African Journal of
History and Culture

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Hist. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6672
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJHC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 173

Full Length Research Paper

The first track of cultural astronomy in Uganda: Perspectives of the Baganda, Bagisu, Banyoro and Langi

Bosco Oruru
  • Bosco Oruru
  • Department of Physics, College of Natural Sciences, Makerere University, P. O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda.
  • Google Scholar
Harriet Najjemba
  • Harriet Najjemba
  • Institute of Open Distance and eLearning, College of Education and External Studies, Makerere University, Uganda.
  • Google Scholar
Annet Eva Zawedde
  • Annet Eva Zawedde
  • Department of Physics, College of Natural Sciences, Makerere University, P. O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda.
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Ronald Nteziyaremye
  • Ronald Nteziyaremye
  • Department of Physics, College of Natural Sciences, Makerere University, P. O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda.
  • Google Scholar
Merciline Nayibinga
  • Merciline Nayibinga
  • Department of Physics, College of Natural Sciences, Makerere University, P. O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda.
  • Google Scholar
Florence Mutonyi D’ujanga
  • Florence Mutonyi D’ujanga
  • Department of Physics, College of Natural Sciences, Makerere University, P. O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda.
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  •  Received: 07 July 2020
  •  Accepted: 11 September 2020
  •  Published: 30 September 2020

Abstract

Uganda is among the most developing countries in Africa where astronomy education and outreach activities are at infant stages. Although Uganda has a long history of organized ethnic groups and cultures, record of cultural astronomy or its exploration is scanty, a challenge that this paper tries to address. A qualitative research design was adopted with emphasis on holistic description of primary data or information. Four ethnic groups, sampled from Central, Eastern, Northern and Western Uganda were explored, for which data were collected using questionnaires and interview guides. Most of the respondents were purposively sampled or hand-picked because they were either informative or had required characteristics. The commonly known visible celestial objects are the sun, moon and stars, all considered unique in characteristics. The moon and stars are believed to influence weather changes and socio-economic activities. The majority of stars are known to be smaller and very far away, with the bigger stars having names. The picture of a human being is famously recognized on the face of the moon. The ethnic groups still believe that the earth is flat and the sky is round with a diameter equal to the length of the earth.

 

Key words: Astronomy, ethnic groups, celestial objects, constellations, local names, myths.