A story from Uganda shared by Lynn Kemigisha. Original text edited for clarity.

Western Uganda is home to a creature whose name alone sparks wonder and intrigue—Kamushungushungu. This jaw-dropping 19-lettered name belongs to none other than the Long-crested Eagle, a majestic bird that holds a special place in the hearts and folklore of Ugandans.

In the Runyakitara dialect, Kamushungushungu embodies more than just a name. Adorned with dark feathers and crowned with distinctive thin protruding feathers known as omushunju, the Long-crested Eagle cuts a striking figure against the backdrop of Uganda’s lush terrain.

For generations, Ugandans have been captivated by the allure of Kamushungushungu. From childhood, tales of this majestic bird have woven themselves into the fabric of local lore, leaving an indelible mark on the imaginations of the young and old alike.

The Long-crested Eagle is called Kamushungushungu in the Runyakitara dialect in Western Rawanda. Photo credits: Rixie/Canva.

One such story, shared by Lynn Kemigisha from Uganda, speaks to the playful mystique surrounding Kamushungushungu. Children would eagerly seek guidance from the eagle, asking whimsical questions about their future paths. With hopeful hearts, they would inquire, “Kanyamushungushungu…ndyashwera oku, oku, oku ninga oku?”—translated as “Kamushungushungu, will I marry from this way, this way, this way, or that way?”—while gesturing in all directions. They believed that the Long-crested Eagle, with its keen gaze and regal presence, held the key to revealing their destiny, perhaps even the origin of their future partners.

This interesting tale is just a glimpse into the rich tapestry of traditions and beliefs woven around birds. It reflects the deep connection between humans and the natural world, where every creature holds a place of significance. As Lynn Kemigisha’s story illustrates, the wonder of birds transcends mere observation—it invites us into a realm where imagination intertwines with reality.

If you’re intrigued by the fascinating world of birds and the captivating stories they inspire, consider joining ‘The Wonder of Birds’ free online course. Sign up for free!

Lynn Kemigisha is a participant in ‘The Wonder of Birds’ online course by Early Bird.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *