Acholi Dancers Combine Culture and Income-Generation

During 2011, our Jinja beader group with Outreach Uganda’s help, upgraded its Acholi dancing group into a higher profile, more polished looking group of cultural dancers.  The dancers decided on a formal name of Pittek Luo Dancers, upgraded their dance costumes, added addtional musical instruments and added a few new dances to their repertoire.

Culturally, dancing has been an important part of the Acholi culture where entire communities incorporate dance as part of their rituals and  celebrations.  Besides the actual dancing, the clothing and other adornments such as anklet bells and beaded necklaces, plus musical instruments become an important part of the dance.

Traditional Acholi dances include:

Larakaraka – a courtship dance with an inner circle of women and outer circle of men with the use of calabashes (large hollowed out gourds) and drums

Dingi Dingi – a more free form creative dance performed after the harvest.  It’s usually performed by younger girls dancing in a line.

Bwola – the most important ceremonial dance which is performed before the chief (or in more modern times–an important guest of honor) to honor him and his guests.  The dance is named after the small bwola drums (bul) that are played by the men.

Pittek's Acholi Dancers marching in streets of Jinja

Pittek's Acholi Dancers marching in streets of Jinja

Pittek Luo Dancers and harp

Pittek Luo Dancers with harp

They were  invited to perform before Uganda’s president when he visited Jinja mid-year.   Here are some photos of the dancers at some of the 2011 activities. 

The men playing the calabashes (hollowed out gourds).

Please contact us if your NGO, company or group would like to have them perform for a function in Uganda.

Pittek Luo Dancers group photo.

Pittek Luo Dancers group photo--Acholi Dancers

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