Hutu

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Kirundi, Kinyarwanda, French

Predominantly Catholicism
Protestantism
Sunni Islam, indigenous beliefs.

Tutsi, Twa

The Hutu /ˈhuːtuː/ are a Central African ethnic group, living mainly in Rwanda and Burundi.

Contents

Population statistics

The Hutu are the largest of the three ethnic groups in Burundi and Rwanda; according to the United States Central Intelligence Agency, 84% of Rwandans[1] and 85% of Burundians[2] are Hutu, although other sources have found statistics that differ by several percent.[3] The division between the Hutu and the Tutsi (the larger of the other two groups) is based more upon social class than ethnicity, as there are no significant linguistic, physical, or cultural differences between them. (The Twa pygmies, the smallest of Rwanda and Burundi's three groups, also share language and culture with the Hutu and Tutsi, but are much shorter and have agreed-upon genetic differences.)[4][5]

Competing theories about origins

The Hutu arrived in Africa's Great Lakes region from what is now Chad during the 11th century, displacing the Twa pygmies,[6] and dominated the area with a series of small kingdoms until the arrival of the Tutsi. Several theories exist to explain the Tutsi and their differences (if any) from the Hutu. One is that the Tutsi were a Hamitic language people who migrated south from what is now Ethiopia, conquering the Hutu kingdoms and establishing dominance over the Hutu and Twa between the 15th and 18th centuries.[6] However, an alternate theory, that the Hutu and Tutsi were originally one people, but were artificially divided by German and then Belgian colonists so the Tutsi minority could serve as local overseers for Berlin and Brussels, has received support among those supporting Rwandan national unity, but may be an attempt at historical revisionism.[7][8] Still others suggest that the two groups are related but not identical, and that the differences between the two were exacerbated by Europeans[9] or by a gradual, natural split as those who owned cattle became known as Tutsi and those who did not became Hutu.[5] Mahmood Mamdani states that the Belgian colonial power designated people as Tutsi or Hutu on the basis of cattle ownership, physical measurements and church records.[10]

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