Introduction / History
The Saamia-Bungwe people are an agricultural group living around Lake Victoria in both Kenya and Uganda. They also extend to the rocky hills of Tororo where water is drawn mainly from the bore-holes and a few erratic streams which often dry up. The main crops are Cassava, millet, maize, sweet potatoes, and beans. Fruits like mangoes, citrus etc. grow wild. In addition, people keep poultry, sheep and goats, although in small numbers due to the prevalence of tsetse flies. In the past, the area had a sleeping sickness problem but that is now under control. Among the Saamia, land ownership is communal. When a man marries, he inherits a portion of the land owned by his father. The size depends on the available quantity.
Marriage ceremonies have both traditional and Christian dimensions. Partners discover each other because arranged marriages are rare today. The bride price is paid in monetary terms or in kind as cattle. No special clothes are worn for a traditional marriage. However, for a Christian marriage, the English wedding gowns and other bridal fittings are used. The man dresses in a suit or a traditional "Kanzu".
For the marriage to succeed, children are a must. The average family size is seven per couple, but, polygamy is common. Despite reduced death rates, resistance to family planning is still high. Those that are Christians have a strong faith and are considering their futures.
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