Tribes in Burundi – Burundi Cultural Safari
Tribes in Burundi; Burundi is a small destination with its main capital city called Bujumbura that sits at the northeastern end of Lake Tanganyika comprised of buildings from the German and Belgian colonial periods and central market filled with hundreds of vendors. Moreover, Burundi is bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and south and Lake Tanganyika to the southwest as well as the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west.
Burundi’s ethnic group of people are the Tutsi and Hutu in the communities, you may wonder why these tribes again are so many also to the tribes found in Burundi, it’s because Rwanda and Burundi are very closer countries and due to the genocide that happened in Rwanda it led many to shift to Burundi after the war being ended. The Tutsi are the minority and other tribe to see here are the Twa pygmies and the people who are good in speaking Swahili since they came from Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo. The Tutsi are uniformly tall and graceful and of Hutu as short. This is because the two groups have been practicing intermarried over the centuries.
Burundi’s official language is known as Rundi ‘’Kirundi’’ and Bantu language being the major standard of communication throughout the country plus French. Then the Swahili language a tongue of the trade which is commonly spoken in Bujumbura as well as French. Then the major local language Rundi can be spoken by both the Huntu and Tutsi together forming the country’s population such homogeneity is very rare in sub-Saharan Africa.
Each ethnic group in Burundi has a total population of people that is; the Hutu ‘’Bantu’’ has 85%, Tutsi ‘’Hamitic’’ 14%, Twa ‘’pygmy’’ 1% and other population include over 70,000 refugees who are Rwandans and Zairians. The non-Africans are the Europeans 3,000 and South Asians 2,000. In spite the fact that, Batwa are the original inhabitants of Burundi.
Traditionally, the Hutu are farmers while the Tutsi practice pastoralists. These Tutsi – Banyaruguru clan live primarily in the north of the country and the Tutsi-Bahima primarily in the south.
Generally, the Tutsi-Banyaruguru is dominated precolonial in Burundi whereas the Tutsi Bahima have been in Burundi since independence. During the 16th centuries, societies were organized around family and clan loyalties. The intervening between the King and the masses was a normal class that kept the ordinary Tutsi and Hutu on equal footing.
However, the relationship between the two groups began to change during the colonial period, when the German and Belgian colonial administrators favored much more the Tutsi over the Hutu.
Burundian traditional activities include drumming and dancing that contains aspects of both culture and competition. There are local group called Intore dancers who celebrates national folklore and it has won the international folk dance competitions. However, drummers can compete with the traditional Karyenda drums.
They also love social gatherings which often features recitations, singing and the exchange of jokes and tall tales. Burundians are great singer Khadija Nin who have released several recordings in different languages of Swahili, Rundi and French.
Note; Burundi is good in traditional cultural entertainment known as cultural export -a troupe of travelling musicians called Les Maîtres-Tambours du Burundi. The group consists of 30 percussionists and dancers, producers and polyrhythmic sound organized around the Inkiranya drum.
Burundi has a large Christian population and the biggest part are the Roman catholic and protestant the last one. Minority and even some Roman Catholics practice traditional religions. Then Muslims consists of less than one twentieth of the population. The church relations have been a focal point of ethnic tension since the 1970s. All the above aspects explain enough about the tribes found in the country of Burundi.