Empaako (Pet Names) Tradition

Empaako is a naming system practised in Bunyoro Kitara, and among other sister Bantu Tribes, with most formally a part of the the former Bunyoro Kitara Empire. There are twelve commonly used Empaako Names, i.e. Okaali, Ateenyi Amooti, Akiiki, Abooki, Adyeeri, Acaali, Abwoli, Atwoki, Abala, Apuuli, and Araali
Empaako is given at a naming ceremony performed in the home and presided over by the clan head. The paternal aunties receive the baby and examine its features. Any resemblance to existing relatives forms the basis of the choice of name. The clan head then declares the name to the child.
Addressing a person by his or her Empaako name is a positive affirmation of social ties. It can be used as a greeting or a declaration of affection, respect, honour or love. Use of Empaako can defuse tension or anger and sends a strong message about social identity and unity, peace and reconciliation.
A shared meal of millet and smoked beef follows, gifts are presented to the baby and a tree is planted in its honour.
Endiiro is a special meal basket used for eating millet
More detail about this tradition can be obtained from the short documentary below: