The Ik People
The Ik people are also referred to as “Teuso” who are an ethnic group of over 10,000 people residing in the Karamoja region in the mountainous areas. These mountain areas are of the north-eastern part of Uganda close to the border with Kenya. These people settle near to the populous Karamojong and Turkana peoples.
The Uganda Cultural Safaris to Kidepo valley national park is quite awesome where you can meet the unique Ik people who were the first tribe to migrate here and they are happy and proud of their cultural way of life. The IK tribe was displaced from their land in Ethiopia and after settled in Kenya. During their migration to the Karamoja region, the Ik tribe suffered from famine which forced them to become raiders in the area. But as for to date, the Ik are now subsistence farmers who grow their own grain. The Ik community did not have enough wealth that could support them in day-to-day living. They were farmers and by that time they kept a few heads of cattle, sheep, goats, and chicken. The Ik People were also good in hunting, gathering edible fruits, leaves, tubers and used to cultivate land to grow some food crops in the Karamoja plains for their home consumption.
The IK people who were outnumbered in population with their neighbouring communities, unfortunately, neighbouring communities become the traditional warriors to the Ik and took over pride in raiding the weak communities.
To note, the Karamojong warrior believed in their god Akuj whom they could praise and give them the birthright of all their cattle, in regard also the cattle for the IK dominated their own cattle. Nevertheless, the IK community suggested to abandon the livestock keeping and decided to concentrate at hunting game, tending to a traditional apiary, growing food crops and also gathering items from the Karamoja plains this helped them to stand still in their community.
During 1960, they also suffered from conservation movement in the region that rubbed salt in the Ik community thus damaging their ancestral land making it be converted into a game reserve. This weakened the hearts of the Ik people and they had to vacate their land and shift to an unknown world up high into the Mount Morungole ranges which is found among the top-visited national parks on Uganda – Kidepo valley national park.
The IK communities gather in small villages which are arranged in clusters and are surrounded by the neighbourhoods called Odoks and Asak who live within the front yards in the flat valleys of the Mount Morungole ranges. The whole village of the Odoks is fenced against wild animals and foreign intruders.
The IK are polygamists traditional families who marry as many as wives as they can manage to pay traditional dowry. The dowry that should be paid by the IK to take some one’s daughter are in terms of goats, sheep, beehives, chicken and monetary cash.
In general, the IK culture embrace wife inheritance after divorcing or losing the loved partner and within this traditional community sex promiscuity is highly prohibited, taught in such an act you’re to be punished till death. Since the youth can be having their own Osak it is easy to date in secrete with their partners.