Hutus, Tutsis And Batwa: Rwanda’s Only Tribes

Hutus, Tutsis And Batwa: Rwanda’s Only Tribes:  Rwanda has a rich oral history maintained by the members of the Rwanda royal court. Before the arrival of Europeans, the Rwandese believed that they were the center of the world. They had high civilization and great power in the region.

The division between the Hutus and the Tutsis is debatable. The oral story alleges feudal society in one group. The Tutsis who are also the cattle herders and who hold superior status within the political and social structure. The other group, the Hutus who are the peasants or farmers and are serving or clients to the Tutsis. The hunter-gatherers Batwa were the porters and also had various functions at the royal court.

The complex system known as Ubuhake provided for the protection of the superior by the inferior. Such agreements were especially between two Tutsis or a Tutsi and Hutu. It was always voluntary, revocable and private contract between two individuals with subjects legible to change allegiance from one chief to another. It was always hard for a peasant to survive without a patron.

Cattle would be acquired though this agreement, purchase, war or marriage. A Hutu who would acquire enough cattle would turn into a Tutsi and therefore be legible to marry a Tutsi woman and a Tutsi who lost cattle would become a Hutu and marry accordingly.

Whereas the Hutus and Tutsi would switch status the Batwa would rarely switch status and in the rare occurrence of this it would come as a reward from the king for may be a bravery act that the Twa could have one for the Community. He would then be given a Tutsi wife and a political post in the royal court. The three groups shared the same Language, lived in the same community and shared the same history.

The Rwanda nobles were experts at cattle rearing and breeding and their entire poetry was devoted to the praises of famous cows. Cows in this case were bred for their beauty and not utility.

The kingdom of Rwanda was so isolationist and so closed to foreigners. Many tried to enter the kingdom but were forced back by arrow attack and even business with the neighbors was limited.

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