Rwanda people and Culture, their Beliefs, Practices and so much more…
Much as thousands of travelers flock into the land of Thousand Hills to trek the gorillas, it is also evident that the experience visitors get from the interaction with Rwanda people and culture, keeps many coming back year after year to explore and discover more in Rwanda. Rwanda has been a unified state since pre-colonial times, populated by the Banyarwanda people who share a single language and cultural heritage. Ancient traditions of honor and hospitality run strong here, and anybody who takes the time to discover Rwandan culture for themselves will find a proud and unique people, happy to welcome you into their lives and introduce you to their traditions.
Rwanda people and Culture, The History of Rwanda Insights!!
Rwanda was previously made up of several ethnic groups but there have always been roughly three socio-economic groupings: the Tutsi, the Hutu, and the Twa. The Tutsi have always made up a small, but prominent wealthy echelon of society, the Hutu have traditionally been farmers and the majority in the country, while the Twa have always been a marginalized minority.
Despite the country’s turbulent political past, Rwanda boasts a rich and diverse culture which spans centuries. Very few external influences have managed to infiltrate the culture, which is admirable considering the prolonged period of Belgian rule to which the country was subjected.
Cultural Experiences, Practices in Rwanda
Up to date, The official languages in Rwanda include; Kinyarwanda, French, and English and the most common cultural aspects and experiences to encounter on a trip to Rwanda include the following;
Musical Experiences and Cultural Dances;
Music, cultural dances, celebration, social gatherings and storytelling, and performances are an integral part of the traditions by the Rwandan people. The Performances to encounter range from destinations of bravery and excellence to humorous dance styles and lyrics, to artistry based in traditional agricultural roots. Traditional songs are often accompanied by a solitary lulunga-a harp-like instrument with eight strings. The most well-known traditional dance is the umushagiriro, or cow dance, performed by women, the or dance of heroes, performed by men, and the drumming, also traditionally performed by men, on drums known as ingoma.
Rwanda as well has a growing popular music industry that has for the recent years influenced the East African community with well-known popular genres are hip-hop and R&B, often blended with ragga and dance-pop. popularly known local artists in Rwanda include The Ben and Meddy, both of whom have won continental awards, and more recent artists like Miss Shanel, Kitoko, Riderman, Tom Close, King James, Mani Martin, Knowless, Charly na Nina and others.
Rwanda People and Culture; The Traditional Arts and Craft Industry
The people of Rwanda have since their independence venture into the traditional arts and crafts industry being the limelight of producing several handicrafts and souvenirs throughout the country. Woven baskets and bowls are especially the common and highly marketed crafts in the country. Rwanda people and culture today are blessed to have many art and craft villages in both urban and remote areas where any tourist on Rwanda safari or tour can easily buy souvenirs or any preferred art pieces. The common craft villages include Ivuka art center, Rwanda Nziza, Caplaki craft village among others.
A distinctively Rwandan craft is the Imigongo or cow dung paintings that are produced by a local co-operative in the village of Nyakarambi near the border with Tanzania. Dominated by black, brown and white whirls and other geometric shapes, these unique and earthy works can be bought in craft markets throughout the country.
Rwanda Ethnicity Statistics
The largest ethnic groups in Rwanda are the Hutus, which make up about 85% of Rwanda’s population; the Tutsis, which are 14%; and the Twa, 1%. Starting with the Tutsi feudal monarchy rule of the Tenth century, the Hutus were a subjugated social group.
In comparison to the Hutu, the Tutsi have three times as much genetic influence from Nilo-Saharan populations (14.9% B) as the Hutu (4.3% B).