Chole Richard

Thesis

The Thesis

 A map of Northern Uganda showing the location of Laropi. Credit: Google maps

Laropi is a small settlement astride a ferry crossing point on River Nile on the border between East and West Madi counties along the Adjumani – Moyo highway in Northern Uganda.

“Laropi” is a Madi modification of Acoli phrase, “Laro pii”, which roughly means, “Let us cross the river”. The story abounding among the Madi is that the crossing point was named when most probably in the pre-colonial times, Acoli warriors who had invaded Madi territory, were beaten in a battle and hastened to retreat across the river with the cry, “Laro pii! Laro pii! Laro pii!”. Over time, apparently, the Madi people modified the pronunciation to “Laropi”, which has stood test of time to this day. Behind this feud and the naming of Laropi, there probably is immense volume of fascinating events which may or may not have been documented anywhere. Much of whatever records that exist are most probably in the memories of the indigenous Madi and Acoli people. If there is evidence in form of artifacts and other archeological sources to support the story, probably, it is yet to be discovered.

However, time, human development and the other elements wait for no one. All valuable leads to know more about the story behind the Laropi incident run risk of fading away if not salvaged now. Most, if not all the people who hold memory of the stories are now probably very old or dead. Given social dynamics of the present times, it is less likely that the younger generation of Madi and Acoli today have fully inherited and memorized the stories from their ancestors and elders. The once cherished tradition of orally passing stories from one generation to the next has largely disintegrated. Any archeological evidence might have also greatly faded with time. Any attempt to source and document events, anecdotes and artifacts concerning events leading to the name, Laropi is therefore a matter of urgency.

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