User Tools

Site Tools



The Acholi. like other African peoples regarded as occurrence triggered by some evil. No death was normal except may be the death of the very old folks.It was a dreaded event especially if the person was still of tender age. Death, though dreaded, was perceived as the beginning of another life– life of the spirit. For this reason, dead bodies were handled with great care. The same is also true of the various rituals that follow death. The Acholi people believed that the goal of life is to become an ancestor after death. This was why every person who died had tot be given a correct and decent burial and funeral.supported by a number of religious ceremonies. If this is not done, the dead person may become a wandering ghost, unable to “live” properly after death and therefore a danger to those who remain alive.The dead were believed to be somehow nearer to the gods than the living.

Burial and mourning varied from the dead person to the nature of his/ her death. From the person– his/ her age, sex nature of birth and position in society. A chief or a person from the royal family was buried in a different way from a commoner. A baby or child“s burial was different from that of a grown up. Twins and after twins were treated in a different way. A person who committed suicide or was killed had their own ways of burial.

Mourning would start with loud cries by those who were present at the time of death.If the dead was an elderly person, his sons, brothers or cousins blew horns to alert the people. In the chief's court, the royal drum would be sounded. Let me get to these one by one.


Whether male or female, mourning in the form of wailing begins straight away. Solemn funeral song are sung in low keys and tone especially by women The funeral drums are brought and sounded a. calabash is struck against a rough piece of wood. This sound has a saddening effect.It is not unbecoming here if someone decides to dance.
drums.jpgAcholi drums

(files from Google0 horns

Male mourners stayed out of the house while the females mourned from inside the hut of the deceased.. It was not considered brave for a man to wail loudly. A man had to be strong spirited- he was not to break down like a woman- a coward. While inside the women would prepare the corpse for burial They would dress the person in his best, put some simsim oil or shear nut oil on his breast. The men would wrap the corpse in a softened cow skin making it ready for burial. The corpse is carried to the grave. At this time no loud wailing is permitted.

memoir_project.txt · Last modified: 2018/07/29 08:10 (external edit)