The Cultural institution
The cultural heritage of Budaka district is associated with the Bagwere tribe being the dominant among other tribes. Therefore, the Kigwere culture rules the roost. However, like many tribes in Uganda, the cultural heritage of the Bagwere is not well documented but adequately articulated by ‘word of mouth’.
It is important to note that an initiative was put in place to establish the Lugwere language board. One of the key outputs of this board was to write and publish a Lugwere dictionary, lugere grammar analysis and to translate the Bible and other religious manuscripts into Lugwere language. The following manuscripts have been published with the support of Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) International: "Empandiika ya lutumu olugwere by Richard Kijali Nzogi”, "Egimo oku bbaluwa gya mutume opaulo” and Lugwere Orthography statement.
The formation of the Bagwere Cultural Union (BCU) was initiated and a constitution made in December, 2006. The leader of BCU according to article 6.1 is known as "Ikumbania”. The wife of Ikumbania is called "Ituluula”. The BCU headquarter is called "Embuga” located in Budaka Town Council, but with branches in Pallisa, Kibuku and Butebo counties as and when required. "Isimoola” is the parliament of BCU and its members are called "Bakwenda”. The emblem is represented by a set of "Namadu drums” which is an instrument of identity and a symbol of cultural heritage.
It should be observed that unlike for Buganda, Toro, Bunyoro and Ankole, with heritable kings; the BCU leader is elected among the heads of the clans. Article 6.1(b) spells out the qualifications of the Ikumbania. It is important to note that there are over 62 clans which belong to the Bagwere tribe as ethnicity but not all of them subscribe to BCU. In principle, there are 62 clans which prescribe to Bagwere Cultural Union and one of the heads of these clans called Itabangi was voted to be the head of BCU (Ikumbania).
Like it was in Teso, Busoga and Bukonzo, there are some sections of the Bagwere who are not happy with the formation of BCU. A case to note is the head of the Balangira clan who contends that he is a rightful/defacto cultural leader of the Bagwere tribe.