||Muteesa I receives the British explorers John Hannington Speke (1827 - 1864) and James Grant (1827-1892)
||The Baganda belong to the Bantu speaking people and
date their political civilization back to the 13th century AD.
According to oral traditions, the ﬁrst Kabaka of Buganda was
Kintu. He is said to have come with his wife Nambi, whose
hand he won by performing heroic deeds at the command
of her father Ggulu, the god of the sky. Kabaka Kintu is said
not to have died but to have disappeared into a forest at
Magonga. At Kasubi and in all other royal tombs, there is an
area behind a bark cloth (lubugo) curtain known as Kibira or forest
where certain secret ceremonies are performed. At the
Kasubi Tombs the Kibira is the area where the real tombs of
the Kabakas are, while in front of the curtain there are raised
platforms corresponding to the position of each Kabaka’s
tomb behind the curtain.
The ﬁrst Kabaka to be buried at Kasubi was Muteesa I, who
was the 35th King. The dates of the reigns of the Kabakas are
only precisely known from Kabaka Suuna II, who ruled from
1836 to 1856.
Historically, Baganda Kabakas have always built their
palaces on strategic hills to control the major roads to the
palace, and ﬁnd easy ways to escape in case of an invasion
or a rebellion. When they died, the traditional practice was
to bury each Kabaka at a separate site and to establish a
royal shrine to house his jawbone which was believed to
contain his spirit at another site. These shrines were started
by descendants of the Kabaka’s leading chiefs, his wives, his
ritual half-sister, and by a spirit medium through which the
dead Kabaka communicated with his successors. Many of
these shrines are still maintained today.