When the Iteso moved..

Part one of the series about the Iteso culture. All the Information here has been got from either Google, or personal inquiries with people well vast with the Iteso culture. The Information is ofcourse disputable. Feel free to make additions and subtractions after you read. Enjoy your read!


The Iteso are one of the many tribes found in Eastern Uganda and they occupy a region commonly known as Teso. Teso comprises of the districts of Kumi, Soroti, Katakwi, Kaberamaido, Amuria, Bukedia. Some Iteso also live in Pallisa, Tororo and Western Kenya. However my discussion will be exclusive to the Iteso of Uganda. The Iteso speak a Nilo Harmite language called Ateso. It is similar to Karimojong and Kumam. A female person belonging to Ateso tribe is called an Atesot. A male person is reffered to as an Etesot. And generally they are reffered to as Iteso.
The The Iteso people are believed to have migrated from Abysinnia, the current day Ethiopia and some part of Eritrea. They are believed to have their roots among the Habesha people of Abbysinia. The Iteso migrated because of the political instability in Abbysinia at that time. They moved south wards among the South Sudan Nilotic tribes of Dinka, Anwak, etc.
The Iteso are believed to have moved into Uganda through the North Eastern region. When they reached the North East some of the Iteso suggested that they should end their journey there and settle In the North East. However some of them insisted that they should keep moving because they could find a better place to live In considering the fact that the climate conditions in the North East were not the most pleasant. This brought about conflict among the Iteso and part of them decided to remain In the North East. They are the present day Karimojongs. Myth has It that the Karimojongs are therefore uncles or grandfathers to the Iteso because It is believed that part of the reasons they settled in the North East was because they were old and got tired to continue moving. So the young ones left them and continued with the journey until they reached Eastern Uganda and settled there. Those are the current day Iteso. Its no suprise the Iteso speak a similar lanuguage with Karimojong.
That was how the Iteso moved to Uganda.


Till then..

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  1. I don’t know what is more amazing,the fact that you love your culture enough to do sm research & write about it or that its surpringly so well put out!
    kudos 4 am sure I could never pull such off!
    I will be reading them series such that wen my knight in shining Etesot shows up am well versed with our culture…
    yo my authority- He thanks u in advance!


  2. Fun fact: it is said that we are descended from Joseph of the Bible who had married a black Egyptian woman and that when the Israelites migrated from Egypt, we instead followed the blue Nile.

    Also, that when the young men left the old people in karamoja (ikar imojong) to look for greener pastures, the old men called the young men dead bodies (atesia) with the assumption that when they venture into the further jungles of present day Uganda, they’d be dead, hence the name Ateso.

    Awesome job with this series. I just found it😅

    Emuria Koliai

    Liked by 1 person

  3. All these myths about the cradle of the Iteso is a matter of conjecture. I a have never come a cross a credible study backed by proper anthropological and historical study to lend credence to what many say on the social media. However enthused by the interest generated in the social media which might one day lead to good account that will settle the long search. I am not also ruling out some good research somewhere published or unpublished but not accessible to us who are thirsty and curious to understand at the bear minimum our roots and socio-political systems and cultural heritage.
    Ekissa Ayele

    Liked by 1 person

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