Tooro Kingdom

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Kingdom of Tooro

Flag of Tooro
Location of the Tooro Kingdom (red) in Uganda (pink)
Location of the Tooro Kingdom (red)

in Uganda (pink)

CapitalFort Portal
Official languagesRutooro
Ethnic groups
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy
• Omukama
Rukidi IV
• from the Kingdom of Bunyoro
1830, 1876
• Monarchy abolished
• Monarchy reinstated
1830-196713,158.7 km2 (5,080.6 sq mi)
1993-present8,350.5 km2 (3,224.1 sq mi)
CurrencyUgandan shilling
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)
Calling code256
Tooro Palace
The original Kingdom of Tooro (red) and its districts. Lake Victoria and other bodies of water are shaded blue.

Tooro is a Bantu kingdom located within the borders of Uganda.[1] The current Omukama of Toro is King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV.[1] King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV took to the throne of Tooro kingdom in 1995 at the age of just three years, after the death of his father Omukama Patrick David Matthew Kaboyo Rwamuhokya Olimi III on August 26, 1995, at the age of 50.[1][2]

The people native to the kingdom are the Batooro, and their language is likewise called Rutooro.[1][3] The Batoro and Banyoro speak closely related languages, Rutoro and Runyoro, and share many other similar cultural traits.[3] The Batoro live on Uganda's western border, south of Lake Albert.[1]


The Tooro Kingdom evolved out of a breakaway segment of Bunyoro sometime before the nineteenth century.[4] It was founded in 1830 when Omukama Kaboyo Olimi I, the eldest son of Omukama of Bunyoro Nyamutukura Kyebambe III of Bunyoro, seceded and established his own independent kingdom.[3][1] Absorbed into Bunyoro-Kitara in 1876, it reasserted its independence in 1891.

As with Buganda, Bunyoro, and Busoga, Tooro's monarchy was abolished in 1967 by the Government of Uganda, but was reinstated in 1993.[1]

Cultural influence[edit]

The Austrian painter Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928–2000) spent some time there in the 1960s where he painted a number of works and named them after the kingdom.[5][6] The Batoro people have a strong culture but similar in stratification to Bunyoro.[2] They have got a strong cultural naming system (PET NAME) known as Empaako.[7][8] With the Empaako naming system, children are given one of twelve names shared across the communities in addition to their given and family names.[8][9] Addressing someone by his or her Empaako is a positive affirmation of cultural ties. It can be used as a form of greeting or a declaration of affection, respect, honour or love.[8][7] Use of Empaako can defuse tension or anger and sends a strong message about social identity and unity, peace and reconciliation.[8][10] The Empaako names are: AMOOTI, ABBOOKI, AKIIKI, ATEENYI, ADYERI, ATWOKI, ABWOLI, ARAALI, ARAALI, ACAALI, BBALA and OKAALI.[8][10][9]

Abakama of Tooro[edit]

The following is a list of the Abakama of Tooro since 1800:[citation needed]

  1. Olimi I: 1822–1865
  2. Ruhaga of Toro: 1865–1866
  3. Nyaika Kyebambe I: 1866–1871 and 1871–1872
  4. Rukidi I: 1871
  5. Olimi II: 1872–1875
  6. Rukidi II: 1875–1875
  7. Rububi Kyebambe II: 1875 and 1877–1879
  8. Kakende Nyamuyonjo: 1875–1876 and 1879–1880
  9. Katera: 1876–1877
    1. Interregnum, reverted to Bunyoro: 1880–1891
  10. Kyebambe III: 1891–1928
  11. Rukidi III: 1929–1965
  12. Olimi III: 1965–1967
    1. in pretence: 1967–1993 (monarchy abolished)
  13. Rukidi IV: 1995 (monarchy reinstated)

See also[edit]


  • Ingham, Kenneth. The Kingdom of Tooro in Uganda. London: Methuen, 1975.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Today in History: Toro king passes on". Retrieved 2020-05-30.
  2. ^ a b "The Kingdom of Toro". Retrieved 2020-05-30.
  3. ^ a b c Turyahikayo, B. (1976). "Review of A DYNASTIC HISTORY "THE KINGDOM OF TORO IN UGANDA"". Transafrican Journal of History. 5 (2): 194–200. ISSN 0251-0391. JSTOR 24520247.
  4. ^ "Uganda Batoro - Flags, Maps, Economy, History, Climate, Natural Resources, Current Issues, International Agreements, Population, Social Statistics, Political System". Retrieved 2020-05-30.
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b "UNESCO - Empaako tradition of the Batooro, Banyoro, Batuku, Batagwenda and Banyabindi of western Uganda". Retrieved 2020-05-30.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Empaako Ceremony, Origin and meaning. | The Ugandan - Discover the Pearl of Africa". Retrieved 2020-05-30.
  9. ^ a b "Home". Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda. Retrieved 2020-05-30.
  10. ^ a b BigEyeUg3 (2015-11-02). "PET NAMES (EMPAAKO) and Their Meaning". BigEye.UG. Retrieved 2020-05-30.

External links[edit]