History of Rwanda

Rwanda was founded by a King Gihanga between 10th or 11th Century, who started his dynasty from Gasabo near Lake Muhazi, located in Western part of Rwanda. Gihanga had a well organised political state that he expanded and called it Rwanda meaning a big place because he had annexed many different areas before he died. The habitants respected only one leader whom they called Umwami that came from the verb kwama meaning being popular.

Tribal Groups Are

Rwanda was made up of three groups as follows;

  • Tusti People
  • Hutu People
  • Twa People.

Origins of the groups

The origin of the groups can be summarised as follows;

  • The Twa who are believed to have originated from the central African Forests.
  • The Hutu are believed to have migrated from Cameroun around Lake Chad and they settled in the western side of Rwanda.
  • The Tusti are said to have originated from north east part of Africa in the Ethiopian highlands and Sudan and they settled in the west of Lake Muhazi.

Occupation of the groups

The occupation of the groups was as follows;

  • The Hutu group of people were mainly farmers.
  • The Tusti were cattle keepers who migrated with their cattle in search of water and pasture for their animals. This group of people provided the leadership and the kings were selected from this group before colonialist arrived.
  • The Twa were mainly iron smelters


The kings centralised their power and authority and they distributed land among individuals instead of allowing the land to be passed down through lineage. This system of redistribution of land imposed patronage system whereby the groups were at the mercy of the king and his chiefs on the matters of land.

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