoya and Lt. Gen Bazilio Olara-Okello. Due to a changing economy, after the s, fewer Acholi were recruited to the armed forces, but continued to be associated with them in popular mythology and stereotypes.
He has noted that the emphasis on distinction among ethnic groups has even been part of the internal government dialogue. Idi Amin was also from north Uganda, but was of the Kakwa people. He was defeated in January Despite the years of leadership by men from the North, that region continued to be marginalized economically after independence, and has suffered higher rates of poverty than other areas of the country. Museveni has held absolute power since, surviving unrest, civil war, and numerous attempts at coups.
The activities of the LRA have been devastating within Acholiland though they spread also to neighbouring districts and countries. In September , the Ugandan government moved hundreds of thousands of Acholi from the Gulu district into camps, ostensibly for their protection. Since this policy has expanded to encompass the entire rural Acholi population of four districts, one million people. Malaria and AIDS have been the primary disease causes of deaths.
As of September , large numbers of Acholi people remain in camps as internally displaced persons. The long civil war in the North has destroyed much of their society.
The majority of elected members of parliament in the Acholi sub-region are members of the opposition. This structure was maintained by the real anointed chiefs of the Acholi, the rwodi moo. It was a system of governance fully integrated with their religion and cosmology. It was not until that a constitutional reform recognized such cultural leaders, but they have not been fully restored to previous powers, as so much of society has changed.
In the pre-colonial era, all the Acholi believed in the same superior being, YA Latwer. The system values peace over justice, and has retributive and restorative aspects. Purifications or atonement practices are still performed by Acholi elders in some communities. Kitgum, Pader and Gulu, the three districts of the Acholi sub-region, each established peace forums for continuing discussions. In addition, the peace forums have worked to help establish the Amnesty Commission.
They have also "played a vital role in Acholi traditional reconciliation processes and in preparing the community to receive former combatants. Ruhakana Rugunda , the Ugandan minister of internal affairs and leader of the government negotiating team, noted the effectiveness of the traditional system. He and others have suggested it could help the nation more than adopting the Western system of the International Criminal Court at The Hague although some charges had already been filed against LRA leaders in there.
Song of Lawino