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European Influence On Rwanda Essay

636 words - 3 pages

During the Berlin Conference In 1884 The Society for German Colonization was allotted the area of land east of lake Tanganyika and south of lake Victoria. Only one year later this area incorporated into the German East African Company. Amongst this large plot of land lived many native cultures including the Hutus and the Tutsis of modern day Rwanda and Burundi. In 1894 The German East African Republic took control of the native leadership and began apply and enforce laws. This commenced a long and violent chain of events that is still negatively affecting Rwandans to this day. Distinct social classes caused massive fighting and the Europeans are to blame for this.
Before the Germans took control of East Africa, there was three dominate native ethnic groups: the Tutsi, and Twa. The Tutsi were a small group of cattle farmers, making up just twenty percent of the population that were at the top of the social class due the rarity and value of meat. They are taller than the other natives because they emigrated south from the northern Nile valley to feed their cattle on Rwanda’s rich grassland. The Hutu, the true natives, were primarily of hunter-gatherers that made up eighty percent of the population. The smallest ethnic group of pre-colonial Rwanda and Burundi were a pigmy race making up barely one percent. They were called the Twa. The Twa often became enslaved due to their lack in physical strength. These different ethnic groups frequently lived amongst one another in the same villages despite their drastically different appearances. All groups were ruled over by the tribal king, a royal Tutsi family said to have been chosen by god. Three chiefs accompanied the king: the cattle chief, the land chief, and the military chief. Along with the king there is a religious leader called a Mwami. There was reasonable social justice in the pre-colonial culture, but that changed in 1894 with the...

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