The Karamojong are a community of semi-nomadic pastoralist semi-nomadic pastoralists who migrated from Ethiopia settling in the districts of Kaabong, Kotido, Amudat, Napak, Moroto and others in northern Uganda. During migration the descendants of Nyangatom divided into two groups. One that settled in Kenya called the Kalenjin and Masai group and the other branch called the Ateker. Who split further to form the Turkana, Iteso, Dodoth, Jie, Karamojong, and Kunam, the Jiye and Toposa in South Sudan.

However the Karamojong are tall dark-skinned beautiful people with outstanding artistic facial markings. That are said to enhance the owner’s beauty, body piercings on the nose, ears. And mouth and are normally adorned in bright checkered lesus, sandles. Made from car tires and bright colored beads around the neck and ankles. The name Karamojong is derived from the phrase “ekar imojong” to mean the ones who could no longer move. They speak a language called nga Karamojong. They live in large homesteads and construct grass thatched houses finished with mud called Manyattas. Men set camp and guard the homestead overnight.

Ways Of Living

Women on the other hand do most of the household chores, cultivate land and prepare meals for the family. They are predominantly cattle keepers rearing large herds of livestock including goats, sheep and fowl for subsistence purposes. The climate in Karamoja is characterized by vast dry plains, seasonal rivers and one wet season hence the men and boys have to constantly move in search of fresh pasture and water for their animals. The Karamojong jealously guard their cattle against raiders as having cattle is a sign of wealth, prestige and social status and are normally seen carrying walking sticks. Their main source of livelihood is cattle keeping maybe that’s why they created worrier squads of cattle rustlers who raid neighboring communities stealing cattle using guns and poisonous arrows.

Marriage ceremonies in the Karamojong culture is specifically  quite unique. The groom must wrestle his soon to be wife from which if he emerges victorious he takes her hand in marriage, but in the circumstance where the bride to be defeats the man then his out casted as a weakling until he takes up a bride.


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