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Culture & People

Owing to the large number of communities, culture within Uganda is diverse. Many Asians (mostly from India) who were expelled during the regime of Idi Amin have returned to Uganda. Most artists are self-supporting as there is virtually no state support. Small-scale, local initiatives take place, but it has been difficult to establish viable sectors because of the disruptions caused by long-term political conflict and economic decline.

The development of literature is at an early stage. It has been held back by the years of civil war. An Acholi, Okot p'Bitek, is one of Uganda's most famous writers of folklore, satirical poems and songs. His book Song of Lawino (1966) describes the stories told in Acholi songs.

Performing arts often are associated with different ethnic groups throughout the country. Each ethnic group has its musical history; songs are passed down from generation to generation. Ndigindi and entongoli (lyres), ennanga (harp), amadinda (xylophone) and lukeme ("thumb piano") are commonly played instruments. The first form of music genre in Uganda was kadongo kamu (single guitar). Kampala is the centre for Ugandan music, especially in the area of Wandegeya, which is the home of kadongo kamu. The most renowned musician of this style was Bernard Kabanda. There have been many contributors of kadongo kamu, which means one guitar as the leading instrument used to be one guitar over the years. Kadongo kamu never used to appeal to the young kids in the towns especially the learned ones as much as it did to the older people however it was always educational and informative.

In Uganda, the kanzu is the national dress of men in the country. Women from central and eastern Uganda wear a dress with a sash tied around the waist and large exaggerated shoulders called a gomesi. Women from the west, northwestern drape a long cloth around their waists and shoulders called (suuka). Women from the southwest wear a long baggy skirt and tie a short matching cloth across their shoulders.





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