Acholi Royal Dance Evolves Into Favorite for Commoners

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In short
Now days, the commoners also entertain themselves to the tune of the drums that were once a preserve for the royals.

Bwola, a royal traditional Acholi dance meant for chiefs has evolved into a popular dance for ordinary folks. The dance, which was once a preserve for entertaining traditional chiefs during their installations and special occasions in the palaces, has overtime become a common man’s favorite dance in Acholi.

Now days, the commoners also entertain themselves to the tune of the drums that were once a preserve for the royals. From weddings to graduation parties, the dancers grace the occasions to entertain the guests with the chief’s dancing tunes. Bwola dance is usually performed by a group of traditional dancers.

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Simon Cephas Okello, the Chairperson Acholi Youths Traditional Dancers Association says they are often hired out to perform the bwola dance during parties and marriage ceremonies. He notes that in the past Bwola could only be performed for the chiefs during their coronation but that overtime it’s now performed for ordinary people as well.

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Patrick Obonyo, a local music artist in Gulu town says bwola is a very important cultural aspect of the Acholi cultural heritage which gives them pride as a tribe. He says bwola dance is performed for dignitaries but of late it’s performed in all kinds of functions.

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Francis Achoka, an elder and traditionalist says though the dance has undergone some changes from being a preserve for chiefs to everyone enjoying it , key aspects of the dance should be maintained for the Acholi heritage.

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Bwola is to an Acholi what Kadodi is to a mugisu in Bugisu- a very important aspect of their cultural heritage.

 

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