The Ganda are an ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

 native to Buganda
Buganda is a subnational kingdom within Uganda. The kingdom of the Ganda people, Buganda is the largest of the traditional kingdoms in present-day Uganda, comprising all of Uganda's Central Region, including the Ugandan capital Kampala, with the exception of the disputed eastern Kayunga District...

, a subnational
Administrative division
An administrative division, subnational entity, or country subdivision is a portion of a country or other political division, established for the purpose of government. Administrative divisions are each granted a certain degree of autonomy, and are required to manage themselves through their own...

A monarchy is a form of government in which the office of head of state is usually held until death or abdication and is often hereditary and includes a royal house. In some cases, the monarch is elected...

 within Uganda
Uganda , officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by...

. Traditionally comprising 52 tribes (although since a 1993 survey, only 46 are currently officially recognised) the Ganda have a rich history and culture. One early-twentieth-century British observer described them as "perhaps the most advanced and cultured" of the Bantu peoples. Sometimes described as "The King's Men" because of the importance of the king, or Kabaka
Kabaka of Buganda
Kabaka is the title of the king of the Kingdom of Buganda. According to the traditions of the Baganda they are ruled by two kings, one spiritual and the other material....

, in their society, the Ganda number an estimated three million in Uganda. In addition, there is a significant diaspora
A diaspora is "the movement, migration, or scattering of people away from an established or ancestral homeland" or "people dispersed by whatever cause to more than one location", or "people settled far from their ancestral homelands".The word has come to refer to historical mass-dispersions of...

 abroad, with organised communities in Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Their language is called Luganda.

Early history

The early history of the Ganda is unclear, with various conflicting traditions as to their origins. One tradition holds that they are descendants of the legenday figure of Kintu
The legend of Kintu
Kintu is a mythological figure who appears in a legend of the Baganda of Uganda as a creation myth. According to this legend, Kintu was the first person on earth, the father of all people.-Myth:...

, the first human
First man or woman
First man or woman may refer to:* The spouse of an elected head of state, see First Lady, First Gentleman.* First Man, the biography of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon....

 according to Ganda mythology. He was said to have married Nambi, the daughter of the creator deity
Creator deity
A creator deity is a deity responsible for the creation of the world . In monotheism, the single God is often also the creator deity, while polytheistic traditions may or may not have creator deities...

 Ggulu. A related tradition holds that Kintu came from the east, from the direction of Mount Elgon
Mount Elgon
Mount Elgon is an extinct shield volcano on the border of Uganda and Kenya, north of Kisumu and west of Kitale.- Physical features :It is the oldest and largest solitary volcano in East Africa, covering an area of around 3500 km²....

, and passed through Busoga on the way to Buganda. A separate tradition holds that the Ganda are the descendents of a people who came from the east or northeast around 1300, possibly either a "Hamitic
Hamitic is an historical term for the peoples supposedly descended from Noah's son Ham, paralleling Semitic and Japhetic.It was formerly used for grouping the non-Semitic Afroasiatic languages , but since, unlike the Semitic branch, these have not been shown to form a phylogenetic unity, the term...

" people from Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

, or one of the Luo peoples from Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

. According to the traditions chronicled by Sir Apolo Kagwa
Apolo Kagwa
Sir Apolo Kagwa KCMG MBE is considered Buganda's first and foremost ethnographer. He was appointed prime minister of the Kingdom of Buganda by King Mwanga II in 1890, and served in that capacity until 1926...

, Buganda's foremost ethnographer
Ethnography is a qualitative method aimed to learn and understand cultural phenomena which reflect the knowledge and system of meanings guiding the life of a cultural group...

, Kintu was the first Muganda, and having descended to Earth at Podi is said to have moved on to Kibiro, and having reached Kyadondo in Uganda's modern-day Wakiso District
Wakiso District
Wakiso District is a district in Central Uganda that encircles Kampala, Uganda's capital city. The district is named after the town of Wakiso, where the district headquarters are located.-Location:...

 have formed Buganda there. As the Ganda are a Bantu people, it seems likely that they originated as a people in Central Africa
Central Africa
Central Africa is a core region of the African continent which includes Burundi, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda....


Kintu should not be confused with Kato Kintu, a recorded historical figure who founded the kingdom of Buganda as its first Kabaka in the early 14th century. The latter Kintu, whose origins are unclear, is said to have adopted the name Kintu in reference to the legend of Kintu to establish his legitimacy as a ruler. He was successful in forcefully conquering and unifying what had previously been a number of warring tribes.

British rule and Uganda Protectorate

The Ganda came into contact with the British
British people
The British are citizens of the United Kingdom, of the Isle of Man, any of the Channel Islands, or of any of the British overseas territories, and their descendants...

 in the nineteenth century, resulting in widespread social upheavals in Buganda. The population of the Ganda, said to have numbered three million during the reign of Muteesa I
Muteesa I of Buganda
Muteesa I Mukaabya Walugembe Kayiira was Kabaka of the Kingdom of Buganda, from 1856 until 1884. He was the thirtieth Kabaka of Buganda.-Claim to the throne:...

 (1856–1884), diminished to around a 1.5 million as a result of famine and civil war. By the early 1900s, their population had been reduced to around one million as a result of an epidemic of sleeping sickness. Changes to Bugandan society, the first major change being the introduction of a standing army
Standing army
A standing army is a professional permanent army. It is composed of full-time career soldiers and is not disbanded during times of peace. It differs from army reserves, who are activated only during wars or natural disasters...

 during Muteesa I's reign, were accelerated when Buganda became the centre of the newly formed Uganda Protectorate as part of the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

in 1894. Land which had previously belonged solely to the Kabaka, was divided among the Kabaka and the tribal chiefs. Many of the old clan burial-grounds, previously considered sacred, were desecrated.
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