The History of the Ankole-Watusi breed is long and distinguished. Its lineage can be traced to before 4000 B.C. as proved by rock paintings in the Sub-Sahara, the Egyptian and Meroetic pyramids, before the first pharaohs ruled Egypt and Kush, when a breed known as the Hamitic Longhorn (according to animal historians) now commonly known as Ankole-Watusi lived along the Nile particularly prevailing around the shores of lake Victoria and Tanganyika. The Breed found its way into ancient Egypt.Over the period of 3,000 years later, the cattle headed way east through Abyssinia  to Arabian peninsula after spreading west into ancient  Garama ( now Chad and Libya) and other parts of Africa. The majestic animal was a result of an African Buffalo Hybred with shorter extinct type of African Aurochs thousands of years ago and originated around the western shores of Lake Victoria in East Africa.

Debunking  general theory on  Ankole-Watusi Cattle’s Origin from India.

The twisted belief that the breed is originally a hybrid of Zebu from the Indian sub-continent, identifying it as a sub-specie Sanga cattle and therefore regarded as an intermediate type  formed by hybridizing the indigenous African humpless cattle with Zebu cattle allegedly brought in from India to Uganda  over 40,000 years ago is largely unfounded or lacks historical evidence. Especially on how Indians  brought in the Zebu to  inland central Africa, bred it in Uganda forming the Sanga (Ankole-watusi) type and vanished back to Asia living the Cow to the benefit of Bahima and Batusi peoples is totally unlikely  therefore safe to say;…. never happened. The Ankole-Watusi is thought to be a hybrid of something else extinct (African Aurochs perhaps) with an African Buffalo or an original by itself considering the fact that, the first interaction of Asians and indigenous Central Africans did not take place until around 700 AD.The Breed is way too older to have  initially been introduced to Africa during that period. The breeding process towards a Watusi produced the Zebu as an intermediary  ( dominant in south East Asia,..which  was introduced there from Africa) and was henceforth cast for hard labor and economic tasks  many centuries ago by  the Elamites for farming and transportation tasks and adopted by Dravidians in the Indus valley but not the other way round.The Ankole Watusi is exclusive in it’s appearance especially by it’s very long Horns.None of the other long horned Cows seen in Chad,Mali,Senegal,Ethiopia and even those painted on Egyptian walls project the exactness in similarity with  Cows found in Ankole.The intricacy of the shapes and lengths of their horns and the smooth hair on their skins and often fine dark brown,light brown,brown with white spots and black colors; are no exact correspondence with those Cows seen outside the great lakes of East Africa.Suggesting that those Sanga Cows which were/or are found around and beyond  the Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn are  sub Watusi breeds. The Watusi Cows originated in the East African Savannah grasslands just like the African Buffalo,and in the similar ways other unique creatures like Giraffes,Elephants and Lions originated in that particular region of  Earth. The Far East Asian humped Zebu has eventually  acquired and shared genes from a native Bos frontalis sire of a Bovine family since it’s introduction there 2500 years ago.Cows of this region are more closely related to Bisons and water Buffalos than the exclusive refined class of Watusi.

Debunking  theory of lower Egyptian origin of  the Breed.

This theory thrives on a construed notion that everything remarkable in Africa started from lower Egypt and not on a merit of Egyptians importing it from else where in Africa. These ideas arise from the fact that the only place on the continent where some of recorded ancient African history is found is in  Egypt  where  pictographs of similar cattle can be seen on monuments. Lower Egypt having been a desert area, there is no way  this cattle specie could have originated in such a sandy desert environment but most likely around the source of the Nile where there is vast plains of lush vegetation and fresh water in fair climate making it possible for such a majestic animal to have emerged and thrived.The appearance of the Cow shows a specie that stemmed from a much greener environmental area compared to general characteristics of desert animals such as Camels and cows found in northern Kenya,Sudan,Ethiopia and Mali.Suggestion that these Cows originated in Egypt is like saying that Llamas in South America originated in Scotland because they resemble Sheep or that Camels originated in Chile because they resemble Llamas.Surely Lions did not originate around Cairo either because they are erected as monuments( part of Sphinx) there.

This notion is also based off common theory that Hima-Tutsi people migrated to Bunyoro- Kitara area from modern day Ethiopia,Sudan and Egypt.Truth is Hima-Tutsi as nomadic people and Kingdom builders were spread along the Nile valley since first Egyptian dynasty. Founders of ancient Nubian and Egyptian civilizations rose from the mountains of the Moon (as recorded in the papyri ) which is where the official seat of ancient Bunyoro-Kitara is and went forth with their cattle and other domesticated wild animals for rituals.Bunyoro-Kitara was run simultaneously with ancient Nubia and Kemet as well as Munomotapa which scholars wrongly recorded as a recent empire.These rulers cared for the whole of the African continent and they were not ignorant of its size and places.The bloodlines of these rulers were Cow people who the western academia termed as Hamites and Cushites.Hima-Tutsi existence extended from  the Nile source at the same time all through to Palestine.The general mainstream teaching of their migration theory from Ethiopia disregards this fact and constrict it in the following ways:

i.That the Hima-Tutsi were foreigner who migrated towards Nile source from north of the Nile around 1000A.D.This is half a myth.     Fact:Black refugees including those of Pharoanic  bloodlines  returned to lake Victoria shores rejoining people of their kind following Eurasian invasions beginning 6th century BC to 10 century AD.

ii.That the Hima-Tutsi came as Conquers.False.   Fact:Hima-Tutsi lived with rest of groups as a termite caste hierarchy.Each tribe respected and valued the other and worked together to uphold and safeguard their clusters.There is no legend of a war of conquer between Hima-Tutsi with Bantu and Twa. There is however tales of wars between Kingdoms  and Kingdoms after disintegration of Bunyoro-Kitara empire.

iii.That Hutu (Bantu) and Twas were not also spread all the way to Cairo.Fact:Bantu/Hutu and other Nubian groups were present in Kemet and beyond to Mesopotamia.


Bantu male with sandals,fine fabric around waist with Bantu designs carrying Leopard skin and Monkey while guiding Goat.8th century BC Mesopotamia.

Groups found around modern day Lake Victoria retreated in a massive exodus from the north of Africa following Greco-Roman and Persian invasions.They arrived at the Nile source finding and rejoining earlier groups of their kind that dwelt there from time of genesis who by then run kingdoms within Bunyoro-kitara and the Kongo in unison with Nubia and Kemetic leadership.The Greco and Roman invasions which gave way to Ptolemaic rulership and later Alexander, were initially characterized by brutality to the indigenous black people of Ancient Kemet. The brutality and massacres had successfully been done on black Carthaginians( who were children of Sidonians commonly known as Phonecians),Libyans and on Islands of Patmos.The exodus of the groups of relatives of the Nubian Pharaohs and blue bloods evacuated to Napata first and Kush with their Cows and symbols of power and eventually continued in retreatment  further south towards Uganda, Rwanda/Burundi while others headed east to Somalia/Yemen/Eritrea and West to Mali and Senegal.A hidden aspect that is never talked about and investigated on.Along the Hima-Tutsis,Twas,Bantu and west Africans,Sudanic Nilotes and other groups also faced a retreat and exodus from north Africa at the same time.These groups were the general population who provided labor services and worship and sacrifices to Gods especially Re.

Before that, ancient Egyptians and and north Africans traveled and traded back and forth in-land Africa in search for Animals for domestication and other animal based products such as leopard skins,tasks,bones,blood,dried meat,grains,medicinal herbs, frankincense,spices,seeds,fruits,iron,Gold, Limestone,laborers,and Brides.Paintings of East African birds such as cranes,ibis and animals such as Giraffes and Lions can be seen in ancient Egyptian art.There are no depictions of non African animals such as polar Bears,Bengal Tigers,Bisons,Reindeer and Wolves on their walls.Ancient people from the north of Africa i.e the Numidians,Garamantes and Egyptians traveled and interacted as far as the Zambezi river.It is during these early incidents of hunting and trading expeditions during pre-dynastic periods, that the breed was taken to Saharan Kingdoms and Ancient Egypt from sub Saharan grasslands (Savannah) and later earned a symbolical  reverence and worship among early Egyptians.They also regularly traveled from Egypt down south to the source of the  Nile in Uganda and around lake Tanganyika alternatively to offer  sacrifices to the  Nile Gods  and along several other positions on river’s journey north for its purification and flood inundation. Ancient Egyptians called the river Nile  “Iteru“. This in Rwanda and Burundi dialects is known as Iteru ry’umugyezi which means the  river that flows forth. The Ankole-Watusi cattle in Uganda,Rwanda,Burundi,Tanzania and Eastern Congo with their truly distinctive horns, are known around the world for their giant horns that can grow to eight feet in length.. ,in flat, circular or lyre shapes. These horns not only provide formidable defense against predators, but blood circulating through the honeycomb interior provides an efficient mechanism to cool the animal’s body temperature in a  hot climatic instances, just like a giant radiator.

In Uganda the Banyankole/ Banyoro-Hima-Hema  tribe’s variety is known as the Ente zenya-Ankole (ANKOLE CATTLE). In Rwanda and Burundi, the Tutsi-Nyamulenge tribe’s variety is called the Watusi(these involve of Inyambo and inkuku types) or Inka Ntutsi (WATUSI CATTLE). Culturally the animals that  grew the longest horns were reserved for the royalty, and are called “Cattle of Kings” for this reason. The true name of this breed of cattle is the Ankole-Watusi from Hima-Nyankole and Tutsi tribes they originated from.In other tales the cattle are associated with the ancient Cwezi people and the Batembuzi who are thought to have been the cows breeders and distributors over time.These Cows hold something very important in the reminder of how ancient and royally connected the Hima-Watusi people were in history of African civilizations .How they became the custodians and rightful breeders of these uniquely refined and majestic animals, is a worthy road and investigative quest into the Nile Valley’s past. Ankole-Watusi cows are spectacular in all aspects.They are elegant and graceful.Other tribes that depend on these breed of cows are the Masai,Banyoro,Bahaya and the Itesots  SIZE The Ankole-Watusi are medium-sized cattle, with bulls weighing up to 1,600 pounds and cows up to 1,200 pounds, standing approximately six feet tall at the shoulder and are a very social breed. Watusi horns can reach 8 feet tip to tip and can have a base circumference of up to 28 inches.  Calves Newborn calves weigh just 30–50 pounds (14–23 kg) and remain small for several months In East Africa, traditional wealth was measured in living heads of cattle.


The breed was/is sometimes regarded among Tutsi and Bahima tribes as sacred.Also in ancient Egyptian beliefs and contemporary Indo-religions. The notion of a sacred cow is  relatively seen in ancient Egyptian Tenetian faith which is an animal husbandry based faith also practiced by ancient Elamites. It existed from Africa to Indus valley. This practice also stems from 70,000 years ago when hunter gatherers learnt to herd wild  animals and eventual domestication of them. In ancient Egypt,the book of heavenly Cow features an illustrated large  Watusi showing order between mankind and Gods.The book goes on to tell  mankind’s rebellion against the elder sun god, Re, resulting in the punishment of humans by the fiery “eye” of Re in the form of the goddess Hathor. It takes place after Re’s long rule on earth. The first part places considerable emphasis on the royal role of the sun god, who bears the royal title and who’s name is surrounded by a cartouche. He is specifically given rulership over both the deities and the humans.


Horns can also grow to form a circular love-like shape.The ANKH design mimics this type of Cow head and horns

dickinson52114903273_2c25f4bc73 Hitorical pictures/paintings of the breed

In predynastic Egypt, cows were associated to deities and can be seen held supreme in Egyptian and Kushitic art.
Royal Kubandwa ceremony

Zebus were taken from Africa to the Asian continent by Elamites and later adopted by Dravidians in the Indus valley.

About gakondo

East African History,Uganda,Rwanda,Burundi,Bunyoro-Kitara,Ankole,Karagwe,Buganda,Eastern Congo,Nubia, Ancient Nile river Kingdoms,Kush,Nile valley,Great Rift Valley,Eden garden,Kemet,Sumer,Ancient Congo
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