A Study of Totems and Clans In Uganda, The Buganda Edition, Taga Art Exhibition

Posted May 9, 2011 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Artists ~ 14,151 views


By Ronnie Mayanja | Kampala | A totem in Uganda’s context is a symbol that represents a group of people with common ancestral origin called the clan, this can either be an animal, bird, plant or fish. The idea behind a totem was that you can not hunt, kill or eat your totem. You then become the protector of the very species that represent your bloodline and heritage. Ssekabaka Kintu of Buganda used the system as a way to preserve the dwindling wildlife within his kingdom and this has been carried down centuries since 1200AD.

It was therefore an honor when I was invited along with other guests to the Taga-Art exhibition at Agha Khan Primary and secondary school to attend the ‘Me and My Totem’ Buganda Edition that was attended by among others Engineer Waligo the head of all Clan heads in Buganda who represented the Kabaka of Buganda.

About the Artist,

His name is Taga Nuwagaba, a famous Ugandan artist who graduated from Makerere University, school of fine art in 1990. Specializing in watercolour and oil paints Taga art will grab the attention of any art collector. His favourite subject has always been wildlife and the human figure. He has a passion for culture and the people he prefers for his subject are usually from rural Uganda.

Taga has worked with many conservation and wildlife groups in Uganda like the Jane Goodall Institute in Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, Ecotrust, and African Wildlife Foundation. His wildlife works of primates and moths have appeared on Uganda stamps.

Uganda Tourist Board commissioned him to make a mural depicting thirty five Uganda ‘s favourite bird species to represent Uganda in the International bird-fairs abroad. His work hangs in the prestigious Mweya Lodge, Queen Elizabeth National Park Semliki Safari Lodge in Semliki National Park, Emin Pasha Hotel, Nile Prestige Bank, Rwenzori Finest coffee (Lugogo Mall), State House-Entebbe, Citibank, Hima Cement Offices in Kampala and many Residences in Uganda and abroad.

Taga lectured in art as a fulbright scholar at the Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee–USA as a Fullbright Scholar. Taga is a full time artist in Uganda working on the preservation of Culture and Conservation of Wildlife thought art.

He has a home Gallery on Gayaza Road , Kyanja and his studios are at Tagaframe on Kira Road , Kamwokya. and

About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.

One Comment


    I do like buganda as akingdom and the kabaka as a king

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