Totems of Uganda – Buganda Edition Book Launch and Exhibition in Pictures – 21st Nov 2014

Posted November 25, 2014 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Book Review ~ 8,109 views



The long awaited ‘Totems of Uganda’ a cultural book published in paperback and a book that embraces nature was launched at the Uganda Museum by the Katikiiro of Buganda Owekitibwa Peter Mayiga on Friday November 21st 2014.  The colorful event also attracted members of the Buganda royal family that included Prince David Wasajja.


The event started off at about 5:30pm with an art exhibition that culminated into a book signing event by the book’s author Mr. Taga Nuwagaba.  The book that retails for UGX 200,000 shillings will also have a Diaspora launch during the 4th annual Ugandan Diaspora Gala 2014.


Diaspora Pre-orders can be made through Ronnie Mayanja at ( who will be coordinating this Diaspora effort. If you are interested in acquiring a copy of this coffee table family book that chronicles Buganda’s rich cultural history and the origin of the Totems or ‘Emiziro ja Buganda’ please contact us via mail so we can advise on the shipping and other related costs.  Find below some of the images from the official book launch of this artistically produced work of Buganda history.  If you would like to buy or attend this Diaspora Book launch please visit or save the date 30th December 2014 starting at 6pm – Kampala Serena Hotel Victoria Ballroom. 


About the Author — Mr. Taga Nuwagaba 

After completing Makerere University with a BA in Fine Art in 1990, Taga Nuwagaba embarked on his career and has painted since using water-color and oil. His favorite 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. A collection of Nuwagaba’s paintings depicting the totems of Uganda – The Buganda edition is now ready for sale co authored by Nathan Kiwere this book is a must own in every family home library. A totem is an object such as an animal or plant which serves as the symbol of an ethnic group or clan. It is revered by its clan members and cannot be eaten. Painting the totems of each of the 52 Baganda clans was a project that took the artist over three years.


This book published in paperback is great coffee table material with all the heritage and rich Ganda history featuring all the Buganda clan names, the Totems and their meaning plus how Buganda cultural institutions involved – All Baganda parents living in the Diaspora need to buy this book to help their children discover their cultural heritage. It will educate, teach conservation and introduce readers to nature and Buganda’s cultural heritage. Part of the proceeds from this book will also go toward the Buganda Kingdom rehabilitation projects.


In the Ugandan context, a totem is a symbol that represents a group of people with a common ancestral origin known as a clan. Several clans constitute an ethnic group. Traditions surrounding the totems are among the most important cultural practices in Uganda. This cultural heritage plays a significant role in the knowledge of their genealogies, naming rites, marriage practices and choice of food, among others. This sacred totemic practice has typified their cultural well-being from their traceable beginnings, hundreds of years ago. It has continued unabated throughout the ages, in spite of the social, political, economic, and more recently, technological transformations that have adversely affected established cultural institutions across the globe. To this day, it remains one of the few remnants of indigenous knowledge that are firmly entrenched in the socio-cultural fabric of Uganda. This edition addresses the traditions of the Baganda, Uganda’s largest ethnic group.


Below are some reviews and testimonials  for the book that included an endorsement from His Royal Majesty Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, the Kabaka of Buganda — Totemic traditions conserve wildlife

“I appreciate the tremendous research that was carried out to produce such an invaluable piece of
historic documentation. People of our times and the generations yet to come will greatly benefit
from the facts and figures contained in this book.”

His Royal Majesty Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, the Kabaka of Buganda Kingdom

“When animals were becoming scarce, Kabaka Kintu, with the general consent of his people, made
the rule that certain kinds of animals should be taboo to certain families… thus those particular
species of animals… were given a better chance of multiplying… and these became their totems.”

John Roscoe, The Baganda, (1911)

This book documents, in rich detail, the historic background to Buganda’s totemic symbolism. Here
are the symbols, illustrated with passionate intensity, that have, for centuries, been familiar to every
Muganda person as part of her or his given cultural identity.

Jonathan Kingdon – Zoologist, Science Author and Artist

“I hope the book encourages the young people of Uganda, and their parents, to preserve their totemic
traditions and the associated natural species with renewed vigilance… Young people everywhere
may also wish to adopt a totem and to preserve it with the same passion.”

Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE, UN Ambassador of Peace

“The neglect or destruction of the culture of any group is a loss to mankind as a whole.”
UNESCO Mexico City Declaration on Cultural Policies, 1982

This unique book of totems is full of inspiring words and stunning images – and will hopefully touch
and influence millions about conservation in Uganda and beyond its borders. David Shepherd, CBE – Artist and Conservationist.

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.



    Am a tourism professional in business i also do research in wildlife and indigenous knowledge.
    a lecturer at Muteesa 1 royal university.

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