East Africa Living Encyclopedia
History of ethnic tension between Hutus and Tutsis in one of world's poorest RELIGION: More than 60 per cent of the people are Christian. Learn about the origins of the conflict between the Tutsi and Hutu the Hutu and Tutsi has nothing to do with language or religion—they speak. The argument that the Tutsi-Hutu distinction is a purely socially across individuals and populations and extract out patterns of relationships.
The were small-scale agriculturists whose social structure was based on the clan. Kings, or Bahinza, ruled over limited clan groups.
The Tutsis and Hutus Are Genetically Different. Does That Matter? - The Crux
The Hutu believed that the Bahinza could cause rain, protect crops from insects and cattle from decease. The Bahinza derived their power and status from this belief. The Tutsi first migrated into the area around the 14th century.
It was probably not one large, sudden invasion but a slow process that was mostly peaceful. The Tutsi used their ownership of cattle, advanced combat skills to achieve economic, political, and social control over the Hutu.
Eventually, land ownership was taken away from the Hutu and became the property of the Tutsi king, or Mwami. Over time, Hutu-Tutsi relations took the form of a client-patron contract called the ubuhake. At first, the agreement meant that Hutu could use Tutsi cattle in exchange for personal and military service.
Over time ubuhake became a feudal-type class system through which land and cattle, and therefore power, were in the hands of the Tutsi minority. The Hutu indentured themselves to a Tutsi lord giving him agricultural products and personal service in exchange for the use of land and cattle. At the apex of the class system was the Tutsi king, the Mwami.
The Mwami was considered to be of divine origin. A myth tells of three children born in heaven fell to earth by accident, and one of these children, Kigwa, founded the most powerful Tutsi clan.
The Mwami trace their lineage to this divine founder.
In the middle of the 16th century, Mwami Mibambwe I Mutabazi was able to centralize the monarchy and reduced the power of neighboring chiefs. Early in the 19th century, Mwami Kigeri IV established the borders that were in place when the Germans arrived in European Exploration and Annexation Several European explorers came close to Rwanda in the 19th century, but none penetrated into Rwanda. Henry Morton Stanley, inalso came into this region but did not go into Rwanda.
The Conference of Berlin declared the area that later became Rwanda and Burundi would be under German influence and control. It was 9 years after this conference that the first European traveled into Rwanda. Rwanda and Burundi were located at the juncture of three empires and became the object of a diplomatic fight for possession.
However, byand agreement handed control of Rwanda and Burundi to the Germans. German Colonial Rule The Germans ruled indirectly through the political structure created by the Mwami. The Tutsis as cattle-herders were often in a position of economic dominance to the soil-tilling Hutus. That is not to say that all Tutsis were wealthy and all Hutus were poor, but in many areas, like Rwanda, the minority Tutsis ruled the Hutus.
According to some historians, like Congolese Professor George Izangola, the only difference between the two groups were economic, rather than ethnic. If you were close to the king, you owned wealth, you owned a lot of cattle, you are a Tutsi.
The Belgians, who ruled what would later become Rwanda and Burundi, forced Hutus and Tutsis to carry ethnic identity cards. The colonial administrators further exacerbated divisions by only allowed Tutsis to attain higher education and hold positions of power. Following independence inRuanda-Urundi split into two countries: The Hutu regime which implemented the genocide against the Tutsis co-opted theories of biological difference and foreign origin pioneered by European scholars in the 19th century.
Whereas these distinctions once justified Tutsi domination of the Hutu, now they served to mark off the Tutsi as an alien infestation.
The Heart of the Hutu-Tutsi Conflict
After the takeover of Rwanda by a Tutsi dominated rebel movement in the wake of the genocide there was an attempt to elide these deadly distinctions.
The rationale is clear. Remove the ostensible basis for genocide, and you remove the risk of genocide. The argument that the Tutsi-Hutu distinction is a purely socially constructed European invention has now crept into the mainstream discourse, such as in the film Hotel Rwanda.
Genetic science has advanced enough that with a few hundred dollars and a modest effort one can analyze the differences between the Tutsi and Hutu on a home notebook computer. There is no need for committees, or the imprimatur of learned authorities. You as an individual can answer questions of possible national relevance. A few months ago I asked if anyone had a Tutsi gentoype available which I could analyze to compare it to those of most Bantus, as there are plenty of Bantu genotypes in the public domain.
Bantu here refers to the predominant broader ethno-linguistic group which dominates Africa east and south of Nigeria, from Kenya to South Africa. I wanted to test the question of whether Tutsis were genetically very different from the typical Bantu.What was the relationship between Hutus and Tutsis like before the genocide?
Though the Tutsi now speak a Bantu dialect, the general assumption is that their origins are Nilotic or Ethiopian. The Nilotic people are the second major ethno-linguistic group in East Africa, and are most prominently represented by pastoralists such as the Masai in Kenya and Tanzania.
Recently I received the Tutsi genotype I was seeking.