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Ganda Cultural Practices, Shadia Nashreen Munir Primary School

The Ganda people are famous for their beautiful craft work; they make mats and baskets with many different designs. Mats and screens which they use to decorate their houses, are woven and plaited or sewn in patterns of black on a pale yellow background. Their shields are made from wood, hides and canes then covered with straws or painted in black or natural colour. Ganda drums are often decorated with knitting or have coloured beads and shells sewn on them. The best example of Kiganda architecture is the great court house of Mutesa I at Kasubi. The palace, built in 1882 is the largest thatched building in the country. The king chose this site as Kasubi because it over looked the main roads to every part of his Kingdom. The palace was built facing west so that the palace guards could see easily any hostile army approaching from the kingdom of Bunyoro with whom the Baganda were then at war.

The main entrance to the palace is a hut which was once manned day and night by the palace guards. Behind this is a small hut housed the royal drums. The palace itself, which is 15 meters in diameter, is made of poles, reed and grass. It was built by many different clans, thatching was done by the colobus monkey clan, and the decoration by the leopard clan. Inside the court-house, large posts support and great roof. The huge rings inside the roof are made of palm leaves which were carefully beaten to make them bend easily then tied together. The king by tradition laid the first three rings of the roof by tradition then every clan adds another according to their hereditary order. Today the great court-house houses graves of the last four kings behind which is a chamber known as Kibira or Forest where special sacred ceremonies are still performed.