THE EFFECT OF THE PAST WAR ON ACHOLI CULTURE
The war (1986-2008) left wildlife, social, cultural destruction and misery in its path. This threat created great unrest and disturbance in the social structure of the Acholi people, leading to the perceived social breakdown that persists today. The northern Uganda insurgency was featured in a film documentary. Kony: Order from Above (2017)
The IDP camps also played a major role in eroding some of the cultural traditions and values in the region. The Acholi society is structured in such a way that every family lives in its own compound and everyone gathers by the fireplace each evening for traditional teachings. This was destroyed by the camps, where parents were forced to sleep in one small hut with their children.
The Acholi culture was heavily affected by the 20-year war in northern Uganda. There is a great need to revive the culture for both locals and tourists to enjoy and learn for generations to come.
The restoration and renewal of cultural values and traditions can be enormously helpful in assisting people to deal with the past, forge a new post-conflict identity and rebuild a stable social cohesion and culture.
Mato Oput (Traditional justice system), which in the Acholi language literally means “to drink the bitter potion made from the leaves of the ‘oput’ tree,” is one of the mechanisms for forgiveness and reconciliation among the Acholi people in Northern Uganda. )
To maintain peace and stability, many people feel they must return to their traditions as a means of returning to their true selves. This has led to the widely recognised need for a revitalisation of the cultural mechanisms that were largely abandoned in the past two decades due to the two-decade civil war.
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