Teso people

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The Teso (or Iteso, people of Teso) are an ethnic group in eastern Uganda and western Kenya. Teso refers to the traditional homeland of the Iteso, and Ateso is their language.

Uganda

In Uganda, the Teso live mainly in Teso sub-region, i.e., the districts of Amuria, Soroti, Kumi, Katakwi, Ngora District, Serere District, Pallisa, Bukedea and Kaberamaido, as well as Tororo District and Busia District. They number about 3.2 million (9.6% of Uganda's population). Until 1959, they were the second largest ethnic group in Uganda. As of 2002 they were the fifth largest.

Kenya

The Teso in Kenya, numbering about 279,000, live mainly in Busia District.

Northern and Southern Teso

Teso traditions relate that they originated somewhere in what is now Ethiopia and migrated south West over a period of centuries. They were part of a larger group of Nilotic peoples who migrated from Sudan in several waves. A splinter of this group later formed a branch called the "Karamojong Cluster" or Ateker. The Ateker further split into several groups, including Jie, Turkana, Karamojong and Teso.

The Teso established themselves in present-day north-eastern Uganda, and in the mid-18th century some began to move farther south. During the course of this latter migration, conflicts ensued with other ethnic groups in the region, leading to the split of...
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