Patiko Chiefdom Stool with EmblemThe history of Patiko Chiefdom begins with all other Luo Groups including that of Acholi, which they came with from “Misiri” (Egypt) beyond Sudan [or beyond Barh-el-Ghazel Region]. [The mention of Misiri is also found among some Acholi/Luo Chiefdoms like Alero, Alur/Jonam and Luo-related groups like the royal histories of Bunyoro-Kitara and Buganda Kingdoms]. Patiko is one of the most researched, documented and has one of the longest ancestral royal-linages of all Luo/Lwo and related groups in Eastern & Central Africa.


While beyond Sudan, Patiko Chiefdom began like this: Deng (Chief – Rwot) was the father who had four sons that became great-grandfathers [1000 – 1300?] of Shilluk [Collo], Dinka [Jiang], Anyuak [Nyagi/Anywak], Nuer (Naad)] and Chuli [Acol/Gang/Shuli (Acholi)]. What later happened between Labongo [Nyabongo] and Gipir [Nyipir/Kipir/Lapii] is similar to what had happened with Deng’s children beyond Sudan.  [Dinka, Nuer, Shilluk & Anyuak traditions talk of Dowaat, Nyikango, Dimo, Gillo and Dengdit (Deng?), as forefathers prior to Luo Migration. Some of their traditions also mention the ‘Spear & Bead Incident’ having taken place there].  Shilluk and Dinka were very close to each other while Anyuak and Chuli were similarly very close.

Anyuak and Chuli later migrated off together from Sudan [1300-1400?] even though some few remained:

Sudan Girl in hide wears with cowrice shells and beads embroidering

Sudan Girl in hide wears with cowrice shells and beads embroidering

The migration was possibly caused by draught/famine, disease epidemics, over-population or most likely Islamic Conquests. Many entered eastwards into Abyssinia, present day Ethiopia [while others went westwards]. Major parts of Anywak & Choli moved southwards to a place called Tugutana, which is far north of present day Uganda in Sudan. They migrated as Luo [Lwo or Lwoo] Groups. The first (6) Rwot Labongo was the chief who led the masses to Tugutana & he had three sons; Kijok, Tere & Tika (Atiko). By three spiritual processes of elimination, Tika was chosen to be the next Rwot after Labongo. And upon Rwot Labongo’s death, (7) Rwot Tika took over reign (his two brothers later departed in jealousy with their supporters). Rwot Tika (Atiko) thereby led to the creation of Patiko Chiefdom [another version says it was the later Rwot Atiko (17)]. His heir, (8) Rwot Cebami-Labongo (Kyebami), succeeded him then broke off from Nyagi (Anywuak) and moved southwards to Anyigi and later to Alaaro [both places somewhere in present South Sudan along the Nile (Kiir) but the second could be closer to Uganda]. It is alleged that the famous episode of Labongo & Gipir might have begun in Alaaro [as the masses continued southwards] and later cumulated into the split at Pubungu (Pakwach now) [near the shores of Lake Albert (Nyanza – Onekbonyo) & confluence of River Nile (Luo Triangle)].

See below Appendix for the story.

Then (9) Rwot Olum (Panya) succeeded his father Cebami-Labongo. He brought the migrating masses southwards along the Nile to the vicinity of Pubungu where his sons’ Labongo & Gipir ordeal too place. And after the ‘Labongo & Gipir’ split he led Patiko (& Luo) from Pubungu eastwards to where a first settlement was made. Some reports say that Rwot Olum then took some Patiko & Luo into Bunyoro; Palaro version says Olum Panya became Mukama of Bunyoro while other reports, including Alero’s stated it was his son, Rwot Labongo (from famous wife Nyilak, a nyatoro), who entered Bunyoro. [Bunyoro version acknowledges Labongo’s father but talks of Nyabongo (Labongo) also called Rukidi (Lakidi?) Isingoma; becoming the first Babiito Omukama of Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom & his brother, Kintu (Kin-to?), the first Kabaka of Buganda, then Cwaa. There are Patiko (other Luo/Acholi) clans still present in Bunyoro up to now and most likely the same clan as Butiko in Buganda. Further, like with Patiko (& few Acholi Chiefdoms), “Ruda” (Bush Bucks) are taboo to Babitto-Kitara Royal people. Note that ‘bito’ is another Luo/Acholi term for ‘royal or ker’]. Traditions of Alur-Angal of West Nile also mention Cebami (Kyebami), Labongo, Gipir, Tifol (kipfol) and Nyilak in their history. Labongo succeeded his father Olum and his connection with Bunyoro is already mentioned above.

Labongo’s son, (11) Rwot Keno/Keeno succeeded him and moved Patiko (plus some Luo) to Got Bana. Reportedly, one version says Bunyoro split with Patiko under Rwot Keno and thereafter most Patiko People remained north of the River Nile. Another version says Rwot Keno’s cows disappeared and his son, also called Keno, went in search of them, crossed the Nile and never returned. Then Rwot Keno himself followed in search of his son & cows but never returned either!! [Maybe this could partly explain the Bunyoro version of Babiito’s Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom creation, subsequently that of Buganda & other kingdoms south – story beyond this scope]. Patiko (few other Chiefdoms) and Bunyoro have had centuries of special relationships – attends (witnesses) Omukama installations or funerals and likewise, Bunyoro officials attend installations or funerals of some Rwodi (Chiefs).

After Rwot Keno’s disappearance, his other son, (11) Rwot Okello-Angora succeeded him, followed by (12) Rwot Onyuru (Ongu): Both died & were buried at Got (Mt) Bana. Then (13) Rwot Kipir (Lapi/Gipir) – not the bead one – succeeded his father Onyuru and moved Patiko back towards the Nile settling at Ogali (near the Nile in Amuru District of today) & he died there near Rwom-Apar. Son (14) Rwot Kifol/Kifool/Gifol took over the rein and died at the same place. His heir, (15) Rwot Mama was the successor to the throne and again moved Patiko to Lapolo-moony. At those times, Patiko and other Acholi Chiefdoms traversed the “Luo Triangle” (around R. Nile/L. Albert into Acholi Region); several mentioned the Luo dispersals & encounters with one another like Payira, Alero, Bwobo etc.

Starting from beyond Sudan to Tugutana and onwards to up to today, Patiko Chiefdom has had the following Rwodi (Chiefs) and/or Jagi/Regents (caretakers):-


[Also see Crazzolara (1938, 1951; F.K Girling 1960)]:-


  1. (From Misiri (Egypt) 1000-1200?
  2. Deng (Dengdit?)1300?
  3. Labongo 1350? –
  4. Tika (Atiko)
  5. Cebami-Labongo (Kyebami)
  6. Olum (Panya)- Bunyoro Luo Entry1400-50?
  7. Labongo, 1stBunyoro Omukama, Isingoma?
  8. Keno [SPLIT WITH BUNYORO] – 1500?
  9. Okelo-Angora
  10. Onyuru (Ongu)
  11. Kipir (Nyipir, Lapi)
  12. Kipful (Kipfo, Gipol)
  13. Mama – (1700-1730?)
  14. Atiko (1730-1765?)
  15. Okelo-Wooro (1765-1780?)
  16. Ogol (1780-95?)
  17. Ajanto (1795-1800?)
  18. Nyakaranga-Bami/Cebami(1800-30?)
  19. Omoo-Lameny (1830-33)
  20. Kikwiyakare/Gikwiyakare(1833-68)
  21. Omoo-Oyar (1868-1903)
  22. Okelo (1903-07)
  23. Odora Lajokomoi (1907-10)
  24. Andrea Lagara (1911-20)
  25. Acaye Lanyeko (1920)
  26. Yona Obiya (1920)
  27. Odoc Aginya (1921-28)
  28. Cira Mukwongonyero (1928-37)
  29. Oyona Olamoi (1937-38)
  30. Jeremiah Ajwayo (1938-51)
  31. (80-year Rwots prohibition)
  32. Muttu-Lagara II (2000-10)

36.Jeremiah Bongojane  (current)

[Other sources indicate over 39 Rwodi: Atkinson puts some dates earlier than above e.g. (17) Atiko about 1650-80? ǂ denotes Regents/Caretakers not anointed Rwodi]. 

Thereafter, Rwot Mama again shifted with the people to a new place called Arebe [1700-1730?] – Likely still not very far from Pubungu (Luo Triangle) where Mama bored two sons named Weli [sometimes referred to as Awel, Gicel or even Okumu] and Atiko, besides other sons too. At this place, both Weli and Atiko grew up into adulthood.  Atiko then got married to a Baar or Bari woman (Sudan tribe) and produced a child who turned into a spirit (jok). He asked his elder brother Weli to give him a sheep to sacrifice for the child & it was done. After which both Atiko and Weli lived amicably together. Later, He had a set of twins who would change to become ‘ngu’ or beasts (lions).  Again, Atiko asked for a sheep from Weli for sacrifice [an Acholi/Luo tradition with twins] but this time Weli refused. Atiko then struggled to get a sheep but failed and used an antelope instead for the sacrifice [other sources said he was given a sheep by the Ometa clan or village-lineage]. However, Weli never thought his brother’s “twin lions” would ever be of any use at all. The twins grew up as domestic animals and became very good hunters. They brought lots of meat which Atiko refused to share with his brother Weli.

One day, the twin lions caught a gazelle and Atiko again ate without sharing with his brother Weli who had expected a customary thigh part. His refusal to share meat was because Weli had previously denied him a sheep to sacrifice the twins. This led to a quarrel between the brothers and resulted into them splitting up: A scenario still referred to in a Patiko proverb saying “lacek opoko kaka” (gazelle split the clan).  And this is where Weli and Atiko split up. Weli went westwards into Madi region [founded Pawel Chiefdom], while Atiko went eastwards. [Two other brothers, Ongu, founded Pokumu Chiefdom and Owiny-Amola, his linage is sometimes claimed to be the Omukama linage of Toro Kingdom – allegedly proven by Toro’s praise call (mwoc) consisting of the name Owiny-Amola. However, this linage claim seems false because Toro Kingdom originated from Bunyoro-Kitara by a renegade Bunyoro prince].

Subsequently, Mama was succeeded by son (17) Rwot Atiko [about 1730 – 1765?].  He had a vision to discover where the sun rises from on one side of the earth and sets to on the other side. He asked, “Where does the sun rise from & sets to?” For that, he planned a journey to discover the source of sunrise and the place of sunset. He led his people eastwards, passed through present day Karamoja [Jie] and reached up to present day Turukana in Kenya. However, they encountered shortage of food and water in Turukana [semi-desert].  As a result, Rwot Atiko turned around with his people without discovering the source of sunrise.  During his return journey when he reached Mt Amyel, he met Paimol and Patongo people. But the Paimol fled on seeing them. Atiko’s group then passed by Mt Amyel and reached Mt Okaka where they found the Pajule people; and continued forward entering into Pandwong Mountain Outcrops, which is present day Kitgum Town. From here, they continued to Mt Kirimu (across Acwa River from Patiko), where he established his Chiefdom (Kal) with his people and also where they allegedly found the royal deity [Jok Baka] and they began to worship it [other sources say Patiko had Jok Baka before except just “affixed” at that location of Kirimu].

Later Rwot Atiko left Kirimu with a team, while leaving the rest of his people there, and went to Mt Goma where he met Lapunu and his son Bongojane.  Lapunu was the leader (not Rwot?) of the Lamwo group consisting of Pailik, Pakwaca and Pangang, who had been defeated & displaced from home in Pajok by Pa-Ywaaya. But he had very few people under him compared to Rwot Atiko. Atiko set up a temporary camp for a short time near Lapunu’s place.  During this time, his “twin lion” sons hunted and brought lots of meat. It fed Atiko’s people and some was distributed to Lapunu and his people. His good neighborliness, care and leadership extended to Lapunu’s people. Then Lapunu’s people realized that Atiko was a real Rwot; and most of them of Pagaya, Pakwaca and Pangang portion broke off to join Patiko. They returned together to Kirimu with Rwot Atiko and his people.

At Kirimu, Rwot Atiko again thought of discovering the place of sunset and he set out for this journey westwards with some of this people while leaving the rest behind. They crossed River Nile and went onto a place called Terego, in present day West Nile.  However, they were unable to discover the place of sunset [Terego has their version of connection with Patiko and there are two close versions in Patiko too – all beyond this scope]. They turned around to come back eastwards. Atiko and his group crossed River Nile again and passed by Mt Moro and then Mt Ato. Most people whom they encountered in places just fled upon seeing them. Atiko’s “lion sons” and the huge group with him frightened other people into thinking of possible invasions. He crossed River Acaa [Acwa] and returned home to Kirimu where he had left most of his subjects. During Atiko’s period, Patiko (and the region) experienced a major famine called “Kec Latong” (Axe Famine) which caused serious problems and loss of lives.

When Rwot Atiko died [1765?] in Kirimu [near Mt. Goma?] his other son (18) Rwot Okello Wooro [Crazzolara puts Okelo Wooro as Atiko’s son but Patiko Brief puts Okelo Angora instead] who followed the “twin lions” succeeded him. Rwot Okello continued ruling Patiko people and moved them from near Mt Goma to Ocok-Lwak (still Kirimu vicinity) and died there [1780?]. His tenure too saw another Famine called “Kec Ngu” (Beast Famine) [Some sources say the two famines were the same but given two names].  Successor was son (19) Rwot Ogol [1780-95?]. Then son (20) Rwot Ajanto became the leader [about 1795-1800?] but only ruled for a short time and was assassinated. A much bigger famine had broken out in his time called “Kec Nyarubanga” (God’s-daughter famine). The situation was so desperate that it caused lots of unrests. Some of his subjects planned, ambushed and killed him plus the whole royal household except one son; for suggesting patience and delaying relocation. The young surviving son, Nyakaranga Bami, had escaped & hidden in a cave until elders searched and found him. After he grew up, he was installed (21) Rwot Nyakaranga Bami (Cebami) to succeed his assassinated father [No information available about the regent to who took care of Patiko Chiefdom at that time]. He died at Kirimu about 1830 and was replaced by heir (22) Rwot Omoo Lameny [1830]. All these successions occurred while at Kirimu Area where Patiko people still gather at the shrine of Jok Baka (spirit/god) every so many years. And Kirimu Area was the location where from Rwot Atiko, and his “lion sons”, up to Rwot Nyakaranga died and were buried.

During the rule of Rwot Omoo Lameny, Patiko People left Kirimu and crossed River Acwa to the western side. His rein had the problem of then recently immigrated Lango [1790-1800?] invaders led by commander (Oteka-lawi-mony), Angulu, who were terrorizing and plundering portions of Acholiland driving westwards towards R. Nile & Lake Albert. Their reason was to reach Alur/Jonam areas because they had allegedly heard that Alur/Jonam women always bore twins & wanted to capture many. Angulu’s and his fighters’ lucks ran out in Patiko. A royal guard/warrior killed him leading to slaughters of numerous Lango invaders and completely stopping Lango’s aggressions. Rwot Lameny thereafter ruled for only a short time and dying [about 1833] due to cough (TB?); on the western side of River Acwa [another version says he died when Patiko were in pursuit of some of the fleeing Lango invaders]. But his body was returned to Kirimu for burial. His son (23) Rwot Kikwiyakare succeeded and moved Patiko people to Mt Ladwong, then later to Mt Ajulu. By the time Kutoria/Jadia (Arab Slave Traders) started raiding for slaves reaching Acholiland (1854-1855?); Patiko had long been under Rwot Kikwiyakare and in Ajulu area.

The first time a white man called Samuel Baker came through Sudan to Patiko in 1864 (January 18th, 1864), Rwot Kikwiyakare (an old man by then) and Patiko people were at Mt Ladwong & Ajulu (4 – 6 miles apart).  Rwot Kikwiyakare died [1867-68] at Ajulu and was buried. His son, (24) Rwot Omoo Oyar, succeeded him. When Samuel Baker returned for the second time on March 7th, 1872, Patiko people were still settled at Mt Ajulu under Rwot Omoo Oyar. Samuel Baker again came through Sudan following Arab Slave traders (Kutiria). He camped in Ajulu to help Patiko & other neighboring people fight against Arab slave traders in Acholiland. While Baker was at Ajulu, Rwot Omoo convened a meeting of his fellow Rwodi with Mr. Baker on August 1st, 1872.  They discussed with him the effects and plunders of Acholi by Arab slave raids. At the meeting, Baker promised assistance to Acholi Rwodi to stop the problems of slave trade by the Arabs. Baker also presented to Rwot Omoo his picture together with a typed letter (done by Mrs. Baker “Anyadwe” on a typewriter) to be presented to any person later sent by him or came after him; also it would in future help him recover any looted property. [“Anyadwe” is a praise name Patiko people gave Mrs. Baker because of her beauty, referring to her as “Princess of the Moon”].

Sir Samuel Baker’s Fort, Ajulu

Sir Samuel Baker’s Fort, Ajulu

Samuel Baker built a fort at Ajulu in Patiko called Patiko Baker’s Fort, which is at the foot of Mt Oceco for the purpose of fighting Kutoria – at the same location Arab Slave Traders had strategically established their post. Patiko’s fame and importance increased tremendously during that time the white people (the Bakers) were residing at Ajulu. Baker gave guns to Rwot Omoo to fight the Arab slave traders. When Baker was departing, he left Nubians as his emissaries to help Acholi with the Arabs. But the Nubians later turned to help the Arabs by becoming slave raiders against Acholi people. This led to bitter relationships with the Nubians, which sooner came to the climax. In about 1886, Nubians problems led to the death of Ywa Gimoro, a Patiko-Pugwenyi clansman, because one of the Nubians workers had attempted to snatch his wife. In reprisal, Gimoro killed that particular man, which led to the Nubians catching and taking him to Gondokoro [near present day Juba] in Sudan, where he was beheaded. His death angered Patiko (and other Acholi people) who then waged war killing many Nubians at Akworo, by the bank of River Unyama, as revenge for Gimoro. For fear of further reprisal by Nubians and Arabs, some of Patiko people fled to Mt Guruguru to stay there with Lamogi people. It took four (4) years before they returned and settled at Atiyabar Hill near River Oitino.

Due to further troubles with Nubians at Ajulu, Rwot Omoo relocated to Ogali, but, only took Patiko Kal (royal clan) with him: Leaving behind Pagaya & Pugwenyi Clans between Mt Ajulu and Mt Keyo. Nubian’s last act was to attack some Patiko group mixed with Jonam living further southwest near River Daga and that was where Patiko Royal Drums got burnt in that incident. Patiko spearheaded the wars and defeat of Kuturia (Arabs) slave traders and that eventually led to ridding them off most of Acholiland. Rwot Omoo stayed at Ogali for a short time and returned to set up his court at the banks of River Atiyabar, while leaving his son, Odora Lajokomoi, to supervise the portion of Patiko Kal left at Ogali. He however did return to Ogali. In 1898, Kabalega, the Omukama of Bunyoro, with Kabaka Mwanga of Buganda came from Atiak (Atyiak)/Lamogi while on their way to Lango [fleeing from British Colonialists] stayed for a while with Rwot Omoo who was now living at Kolo-ilo, between Rivers Ayugi and Atiyabar. Rwot Omoo returned to Ogali that same year of 1898 and later died there in 1902.

After the death of Rwot Omoo, his heir, (25) Rwot Okello (1903) succeeded him as ruler of Patiko. At the time Sleeping Sickness broke out in Ogali Area, Rwot Okello with the authority of Colonial Administration under District Commissioner (DC), Postlethwaite Brown (Bwona Gweno –“Mr. Chicken”), took Patiko people and brought them to a safer place at Mt Keyo. In 1904, white missionaries of CMS (Christian Missionary Society) led by Kitching, Lloyds and Fisher reached Ogali to meet Rwot Okello for the purpose of spreading Christianity. He told the missionaries that the majority of his subjects were at Keyo and then took them there. This is where the missionaries established the first Christian church & school in Acholi. Rwot Okello put his sons including Andrea Lagara to study at CMS School at Keyo. He ruled for another three (3) years before he died at Keyo in 1907 and was buried there [another version says he only ruled for additional two years before death].

After the death of Rwot Okello, son Andrea Lagara was rather young & studying at CMS Missionary School at Keyo. Lagara’s paternal uncle, (26) Odora Lajokomoi, became the Regent/Caretaker for about 4 years, while he trained/assisted Lagara up to December 1910 (i.e. 1907 to 1910). In December 1910 a policeman was killed and his rifle disappeared. Investigations yielded neither the murderer nor the gun. Several Rwodi were arrested including Awic (Payira), Odora (Patiko), Aluca (Atira) etc. about the incident: Odora was disposed because of it. Then Lagara returned home to Ogali to assume rule and was anointed (27) Rwot Andrea Lagara, [together with my grandmother (Anna Adong Lagara – Daker- nya Pawel Madi, daughter of Lumoi)] at Morolama on the bank of River Atiyabar in 1911. This is also the location where he set up his royal court.  When the Colonial Government established Gulu Town on Patiko land in 1911, Rwot Lagara began returning his subjects from Ogali to Ajulu; starting from 1912 to 1914.  Andrea Lagara ruled for 10 years until the Colonial Government removed and imprisoned him. He was released and died four days later on 26th April 1921, a fairly young man leaving only four very young sons from three wives, including my father, Rwot Muttu, at the age of five [compared to my grandmother who died in 1987 at the age of about 95]. The other sons were Benya Atiko, Ibrahim Dwaka Lukapel & Nekanori Okang Kikwiyakare. Lagara’s Regent Uncle, Odora, died in June 1923.

Rwot Lagara’s issue with DC goes as follows:

In December 1919, the Colonial Government called Chiefs from all over Uganda for the grand opening of Namirembe Cathedral in Kampala. Rwot Lagara borrowed/ withdrew some money (RS 180) from tax collection funds called Rupiya – to assist him with the journey to Kampala [tax collection had been a contentious issue in Acholi at that time]. He left instructions with his officials to sell cows to replace the borrowed tax funds. But, the officials never immediately carried out his instructions. The delay led DC Bwona Gweno to discover a shortage in the tax collections. As a result of this, the white man with his hatred of Rwot Lagara imprisoned him for two (2) years starting at the end of December 1919. Later around April of 1921 while in prison, he fell sick (pneumonia?) and was released but died four days later as mentioned above [According to my grandmother, he was kept & made to sleep in a cold cell at the beginning of the rainy season and developed a sever cough & fever].

Rwot Lagara’s imprisonment, sickness and subsequent death puzzled his fellow Rwodi who knew him well and understood that the money borrowed was not in bad faith, but definitely for traveling to Kampala even though his officials had failed to immediately follow his instructions. Additionally, the arrest, imprisonment and death highly saddened Mr. Watson who was the PC (Provincial Commissioner) based in Masindi and knew Lagara.

[DC “Bwana Gweno” had bad relationships with Acholi traditional Rwodi who together with their subjects fought colonialism & taxation (Hut Tax) by the Colonial Administration. Rwot Lagara was among the top opposition Rwodi whom the DC hated. They resented “foreigners” coming to impose rule & taxations on the indigenous Acholi. The Colonial Administration prohibited further installments of new Patiko Rwodi (same with other Acholi Chiefdoms) – a policy DC Postlethwaite created in 1915 and officially sanctioned by the Provincial Commissioner in Masindi & Uganda Governor at Entebbe].

Rwot Lagara was among the first Acholi people to be baptized while at CMS Keyo. He was also the first Christian Acholi Rwot as well as the first Acholi Rwot to read, write and speak English. He was a devoted Christian who made efforts to educate his brothers and relatives at the CMS Schools, at Keyo & in Gulu (Mican).

Meanwhile during 1920 as Rwot Andrea Lagara was in prison, the Colonial Government temporarily transferred Patiko under Payira Chiefdom (around February): Yona Odida of Payira (later Rwot) combined them to his people. But (28) Acaye Lanyeko, the son of Regent Odora was put Jago (Prime Minister) of Patiko. Acaye worked for only a few months and resigned. He was replaced by (29) Regent Yona Obiya, son of Rwot Okello [Lagara’s uncle] for another short time. Both these prime ministers worked in just 1920. Later (30) Odoc Aginya from Pagaya Clan of Patiko was appointed Jago of Patiko in 1921 and lasted up to 1928.

During Odoc’s time, the Colonial Government transferred Patiko People from Payira to the Lamogi County Chief in January 1924 – under the rule of Chief Lacito Okech of Keyo County, a person from Koc [a colonial appointed Chief or Rwot Kalam]. His supervision now combined people of Lamogi, Pagak, Pabo and Patiko. When Jago Odoc Aginya left work in 1928, he was replaced in the same year by (31) Cira Mukwongonyero [Rwot Lagara’s brother] as Jago and also doubled as Colonial Administration’s Gulu Town Agent (Town Clerk) – he was educated (His other brother, Yocito Okulu, who had partially studied Medicine at Mulago or Makerere, was made Colonial Administrative Clerk of Madi). The Government then removed Patiko from those Lamogi groups at the end of 1935. From that time, Patiko was purely under White Colonial Government control but still had Jago Cira. When Acholiland got divided into Gulu and Kitgum, Patiko was finally freed to be on its own and Cira Mukwongonyero confirmed as “Rwot” from January 1936 [he had customary inherited my grandmother as his Daker].

Just as Patiko people were planning to formally install him (likely in defiance of prohibition or because of the new DC Mr. Steel being more lenient); he got unknowingly dragged into a problem of a major fight on August 22nd, 1937, between Patiko Kal (royal clan) and the Pachua of Patiko. The incident caused the deaths of six people (one Pachua man and five Kal clansmen). Government’s verdict of the case was death penalty of several young Kal clansmen (5 to 6). In fact, it was some Kal persons who had instigated the mayhem [story for another time]. Cira as Patiko ruler sacrificed himself to be hung instead of those several convicted young men; which would have meant a total loss of over 10 Kal young men (including the actual incident deaths). He was hanged in May 1938 at Luzira Prison, Kampala, Buganda. His body was never returned and the grave is likely still at Luzira.  Subsequently, the Sub-County Supervisor of Patiko Pabwo, (32) Oyona Olamoi, was made caretaker of Patiko Chiefdom from August 1937 to August 1938 when (33) Jeremiya Ajwayo, another son of Rwot Okello [Rwot Lagara’s uncle], was thereafter made Jago of Patiko.

Jago Ajwayo was the one who returned the remaining Patiko people (clans) from Abye to Ajulu towards the end of 1938. And at about that same time, Payira Chiefdom was ordered to leave Ajulu to return to Anaka. These processes were instructed and authorized by DC Steele to Ajwayo to carry out because Ajulu was the actual Patiko home and they were the rightful people to care for Samuel Baker’s Fort. Jeremiya Ajwayo passed away in 1951. Then Nekanori Okang Kikwiyakare, youngest son of the late Rwot Lagara, was temporarily made the custodian of royal regalia but later turned it over to his uncle, Tomaci Lakane, the elder brother of the late Rwot Lagara.

Nearly 80 years of prohibitions of Patiko and other Acholi Rwodi passed until the NRM Government reinstated traditional/cultural leaderships. Then on March 29th, 2000, Rwot Lagara’s son, (34) Rwot Israel Yakobo Muttu-Lagara II, was anointed the new Rwot of Patiko at Ajulu. He ruled for 10 years until his demise in October 2010. He has been replaced by son (35) Rwot Jeremiah Muttu Bongojane.

The Lates Rwot Muttu & “Jago” Ocaya Aluku

The Lates Rwot Muttu & “Jago” Ocaya Aluku

At Present, Patiko is comprised of Patiko Kal (royal clan includes Toro), Pagaya, Pugwenyi, Panyagira, Pachua, Pangang, Pakwelo, Pakwaca, Ayom clans (and Bura of Payira who conduct installation of Patiko Rwodi). Many Pawel people too have returned and joined Patiko Chiefdom [but some of Patiko clans like Pugwenyi & Pagaya have been agitating in these present days (seems fashionable) of creating their own Chiefdoms].

The first Patiko royal drums, which likely originated from the time of (7) Rwot Tika (Atiko) or (12) Okello Agora, (dated centauries) was called Bongo-tong (without spear) & Adoko-dano (I became human). They lasted until the time of (24) Rwot Omoo Oyar when unfortunately they were burnt in a fire [during fights with slave traders (Arabs/Kutoria/Jadia)]. The replacement royal drums up to date are called Oloya and Ocoro Obiya [surviving unburnt shells & contents of the old drums were transferred into the respective replacement drums for royal continuity]. Patiko’s royal deity (jok) Baka (& Alela/Lela), as mentioned above, is located across Acwa River from Patiko to the east at Kirimu. The most correct and standard Acholi (Luo) language is with Patiko, Payira [used in translating the Holy Bible], as well as Bwobo, Alero, Paibona and Paico people (also considered real Luo Groups). Rwot Okello’s, son Yocito Okullu (mentioned above) was the first person engaged to begin translation of the Holy Bible into Acholi Language. This is the end of Patiko historical summary. See Appendix below.



The Legend of Labongo and Gipir (Luo Separation) 

There are other versions of this story with slight variations of the main characters being transposed or two spears instead of one. Here is the general one. When the Luo Migration had reached from the north along   R. Nile to somewhere near Pubungu (Pakwach now), a major episode took place. Rwot Olum Panya who was reportedly the Luo leader, with his wife Nyilak (a nyatoro), had three grown and married sons called Labongo (Nyabongo/Nyibongo), Gipir (Nyipir/Lapii) and Kipfol (Gipfol/Nyifol).  One day, an elephant was raiding Labongo’s sorghum/millet field and in a rush to chase the elephant, he grabbed the nearest available spear. He speared the elephant but it ran away with the spear sticking on its side.  Labongo realized that the spear belonged to his brother Gipir. He reported the matter to Gipir and offered to replace the spear.  However, Gipir demanded that Labongo return his actual spear. Despite Labongo’s pleadings, expressions of regret and offering more spears, cows, goats etc. all were in vain. Gipir relentlessly insisted on his actual spear being returned by his brother. Labongo was totally perplexed by his brother’s strange attitude and unreasonable stand. He had no alternative but to find Gipir’s spear.  Many people were also astonished at Gipir’s selfish behavior towards Labongo.

Labongo arranged to go search for the spear and asked his wives to prepare for him “peke” (roasted dry peas mixed with other dry legume seeds and even grains – synonymous to “dry rations” for the journey. The wives complied and on the appointed day, he bided them farewell to set off (some versions say in the company of three friends). Everyone knew it was an odious and dangerous ordeal. He traversed the wilderness and forests for weeks without sight of any elephants. Then one day while in the forest he came upon a “Min-Lyec” (Mother-Elephant) – a Spirit – at her home. Labongo exchange greetings with her and narrated his story and predicament. Min-Lyec listened and informed him of being very lucky since the speared elephant ran way with the spear instead of dying: And also that the elephant in question had been in his field. Otherwise, he Labongo would have been immediately killed there.  Then she instructed him to hide in her house/hut because in the evening, all the elephants would be back from forging.  She would see if any came back with a spear sticking on its side.  She further told him that the spear would only be recovered after all the elephants had fallen into deep sleeps; that the sign would be small frets after the big ones.

Labongo agreed to Min-Lyec’s instructions and hid in her house. In the evening the elephants returned. They detected human scent and inquired if humans had been there or were present. She told them humans could have passed by without her knowledge but none was present. When all the elephant had fallen asleep and their fretting changed from big to small, Min-Lyec gave Labongo the signal. She then brought out a bundle of spears which had been recovered from injured elephants.  Labongo checked through them but failed to get Gipir’s spear. Again Min-Lyec brought a second bunch and he went through them too without seeing the correct spear. For the third time she returned with two last remaining spears and Labongo immediately recognized Gipir’s spear and was extremely happy. She gave him the spear.

Min-Lyec then asked Labongo to immediately leave and travel all night because he would by then be far away when the elephants woke up and his scent would have dissipated. Additionally, he would be too far for the elephants to follow and kill him. However, Labongo’s “peke” had run too low to complete his return journey. He requested Min-Lyec’s help with additional “peke”. She obliged, secretly putting some “Burjok Beads” (royalty beads) in the ‘peke” and Labongo left. He hurriedly travelled throughout the night. By day break he was very far and had crossed many rivers.  It took again weeks him to reach close to home.  In the meantime, his parents and people back home had presumed him dead and funeral process completed (other versions said he was returning and could hear funeral drums as he approached).

When Labongo got close to his village, he stopped some distance away. He first sent his two dogs and they reached home, were lying under a granary. Some people recognized Labongo’s dogs and informed his mother Nyilak. However, she was still mourning him and just dismissed the suggestions as mockeries; then took a pestle, threw at the dogs chasing them away.  After that, someone noticed him standing a distance from the village and his wives were informed. They rushed to the location and found Labongo. There was so much joy and celebration in the village welcoming him back. Nyilak regretted chasing her son’s dogs away while apologizing to Labongo.  Thereafter Labongo took Gipir’s spear back to him and stated that it had been a daunting task recovering the spear.

Some time passed and one afternoon Labongo was seated in front of his house threading the “Burjok Beads” using giraffe tail hairs (Wino Rii) contained in a “weer” or wooden bowl (one version says it was one of his wives). Gipir’s wife came over with her young daughter and was chatting with the in-laws. The little girl got attracted by the beads and picked one up. Labongo or his wife noticed her but kept quiet. The child played with the bead, put it in her mouth and swallowed it. Labongo was informed and went over to Gipir demanding his swallowed bead. Gipir pleaded with Labongo to repay him in other ways but the former persistently refused to listen. Then Gipir suggested that he would check his daughter’s excretions for the next three days to recover the bead. The child’s wastes were checked in a “weer’ for three days to no avail. Labongo still insisted on the fourth day and Gipir then offered to cut open his daughter’s stomach to recover the bead. He agreed that it was okay because he wanted his bead back.

Gipir washed his daughter with milk and laid her on a leopard skin (symbol of royalty) and cut open her stomach. He recovered the bead but his daughter died. He washed the bead (with milk?), returned it to Labongo and buried his daughter. Labongo reminded Gipir how he had mistreated him with the spear and that this was his revenge. Gipir with anger of his dead daughter broke off from the family, departed westwards with his supporters and crossed R. Nile to the west side. A short while later, Tipfol decided to follow Gipir too and both never returned. Their group founded the Alur of West Nile and Congo. Meanwhile, Rwot Olum, Labongo and the rest remained on the east side of R. Nile as Acholi and other Luo Groups to the east. That is the episode (story) of Luo Separation at Pubungu by R. Nile.

NOTE: This same “Bead & Spear” incident is known to the northern Luo-related Groups of Dinka, Nuer, Shilluk, Luuo of Wao and Anywuak (in their traditions). They say the episode occurred in Bahr-el-Ghazal Region (or further north) and that was how all of them including the Southern Luo Groups separated.

[In fact, the importance of the “Burjok Beads” (and “Ojwiny Beads”) is still practiced today in many Acholi Rwodi installations and burials. In Patiko, during installation of a Rwot, the Burjok & Ojwiny Beads are threaded using giraffe tail hair (Wino Rii) and put around the candidate’s neck and/or wrist(s). At a Rwot’s funeral, the same beads process is done and tied on the right wrist of the deceased Rwot prior to his burial.

One overlooked factor about Luo Migration’s long track along the Nile into East and Central African Settlements (over 1000 miles) was likely in search of fertile land. Wherever Luo’s original homeland might have been, they were most likely cultivators/mixed farmers and that location must have been very fertile considering the wide variety of foods the Luo (e.g. Acholi) have. It is inconceivable that such diverse diets could have been supported by none fertile land.  My experience in Sudan and knowledge that such fertile areas are rather lacking, leads to the belief that such conditions must have influenced the Luo to search further along the Nile until they reached northern Uganda and beyond (Samuel Baker too intimated on vegetation and cultivation differences upon reaching Acholiland). Note that the Luo Migration took a long period of time and they made numerous stops to cultivate and/or graze their livestock to replenish provisions. In contrast with the Northern Luo-related Groups (Dinka, Shilluk & Nuer), those are predominantly pastoralists. Like the Luo, Anyuak are more akin to the former and mostly arable/mixed farmers too. They too settled in a very fertile area spreading between Sudan & Ethiopia – a major fact of contention between the Anyuak and the Late Ethiopian Prime Minister Melese’s program of relocating other ethnic groups into Anyuak’s Gambela Region (gam-bela or bring my millet, story beyond this scope): That land conflict forced Governor Okello into exile in Canada].