By the first half of the 18th century they had settled on the shores of L. Tradition asserts that the ancestors of the Iteso came form the direction of Abyssinia through Karamoja. Initially, Iteso society was comprised of nine clans.
Historians have modified this tradition to assert that the Iteso are a Nilo- Hamitic group with similar origins as the Langi, the Karimojong, the Jie and the Kumam. The subsequent clans are said to have broken off from the nine. He was normally elected form other elders at a merry ceremony known as Airukorin.
The appropriate compensation in form of a cow or a girl would then be handed over.
During the British colonial administration his position was reduced to that of a third grade chief and referred to as This council dealt with cases like murder and debts.
In cases involving murder, compensation could be paid in the form of a girl or a cow.
After settling a dispute, a ceremony known as was performed whereby a bull was exacted form the offending side and killed, roasted and eaten there and then.
This was intended to act as a gesture of renewed co-operation between the two clans.
The Iteso live in eastern Uganda in the districts of Soroti and Kumi. The political insecurity of the early 1990’s caused many Iteso to move as far as Iganga district.
Previously, the Apolon ka Ateker was greatly respected.He acted as an arbitrator in the event of disputes.