The importance of the Bachwezi in the History of East Africa

The importance of the Bachwezi in the History of East Africa

  • They introduced the centralized system of governance which was later adopted in many societies.
  • They introduced hierarchical system of administration whereby administration was broken down into smaller units.

  • The Chwezi are also remembered for introducing the idea of a standing army in the kingdom.
  • The Chwezi also introduced the system of having a royal regalia comprising of the symbols of power in a community e.g. drums, spear e.t.c
  • The Bachwezi were the founders of ancient Bunyoro- Kitara Kingdom which spread from Western Uganda to Western Kenya and Northern Tanganyika.
  • They introduced games which are still popular in Uganda today e.g. local wrestling and Omweso.
  • The Bachwezi also introduced coffee and banana growing in E.Africa which are still cash crops.
  • The Chwezi introduced the idea of palace officials, royal women and slave artisans who were trained in administration.

  • The Chwezi are also remembered for their super natural powers i.e. they were a strange group of people who performed miracles and could disappear when annoyed.
  • They introduced a religion called Abashomi which is still evident up to today in Western Uganda particularly in Bunyoro.
  • They built their capital at Bigobyamugenyi which is still a tourist attraction for Uganda today.
  • The Bachwezi introduced the idea of royal enclosures (Ebirembo) in palaces such as Bigo, Mubende, Ntusi and kibengo. These were mainly for protecting cattle.
  • The Chwezi also introduced the idea of grass thatched houses smeared with cow-dung and decorated with a variety of handcrafts inside.
  • The Chwezi also introduced social classes in society especially in Western Uganda where the Bairu are the cultivators and subjects while the Bahima are the cattle keepers and ruling class.
  • They introduced iron working and they made implements such as spears, Pangas, Hoes e.t.c.

  • Discovered hot springs e.g. Kitagata in Western Uganda.
  • They also developed the art and craft industry e.g. they introduced basket weaving.
  • They also introduced bark cloth manufacture


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