Rwanda History

Rwanda History


The Twa, the aboriginal Pygmy residents, have probably lived in the region for the first millennium of our era. Lately, the inhabitants of Rwanda comprises of the Banyarwanda. “Banyarwanda” is Kinyarwanda for “People of Rwanda”. The Banyarwanda share a common culture, language, along with geographic space.

In line with the analysis of first colonizers to Rwanda as well as Burundi, Germans, Belgians later, the populations of Rwanda in addition to Burundi were divided into three social classes: Hutus, Tutsis and Twas. All three classes paid tribute to the king reciprocally for protection as well as various favours. Tutsi who lost their cattle because of a disease epidemic such as Rinderpest at times would be considered Hutu; likewise Hutu who got cattle may come to be considered Tutsi, so climbing the ladder of the social strata. This social mobility ended all of a sudden with the onset of colonial administration. What had hitherto been often considered social classes took a fixed ethnic outlook.

A traditional local justice system called Gacaca predominated in much of the region as an institution for solving conflict, rendering justice as well as reconciliation. The king was the ultimate judge along with arbiter for those cases that always reached him. Regardless of the traditional nature of the system, harmony along with cohesion had been established among Rwandans and within the kingdom.

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