Edeke, Iteso god of calamity

Today, Monday, 14th February 2022, there will be a requiem mass held at Namugongo Catholic Shrine, starting at 10:00 a.m., as part of the aipuduno ceremonies for Papa Emorimor Osuban, now rested. His soul will be prayed for to find eternal peace and the love of God, Edeke in Ateso.

Interestingly, prior to colonisation and the coming of global-western missionaries to Uganda, the Iteso believed in an OMINIPOTENT GOD CALLED AKUJ (the heavens), and a GOD OF CALAMITY CALLED EDEKE.

How come the Christian God in Ateso is called EDEKE and not AKUJ? Food for thought that needs further digestion. It gives insight on how Christianity was imposed.

Ateso, the language of my people, Iteso, the fifth largest first nation of Uganda, is beautiful. Aipuduno, for example, is the same word that is used for “the ceremony of taking the corpse out of the house,” and the ceremony for the first time of “taking the new born baby from the house.”

It would appear that within the central logic of Iteso, death is a re-birth of sorts – transitioning to another form, but still with us. Perhaps, that is why prior to colonisation and the coming of exogenous missionaries, Iteso nurtured a strong connection with the spirits of our ancestors gone before us.

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