Japadhola live in eastern Uganda amidst various Bantu ethnic groups. They are said to have settled there since the middle of the 16th century. They are surrounded on all sides by the Bantu and the Nilo-Hamitic peoples. To the west live the Banyole and the Basoga; to their north and east live the Bagwere and the Iteso and to their south live the Basamia and the Bagwe.
The Japadhola are Luo. They have similar traditions of origin with the Alur, Acholi and the Jaluo of Kenya. It is said that before moving to western Kenya, the Luo first settled in southern Busoga for some time. The earliest Luo migrants settled in the Kaberamaido peninsula where they were joined by more Luo migrants from Pawir in Bunyoro. Then some immigrants from Bugwere, Teso and Busoga came towards the Kaberamaido peninsula in the second half of the 18th century. This forced the Jopadhola to extend to the south and later on to the east. The land they occupied was previously vacant and this helped them to maintain their traditional culture free from oreign influences. Thus, unlike the Biito-Luo who were Bantuized and assimilated in Bunyoro, the Jopadhola were able to maintain themselves as a distinct Luo group amidst the various Bantu and Nilo-Harnitic societies.

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