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Culture and Customs of Rwanda

Rwanda has been in the news for the genocide of 1994 and its aftermath. This volume exposes Western readers to the fuller picture of Rwanda. Early European travelers attested to Rwanda's beauty, describing it variously as the Switzerland of Africa and the Pearl of Africa. Rwanda has also been referred to as the Land of a Thousand Hills and the Land of Gorillas. The spectacular volcanoes, mountains, and natural resources are significant assets. The nation been dominated by two colonial powers, the Germans and Belgians. In spite of these political upheavals and acts of ethnic violence, Rwanda remains a country with rich culture and customs. Readers will learn that living together in harmony has been part of the Rwandan society, with its few ethnic groups, and traditional values supported a culture of peace. The traditionally pastoral and agricultural society is overviewed. The chapter on religion includes discussion of polytheism to Christianity. Other chapters cover the strong family and women's roles, the arts and oral cultures, celebrations, food, and dress.





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