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Twa
Batwa with traditional bow and arrow
Total population

80,000 Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ...

Regions with significant populations
Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, Tanzania, Uganda
Languages
Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Rukiga
Religions
7% Christian[1]
Related ethnic groups
Hutu, Tutsi

The Twa, also known as Batwa, are a pygmy people who were the oldest recorded inhabitants of the Great Lakes region of central Africa. Current populations are found in the nations of Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, and the eastern portion of the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2000, they numbered approximately 80,000 people, making them significant minority groups in these countries[2]. Contents // Categories: Bantu languages | Languages of the Democratic Republic of the Congo | Languages of Rwanda | Languages of Uganda | Language stubs ... Introduction Kirundi (also written Rundi) is a Bantu language (D62 in Guthries classification) spoken by some 6 million people in Burundi and adjacent parts of Tanzania and Congo-Kinshasa, as well as in Uganda. ... RUKIGA LUKIGA CHIGA LANGUAGE This is closely related to the RUNYANKORE language spoken by the Banyankore, Banyakole or Ankole as the people are also known. ... For other uses, see Christian (disambiguation). ... The Hutu are a Central African ethnic group, living mainly in Rwanda and Burundi. ... The Tutsi are one of three native peoples of the nations of Rwanda and Burundi in central Africa, the other two being the Twa and the Hutu. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The Great Lakes and the East African coastline as seen from space. ... Look up Region in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


There are also a number of southern "Twa" populations in Angola, Namibia, Zambia, and Botswana living in swamps and deserts far from the forest. These are little studied, and this article will deal only with the Twa of the Great Lakes region.

Contents

History

Batwa women with traditional pottery

When the Hutu, a Bantu people, arrived in the region, they subjugated the Twa. Around the 15th century AD, the Tutsi, a Nilotic people, subsequently arrived and dominated both the Twa and the Hutu. The Twa speak the same language, Kinyarwanda, as the Hutu and Tutsi. For several hundred years, the Twa have been a very small minority in the area (currently 1% in Rwanda and Burundi) and have had little political role. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 799 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (2682 × 2012 pixel, file size: 2. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 799 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (2682 × 2012 pixel, file size: 2. ... The Hutu are a Central African ethnic group, living mainly in Rwanda and Burundi. ... Map showing the approximate distribution of Bantu (dull yellow) vs. ... (14th century - 15th century - 16th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 15th century was that century which lasted from 1401 to 1500. ... The Tutsi are one of three native peoples of the nations of Rwanda and Burundi in central Africa, the other two being the Twa and the Hutu. ... Nilotic people or Nilotes, in its contamporary usage, refers to some ethnic groups mainly in southern Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, and northern Tanzania, who speak Nilotic languages, a large sub-group of Nilo-Saharan languages. ... Contents // Categories: Bantu languages | Languages of the Democratic Republic of the Congo | Languages of Rwanda | Languages of Uganda | Language stubs ...


The Twa are often ignored in discussions about the conflict between the Hutus and Tutsis, which reached its height in the Rwandan genocide of 1994.[2]. About 30% of the Twa population of Rwanda died in the fighting.[3] The Rwandan Genocide was the 1994 mass killing of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutu sympathizers in Rwanda and was the largest atrocity during the Rwandan Civil War. ... Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full 1994 Gregorian calendar). ...


Current Situation

Traditional dance of the Batwa
Traditional dance of the Batwa

Traditionally, the Twa have been a semi-nomadic "hunter-gatherer" people group of the mountain forests. Due to clearing of the forests for agriculture, logging, development projects, or creation of conservation areas, the Twa have been forced to leave these areas and establish new homes. As they seek to develop new means of sustaining their communities (such as agriculture and livestock development) most are currently landless and live in poverty. The ancestral land rights of the Twa have never been recognized by their governments and no compensation has been made for lands lost. Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... In anthropology, the hunter-gatherer way of life is that led by certain societies of the Neolithic Era based on the exploitation of wild plants and animals. ... Sheep are commonly bred as livestock. ...


Twa children have little access to education and their communities have limited representation in local and national government. Due to their pygmy ancestry, they continue to suffer ethnic prejudice, discrimination, violence, and general exclusion from society.[4][5] Kinship and descent is one of the major concepts of cultural anthropology. ... For with(out) prejudice in law, see Prejudice (law). ... This article is about discrimination in the social science context. ...


Ugandan History and their Current Problems

Copied from a document written by Bagorogoza Christopher - Director I/C Batwa and Documentation, Cultural Centre, Rubuguri, Uganda. Authorised for reproduction


Who was Mutwa?

Mutwa was a native of African tropical rain forests. He was occupying the current Itwari and Bwindi Forests in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and western Uganda respectively. In the DRC he was known as locally as 'Mumbuti' (singular) and Bambuti (plural), while in Uganda he was 'Mutwa' (singular) and Batwa (plural). He was a nomadic hunter and gatherer. For that reason, I grew up when there was false impression that 'batwa never died'. [the] Majority of them died when they were on their nomadic movements. In most cases, Mutwa lived in solitude. Therefore when he died no one else was there to witness the death or burial. Even if they were living in a group, the number was too few to organise 'successful burial'. If he had a companion, he would organise [an] improvised burial known as 'kukonderera'. It meant that he would cut down branches and spread them all over the corpse/carcass. In addition he had limited tools/implements which could enable him to dig a grave. The most important tools he was proud of we spears, big knives and a special spear whose one end was a chisel known to him as 'ekisoosho', which enabled him to cut into a big tree to reach its hollow part which was a home for honey bees. The hollow part was known to him as 'embigo'. Another cheap method of burial was leaving a corpse/carcass against a rock in a cave. They believed that if an old man died and was buried into the soil, their skill of keen sight of bees, known as 'kutaara', would meet a curse and die out completely. They would lay the corpse to rest saying 'stand here facing up to keep on viewing the different types of honey bees in their various directions'. I quote their words 'Yemerera aha mum rutare rutature ugume utaare'. Litterally meaning 'stand here in unleaking cave and on viewing bees. I got the above information from my late father (Bahimyuza) who linked me to late Ndyabarausya (father to Kisuuguru - currently living in Bubaare) who was his blood brother. On the other hand Batwa have undergone some mutation following some sexual 'harassment' by non-Batwa communities and pressure exerted on them to completely leave the forest. I have called it harassment because they win them through cheap gifts like, waragi [Ugandan Gin], Muramba, and small pieces of pork to mention but a few.


Major Problems Threatening the existance of the Batwa

1. Indulgement in Prostitution 2. Lack of animal proteins 3. Lack of well constructed shelters 4. Lack of fuel wood


Causes

i) Having being stopped from using the forest [now Bwindi Impenetrable National Park specifically] for their livelihoods


ii) Former dependence on free food (begging - Kusheega)


iii) Having no source of food supply


Possible Solutions

a) Sensitizing them on the dangers of HIV/AIDS, voluntary HIV/AIDS testing, guidance and councelling to link them to voluntary organizations such as TASO.


b) Supporting them in agricultural enterprises such as home gardening and small animal raising/rearing like sheep, goats, pigs, chickens and rabbits. The above could be best done by selecting at least four contact families who would act as model families.


c) Supporting the contact families reasonable shelters. We [the cultural centre] have already started this with two families (Zwigiras' and Tumulairwe Erics' families)


d) Putting up a stall in the town (Rubuguri) for their products in (b) above, whose construction materials we have already organised.


e) Encouraging them to continue exploiting MDD [music, dance and drumming] talents.


Support

Groups working with the Twa

The Forest Peoples Programme is a non-governmental organisation that campaigns for the rights of indigenous forest-dwellers. ... Location within the British Isles. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... Kigali, population 851,024 (2005), is the capital and largest city of Rwanda. ... Kabale is a city in south western Uganda, lying 2000m above sea level. ... Kanungu is a district in western Uganda. ...

See also

Other Pygmy groups

Researchers who studied pygmy culture and music The Mbuti people, or Bambuti as they are collectively called, are one of several indigenous hunter-gatherer groups in the Congo region of Africa. ... The Baka, also known as Bebayaka, Bebayaga, Bibaya, or Babinga, are a Pygmy ethnic group inhabiting the southeastern rain forests of Cameroon, northern Congo (Brazzaville), northern Gabon, and southwestern Central African Republic. ... The Aka are a wandering African pygmy people, with large heads and slender necks, who live by hunting. ...

Colin Macmillan Turnbull (November 23, 1924 - July 28, 1994) was a prominent British anthropologist who gained fame with his book The Forest People (1962), a detailed study of the Mbuti Pygmies. ... Simha Arom is a French-Israeli ethnomusicologist who is recognized as an expert on the music of central Africa, expecially that of Central African Republic. ... Mauro Campagnoli (born in Turin, 1975), is an Italian anthropologist, ethnomusicologist and composer. ... Jean-Pierre Hallet (1927-January 1, 2004) was a Belgian ethnologist, naturalist, and humanitarian best known for his extensive work with the Efé pygmies of the Ituri Forest. ...

External links

  • Pygmies of Central Africa with photos and ethnographic notes
  • Batwa Pygmies of the Great Lakes Region, Minority Rights Group International, June 2000
  • Twa Women, Twa Rights in the Great Lakes Region of Africa, Minority Rights Group International, November 2003
  • BURUNDI: The Batwa quest for equality : Pygmies today in Africa IRIN In-Depth [This article does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies.]

References

  1. ^ Johnstone, Patrick, and Jason Mandryk. Operation World. Waynesboro, GA: Paternoster Lifestyle, 2001.
  2. ^ a b Minorities Under Siege: Pygmies today in Africa IRIN In-Depth [This article does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies.]
  3. ^ "Minorities Under Siege: Pygmies today in Africa", UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 2006. Retrieved on 2006-12-11. 
  4. ^ Forest Peoples Programme. http://www.forestpeoples.org/
  5. ^ CAURWA (Communauté des Autochtones Rwandais). http://www.catgen.com/caurwa/EN

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