The Clan performs certain traditional royal duties, the principals of which are described below.
1. Royal Herdsmen
The Clan’s principal duty is to serve as the custodians of the royal herds. This duty is performed on behalf of the Clan by Ssensalire of Kawoko, son of Ow’essiga Ntambi of Lubya.
According to M. B. Nsimbi, this is how Ssensalire got the job of royal herdsman. Ssensalire was nominated by Mukalo to go to Bunyoro with other sons of Buganda heads of clans (abaana b’abataka) to accompany back to Buganda Prince Kimera son of Prince Kalemeera to come and assume the Kabakaship which had become vacant after the death of his grandfather Ccwa Nnabakka. Prince Kimera’s father, Kalemeera, had died on his way back to Buganda from exile in Bunyoro where he had gone to collect payment for a fine after being found guilty of adultery with Omutaka Walusimbi, Head of the Ffumbe Clan.
Prince Kimera, on his way to Buganda, had appointed Mpinga of Lugave Clan (Pangolin Clan), son of Kasoma of Migadde, as the royal herdsman and custodian of his milk.
One day, Prince Kimera ordered Mpinga to execute a subject who had committed a crime. When Mpinga was going to perform the execution, he requested his friend Ssensalire to hold the pot (ekyanzi) that contained the prince’s milk. After performing the execution as ordered, Mpinga asked Ssensalire to hand back the prince’s milk. Ssensalire refused to do so, holding firmly the pot of milk. Mpinga appealed to the prince, whereupon the people at the royal court asked Ssensalire to explain why he had refused to hand back to Mpinga the prince’s pot of milk.
In reply, Ssensalire pleaded: “Mpinga’s hands are bloody and no longer fit to hold the royal milk”.
The prince and the lords at his court decided the case in favour of Ssensalire. They decided that Ssensalire should henceforth be the chief royal herdsman and custodian of the royal milk. Mpinga was given the role of royal executioner and royal guard in compensation.
From Mpinga’s loss of job as chief royal herdsman and custodian of royal milk comes the saying: “Nkwatirako bwe bumbowa”, meaning, that he had lost an honourable job and must now be contented with being a mere executioner simply because he had asked a friend for help.
2. Royal Fishermen of the Giant Sprat-“Walulenzi”
It is the Clan’s responsibility to produce the important giant sprat (enkejje) called “Walulenzi” that is used at the naming of the Kabaka’s children. The fishing of “Walulenzi” on behalf of the Clan is the duty of the Ggulu Branch of Busaabala; and it is done by Ssempyangu, the son of Ggulu.
3. Royal Musicians and Entertainers
The Clan has a duty to post to the palace on a permanent basis clansmen who serve as musicians and entertainers. They played before the Kabaka the “Akadinda” (xylophone) and the “Enyeenya” (a mixture of drums), whose lyrics are intended to soothe the Kabaka especially when he is tired.
4. Royal Clothiers
Katale of Ssunga in Buddu, the son of Ow’essiga Kikomeko, is responsible for producing bark cloth for the royal family.
5. Royal Priests
Priests from the Clan look after the temple of the divinity Gguluddene at Walusi, Bulemeezi.
Priests from the Clan were responsible for three shrines of the divinity Katonda of Butonda. These three shrines are supposed to be located at Nnamakwa, Buzu and Bukule in Kyaggwe County, Mukono Districts. The Kakembo Branch is responsible for these shrines.
Priests from the clan are responsible for the shrine of Nnawandigi, Buligi, Butambala.
6. Royal Storekeepers
Mulyanga of Bulenga headed the Ekiryanga Department which was responsible for works stores in the palace.
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