Population & Culture
In 1991, the national population census estimated the population of the district at 69,400. The national census in 2002 estimated the population at 180,000. In 2012, the population was estimated at 406,400.
The Iteso people predominantly populate Amuria district being in Teso sub region. The Teso culture is a very rich one with various traditions, norms and values to follow. There are traditional dances and music where ‘akogo’ a percussion instrument and ‘ajosi’ dances are the major dances used in entertainment in traditional functions like marriage. However, there are other cultural practices that may be described as un-progressive in modern times, especially on matters of rights and development. Traditionally much value is attached to the boy child and less to the girl child. These biases have affected the chances of girls getting opportunity to go to school to higher levels as most parents would offer scarce resources to the education of the boy child than to that of a girl child.
Labour relations at household level too are biased against women in that women for much of the day do much of the donkeywork i.e. household chores, gardening, etc. The marriage tradition is also steeped towards demanding men to pay high number of livestock as dowry. The many cows ‘paid’ in marriage make some men to view their wives as a kind of ‘personal property’ and subject the women to living conditions that are more or less enslaving as this has been one explanation for domestic violence against women. The high dowry payment is also seen as a motivating factor for some parents to marry off their girl children early before the lawful age. The vice of child marriage is common in communities especially the impoverished ones as they see dowry received as a solution to hardships.