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    SITE DESCRIPTION
 
  Axonometric view of the site
  Site Overview
The Kasubi Tombs site is divided into three main areas:
      The main tomb area or palace, called Muzibu Azaala Mpanga, which is located at the western end of the site.
      A large area on the eastern side of the site which is primarily used for agricultural purposes.
      A secondary graveyard and living area that is located behind the main tombs containing a number of buildings.

The entrance to the site is a beautifully built gatehouse called Bujjabukula. According to Ganda tradition, the guards who control access to the site hide behind a see-through woven reed screen, to keep watch round the clock. more..
 
  Muzibu Azaala Mpanga
  Muzibu Azaala Mpanga
Muzibu Azaala Mpanga is the main tomb area or palace. The first palace was originally built by Ssekabaka King Suuna II in 1820 (a deceased Kabaka is referred to as Ssekabaka). The main building that is seen today was rebuilt by Ssekabaka Mutesa I, son of Suuna II, in 1882.

Muzibu Azaala Mpanga, which means “A tough one brings forth powerful ones”, is circular in plan and has a dome-like shape. Its massive scale can be seen in its external diameter of 31 meters and an internal height of 7.5 meters. more..
 
  Traditional rituals
  Anthropological Dimensions
The physical features of the Kasubi Tombs represent only a fraction of the traditional life there. The tombs and the entire site environment carry strong spiritual and social significance while the architecture itself carries meanings related to the Ganda traditions. The rich decorative features, invested with spiritual values, reflect the interaction between nature and culture, between the spirits and the living people. One example is the fifty two rings of spear grass supporting the great roof. Their number relates to the fifty two Ganda clans. more..
 
  A member of the Ngeye clan thatching
  The Thatched Roofs
The thatching technique at the Kasubi tombs is quite unique and can hardly be compared to any other African or European thatching technique. The grass is prepared in conical bundles which are simply laid onto the roof structure without being tied, except for the first layers at the bottom. When one of these bundles decays, it can be efficiently replaced. This interesting technique makes the huge maintenance task of the thatched roofs much easier.

All thatching and roof maintenance is exclusively carried out by the members of the Ngeye clan (colobus monkey clan). The thatching skills are kept and advanced within the Ngeye clan and knowledge is passed down to generations through apprenticeship. more..
 
  A woman wearing bark cloth
  Bark Cloth
Creating cloth fabric from the soft bark of the fig tree (ficus natalensis) is one of the more fascinating Ganda skills. This bark cloth, called olubugo, has a strong ritual importance to the people of Buganda. To make this soft and resistant fabric, the outer bark of the tree is carefully removed and then alternately soaked and beaten with a grooved wooden mallet, until the fibers become flexible. The bark then re-grows and can be harvested again a year later.

Prior to the introduction of cotton cloth in Buganda by Arab traders, olubugo was the standard fabric used for clothing by Baganda. Bark cloth or olubugo is used for covering and decoration throughout the Kasubi Tombs complex. In contemporary Uganda, however, bark cloth or olubugo is primary used as burial cloth in Buganda and a few other communities, and to make souvenirs and novelty products hats, mats, book covers and purses. more..
 
  Ground conservation
  Conservation
The biggest challenge in terms of conservation is to keep the thatched roofs in good condition. Although the thatching skills are still well mastered, and the thatch material is abundant, conserving the roofs requires continuous efforts in terms of monitoring and replacement of the decayed grass. Financial resources are also needed to purchase the new thatch and pay the artisans. more..
 
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