Antecedents to Modern Rwanda: The Nyiginya Kingdom

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Univ of Wisconsin Press, Mar 9, 2005 - History - 320 pages
To understand the genocide and other dramatic events of Rwanda’s recent past, one must understand the history of the earlier realm. Jan Vansina provides a critique of the history recorded by early missionaries and court historians and provides a bottom-up view, drawing on hundreds of grassroots narratives. He describes the genesis of the Hutu and Tutsi identities, their growing social and political differences, their bitter feuds, revolts, and massacres, and the relevance of this dramatic history to the post-genocide Rwanda of today.

2001 French edition, Katharla Publishers

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This is the worst book ever written about Rwanda.It is very typical of Belgian colonial propaganda aimed at misleading and misinforming the public.This was indeed Belgian colonial administration's scheme of using scholars like Jan Vansina and his colleagues who were on Belgian colonial adminisrtration's official payroll. In 1920 Minister Jules Renkins in his brief to catholic priests in the Congo said this: " YOUR DUTY IS TO MAKE THE BLACK MAN FORGET HIS ANCESTORS...MAKE OUR SAVAGES LOSE INTEREST IN THE WEALTH OF THEIR NATION." This book does exactly what Minister Renkins ordered: Make Rwandans forget their ancestors.
Israel Ntaganzwa
New York


1 Central Rwanda on the Eve of the Emergence of the Kingdom
2 The Rwanda of Ndori
3 Toward the Centralization of Power
4 Government in the Eighteenth Century
5 Social Transformations in the Nineteenth Century
6 The Triumph of the Great Families and Its Consequences
The Age of Rwabugiri 18671897
History and the Present
Predynastic Fairy Tales Central Rwanda before Ndori
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About the author (2005)

Jan Vansina is the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor and the Vilas Professor in History and Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His many books include his 1994 memoir Living with Africa, Oral Tradition as History, Kingdoms of the Savanna, and The Children of Woot, all published by the University of Wisconsin Press.

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