Bunyoro kingdom was one of the territories that existed in Uganda, an east African nation. Following its separation from the northern kingdom of Sangora, also known as the Chwezi Empire, the Bunyoro kingdom was founded. The Bachwezi people founded the kingdom in the 16th century. About the fact that the Batembuzi were the leaders, the Bachwezi took their place. Individuals known as the Banyoro ruled the Bunyoro kingdom. They spoke a language called Nyoro or Runyoro. Banyoro people arrived in western Uganda after colonization. Today, they live in the western districts of Hoima, Kibale, and Masindi. The paper intends to analyze the beliefs of the Bunyoro people concerning death and organ donation.
Bunyoro beliefs as it relates to death
According to Bunyoro people, death was caused by the evil magic, ghosts, and witchcraft. To them, death is regarded as an actual creature which genuinely exists. When a person dies in the family, there is a procedure to be followed (Bunyoro, 2013). The first thing they would do is to clean the body of the deceased which is only done by the oldest woman in the family. By cleaning the body the woman will cut the hair, beards that are if the dead is a man, and then finally close the eyes of the deceased. After that, they give room for the community to view the body. But in the process of seeing the body, only women and children are allowed to shed tears. Men are prohibited from crying or shedding tears. When the deceased is the head of the family, there are some rituals to be undertaken. (Bunyoro, 2013)
There is a mixture of grain called ensigosigo and it is poured on the hand of the dead. The children are supposed to eat some part of the grain as a way of passing on his magic powers. After two days of giving last respect to the dead, the body is wrapped using a cloth. When the deceased is the head of the family wrapping is done outside in front of the house. While for a woman it is done inside the house. During burial, pregnant women are not supposed to participate. Because the negative forces of magic associated with the burial are not suitable for the unborn baby. Besides, it is important that everybody who has taken part in the funeral to wash their entire body after the process. It is because the negative forces of magic would destroy the crops. Finally, on burial day all family members of the deceased shave their hair and put them on the grave (Bunyoro, 2013).
Bunyoro beliefs as it relates to organ donation
According to most cultural and spiritual beliefs removal of an organ from a dead person is wrong despite the fact that these beliefs are mostly based on inappropriate theories (Bunyoro, 2013). The Bunyoro people believe that the dead should be buried with all body parts. They think that the body must be intact so that the soul of the deceased can return to its previous life. Due to the reason that the Bunyoro people are Christians feels in the early church. That when the body is not intact, then the dead will not go to heaven. Moreover, people were a bit hesitant to donate organs at death just because of fear of resurrection (Bunyoro, 2013). The belief of resurrection made them bury their dead only by wrapping them without cremating the body. Therefore it was clear that traditional beliefs of donating organs was difficult.
Bunyoro, S. I. (2013). Most of Bunyoro’s hundred and ten thousand or so in. Witchcraft and Sorcery in East Africa, 27.