The Kasubi Tombs located on the hill of Kasubi is an ancient heritage site of the Kingdom of Buganda and is central to the Baganda traditions. The Kasubi Tombs are about5km drive from the Kampala city center and have for long acted as the burial grounds of the Kingdom of Buganda and it is worldly recognized as a world heritage site as declared by United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The heritage of this traditional site date back to 1882 when Kabaka Mutesa relocated his palace to Nabulagala hill just like his predecessor Kabaka Suuna II and upon his settlement, he renamed the hill Kasubi in memory of his birth place which is located at about 50km east of this site. A gigantic palace was constructed on top of a hill and the big house was named Muziba Azala Mpanga in which he stayed until his death in 1884 following long illness. Following the King’s death, the palace was deserted as it was supposed to be done according to the Baganda customs and his predecessor the Kabaka Mwanga settled at Mengo Hill overlooking the hill of Kasubi. Mwanga later died in 1910 and was buried officially seven years later at Kasubi Hill. Kabaka Daudi Chwa who reigned from 1897 – 1939 is also buried at Kasubi along with Sir Edward Mutesa II who was buried in 1971 following the return of his body from abroad where it had stayed for 2 years.
Buganda's Fallen Kings
The Kasubi Tombs are housed in the former palace of Mutesa and it is a remarkable traditionally motivated architectural dome thatched with local grass and put together by locally selected poles. The site as for long laid undisturbed before it was hit by a gut fire that erased the ancient building into ashes. However, a building of similar structure has been restored and every tradition has been put in consideration. The Kasubi tombs has got ancient artifact assemblage including fetishes, weapons, shields, traditional musical instruments, the gifts from the Queen Victoria of England, a stuffed leopard which was a pet for Kabaka Mutesa I.
Ancient craft at kasubi tombs
The clans of Buganda counting to 52 are represented by giant rings in the roof top. The traditional tombs have got a limited access and observing of traditional dressing like the red bark cloth veil and removing shoes s considered. The tombs are under the maintenance of the wives of the deceased Kings and some of them live at the site while the rest do a month shift two times in a year. A lot of the Kings wives, sisters and other female relatives are also buried at Kasubi in a range of smaller houses that lie along the drive way. Kasubi tombs is entered through a large traditional reception named as bujjabukula and is tended by a gateman called Mulamba (hereditary title) dressed in beautiful yellow bark cloth robe along with his assistants.