Iteso Cultural Union also known as ICU was established in 1995 under the provisions of the 1995 National Constitution of the Republic of Uganda that recognized cultural institutions. The Union is sponsored by, and comprises of all Iteso clans with the specific objectives of uniting all the Iteso people of Uganda, Kenya and in the Diaspora for purposes of cultural preservation and pursuit of modern development projects for Teso.
The ICU is a Chiefdom headed by a Cultural Leader, His Highness Emorimor who was elected by the delegates conference in 1998 and thereafter installed in the year 2000 and is supported by a Clan Council, Cabinet, Team of advisors and a foundation of clan executives throughout Teso Region, thus forming a comprehensive force to foster and represent all issues affecting the Iteso as a people.
The purpose is to foster the good values that have been molded by tradition and enshrined in the culture of the Iteso people.The Institution has been operational for the last 22 years, The Chiefdom covers Katakwi, Soroti, Kumi, Bukedea, Kaberamaido, Pallisa, Amuria, Tororo, Busia, Serere and Ngora districts of Uganda, the Teso North,Teso South,and Busia Districts of Kenya and the Diaspora with a population of more than 5 million people.
The Iteso (or people of Teso) are a Nilotic ethnic group in eastern Uganda and western Kenya. Teso refers to the traditional homeland of the Iteso, and Ateso is their language. Iteso is plural (two or more people from Teso), Etesot and Atesot are singular. Etesot is for male person from Teso and Atesot is feminine. Iteso are believed to have migrated from Abyssinia (Ethiopia).
In Uganda, Iteso inhabit the districts of Soroti, Kumi, Katakwi, Amuria, Bukedea, Serere, Ngora, Pallisa, Kaberamaido, Tororo, Kapelebyong and Kalaki. Iteso are very generous and hospitable people. The cultural drink of Iteso is ‘ajon’ , commonly consumed in local ceremonies and social gatherings. They practice crop and animal farming and attach great value to land.