Tuesday, October 15th, 2019
Esuuka is one of the most precious ornaments a woman can wear especially that from Tooro, where beauty and royalty are a daily observation. An emblem of a true Mutoorokati (woman from Tooro), this easy wearing distinctive attire is the crown of beauty – solely the main reason Tooro women stand out on many occasions – traditional or elite worldwide.
Ever wondered what a sexy elegant woman with holiness looks like? A woman adorned in a Tooro Suuka will strikingly stick in your mind and hypnotize your personality as you appreciate the true likeness of being African.
Generation to generation, Esuuka has managed to prevail the test of time and threats of modernity – growing stronger and more popular among adults, young women and girls. It is the official wear for women and girls from Bunyoro , Tooro and those attached comprising of three major components including; ekiteteeyi (dress) wore on top of ekitambi (wrap skirt around the waist) and the Suuka (sheet of cloth between 5 to 6metres long) from where the name of the whole outfit is derived usually wore up to the feet.
The Tooro Suuka is more so like a red carpet gown, it covers full body length including the feet.
What makes it special is the way the Suuka is wrapped around the shoulders with its flap falling on one of the shoulders mostly on the right.
The Suuka is folded over the collar bone then tucked under arms wrapped around the whole body to the feet. The folds are kept in place by hand or pressed by the upper arms in position as shown by images in this piece
Left, the length of esuuka, dress and rapper (ekitambi), right batooro women rocking esuuka
Esuuka’s influence on women is one of the most significant in Tooro Culture; it portrays a well groomed woman with respect and humility – on the minds of everyone before they set out to an official or traditional event.
The Suuka is fabricated in such a way that keeps a woman habitually modest and respectful; it is by design a woman wearing Esuuka cannot jump out of her seat, run, speak or dance offensively in front of people. She can only walk or dance (if she has to) majestically with the lowest pace exuding the highest sense of privilege and admiration.
On an official Tooro ceremony or event, women not wearing Esuuka are ushered in at the back where they are not easily visible while those wearing the treasured Suuka are honoured in front row seats.
On a Kweranga (introduction) ceremony, the bride to be is obliged to wear the Suuka every time she comes out for presentation; it is unethical for a bride to walk out of the house dancing, raising her head and moving fast – the reason slow sentimental music is required to facilitate a majestic dance or walk of honour locally known as kuhuubya.
Batooro girls walking out of the house in esuuka on an introduction
It is eminent reality this phenomenon must be observed and respected since it’s the window that
exhibits the true essence of traditional fashion in Tooro. In recent times, Esuuka and its respects have been faced with immense infiltration from other cultures – not wearing it properly (imitating other cultures), dancing and moving fast while wearing it or dressing otherwise among others to official and traditional functions.
This has been largely due to lack of heritage education and influence of modern fashion trends that are on the
high rise every time. However, the current generation is realizing the value and uniqueness of this special tradition and is working so hard re-embracing it and lifting it up to where and how it is supposed to be alongside modern fashion inclinations.
It is actually OK accessorizing Esuuka with jewelry –necklaces, bracelets and crowns as long as they do not affect its etiquette.
The Queen Mother of Tooro Kingdom Best Kemigisa Akiiki is the most iconic woman that has graced the Tooro Suuka diligently for all time, she has epitomized and showcased the core of the Tooro Suuka worldwide. She is rarely seen on a public function without the Tooro Suuka.
By Nelon Gerrard