The Hutu Tribe

The culture of the Hutu and Tutsi tribes of Rwanda, Africa interests me
for many reasons. One reason is that they are so diverse from our American way
of life. Another reason is that I have heard a little bit about them in the
news and by talking to people. This sparked my interest and made me want to
learn more about them. I will cover a wide variety of information in my report.
This will include the land where they live, their way of life, their history and
ancestry, and what the government is like in Rwanda. I don\'t expect the reader
to become an expert on the Hutus and the Tutsis, but I do hope that the reader
gets a general understanding about what is going on in their section of Africa.
I have learned lots of new information from doing this report, not only about
the Hutus\' and the Tutsis\' culture, but about the whole continent of Africa.
The first topic that I will cover is about the people that make up the
tribes of the Hutu and Tutsi. The total population of the country of Rwanda,
where most of their events have taken place is 7,800,000. The population of the
Hutus is 3,000,000 and the Tutsis number only 1,000,000. The physical traits of
the Hutus and Tutsis are very different from each other. The Hutu have larger
noses and larger all around facial features than the Tutsis. Most Tutsis are
seldom less than six feet tall, while the Hutu are very short people. The
Tutsis are related to the Masai and the people along the Nile, while the Hutus
have a Buntu history. As you can see the people that make up the tribes of the
Hutus and the Tutsis are a very diverse group of people.
The way of life for the Hutu and the Tutsis is considerably different.
Traditionally, the Tutsi were the wealthy, upper class and the Hutu were little
more than slaves. Now the power is a little more equally divided, but is still
more in favor of the Tutsis. The Hutu are mainly peasant farmers, while the
Tutsis are mainly animal stock breeders. One thing that the Hutu and the Tutsi
have in common is that they are both a Buntu language speaking group. The basis
of the natives\' religion is a belief that there is a supreme principle of good
known as Imana. Followers of this religion use magical amulets in their rituals.
One half of the people in Rwanda are Christian, and most of the Christians are
The staple foods of the Hutu are cooked bananas, maize, and millet. The
staple foods of the Tutsis are dairy products, and agricultural foods that are
bought from the Hutu. Only a minimal percentage of both tribes go to school.
The children that go to school either go to a religious mission or to a public
school. The way of life for the Hutu and Tutsi differs from our lifestyle very
Right now the economy is in shambles because of the devastation of the
long enduring civil war between these rival ethnic groups. I will expand on
this topic later. The industry crashed because most of the country\'s efforts
were being put into the war effort and not much work was getting done. Very
little economic activity is going on and, as a result of this, millions of
people are suffering. The agriculture consists of Hutu farmers\' products.
Stock breeding is done by the Tutsis who are cattle herders. Tin mining is the
leading industry in Rwanda. As you can see the economy was never very strong to
begin with, and now with the civil war raging it is worse than ever.
The history of conflict between the two tribes began four centuries ago.
The Tutsis are a warrior tribe of Hamatic origin. Sometimes called the
"Watutsi", they invaded the Hutu in Rwanda from the North. The Hutu couldn\'t
defend themselves and they were taken over by the Tutsi and reduced to serfdom.
Each Hutu chose a Tutsi Lord who gave them use of cattle. There wasn\'t much
conflict until 1959 when a civil war broke out when the leaders of both tribes
were killed. The Hutu tried to get equality through the National Party of Hutu
Emancipation. This did not work however. In 1960, elections were held under
Belgium supervision. More Hutus won and the Hutus took over the government.
The Hutu Gregoire Kayibanda was elected president. Two years later Rwanda won
independence and the Hutus started mistreating the Tutsis. After independence,
violence erupted between