The Bhandimanga clan is among 25 clans that make up the Obudhingiya Bwa Bwamba. The people belonging to this clan are called Bhandimanga. The word “Bandi” (plural) means “of or belonging to”, in this case people within or belonging to, or tracing their ancestry from Ndimanga as a clan. All clans in Obudhingiya Bwa Bwamba except a few use “Ba” to mean people within a clan too. In singular a person within a clan is represented by the word “Mundi”.
The Bhandimanga clan comprises of eleven (11) sub-clans as follows;
Feme ——— Bafeme
timbo ——— Bandimutimbo
syoko ——– Bandisyoko
fokeri ——– Bandifokeri
leeu ——- Bandileeu
kagwani —— Bandikagwani
Sendwa —— Basendwa
Ndwasumba —– Bandwasumba
Ndimbuwo —— Bandimbuwo
Kuwbikari —– Bakuwbikari
Origin of Bhandimanga
The Bhandimanga are believed to have originated and migrated from Toro kingdom. They are said to have been the Omukama’s (Toro king) entertainers who sang and danced traditional songs to the king. Their migration was around the 1870s. Anecdotal evidence reveals that their migration happened when, one day, the Omukama decided to visit Bwamba and with him were his entertainers (Bhandimanga). After they had reached and stayed in Bwamba with the Omukama for some time, he later decided to leave for Toro, while behind him the Bhandimanga stayed.
In Bwamba, the Bahndimanga occupied the places of Mwandika, Kisiri, Bbhamba and the places around river Lamia. Later they migrated into the forests of Zaire (present day Democratic Republic of Congo), there they meet the Bandimbele and Twa or Batwa (pygmies). They mostly stayed with Bandimbele since the Batwa lived in the deeper forests. From here, the Bhandimanga intermarried with the Bandimbele people and reproduced to form different sub-groups, namely Feme, Timbo, Syoko, Kubbhikali, Leeu, Kagwani, Sendwa, Ndyasumba, Ndimboyo and the Kphekaali sub-clans.
Way of life of the Bhandimanga people
The Bhandimanga are under a clan head called Omukwati W’enkoni Mukulu who is highly respected. He is responsible for presiding over ceremonies like marriage, burial ceremonies and many more. Each sub-clan also a leader called Omukwati W’enkoni Muto who has the same responsibilities at sub-clan level especially when Omukwati W’enkoni Mukulu is either sick or busy with some other responsiblity.
The Bhandimanga were said to have been music entertainers of the Omukama of Toro. They liked playing music and used tools like drums, traditional harps locally termed Likembe and Doomo, and others. They did fine cooking to the Omukama. Their most loved source was Sombe, a vegetable delicacy prepared from cassava leaves. The Ndimanga have rituals and taboos. Some of the totems of the Bhandimanga are mainly
• Ngamu (white bird)
• Omutuwe gwe mbuli (head of the goat)
It was believed that Ngamu was not eaten because it acted as a spiritual messenger and the head of a goat was prohibited because eating it would cause one to lose his/her teeth. These prohibitions stand up to today.