African Studies Rwanda
by
Noel Twagiramungu
  • LAST REVIEWED: 06 May 2016
  • LAST MODIFIED: 25 October 2012
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199846733-0069

Introduction

Rwanda (locally known as U Rwanda, literally “the extension” or “the extending territory”) is a small, landlocked country in the heart of Africa. Despite its legendary paucity of natural resources and absence of any obviously significant geostrategic asset, Rwanda has fascinated Western writers and policy-makers over the 20th century. The accounts of the early European explorers and missionaries describe precolonial Rwanda as one of “the greatest and the most complex” kingdoms in central Africa and “one that differed from all the others” (Vansina 2004, p. 1; cited under General Overviews). A prominent scholar describes post-independence Rwanda as “one of the very rare examples of a genuine social revolution accompanying the accession of an African state to independence” and the paradigmatic “case of a large-scale, thorough-going transformation occurring under the auspices . . . of a colonial power” (Lemarchand 1970, p. 3; cited under General Overviews). In 1994 Rwanda suddenly became the focus of horrified international attention as the epicenter of genocidal violence that engulfed the whole Great Lakes region and proved wrong the post-Holocaust pledge of “never again.” Moreover, post-genocide dynamics have attracted an important body of literature in which, as was the case in the years preceding the 1994 genocide, Rwanda is once again praised as a model of development in Africa and—in a revealing phrase—a “donor darling.” This bibliography gives an overview of the rich body of literature that developed over the 20th century to account for the myths and realities of Rwanda, past and present. The focus is on the country’s social, political, and economic critical junctures as well as on key distinctive features and areas of contention that have received varied amounts of scholars’ attention across time and space.

General Overviews

The most influential figures in Rwandan studies are probably Alexis Kagame and Jan Vansina. Kagame used his distinguished and multidisciplinary scholarship along with his social prestige and the Catholic Church’s facilities to reveal, illuminate, and sometimes embellish or “Europeanize” altogether various aspects of Rwanda (Kagame 1972–1975). Vansina pioneered the study of Rwanda past—and present—as a subject of scientific inquiry (Vansina 2004). Lugan 1997 and Chrétien 2003 account for the evolution of Rwanda from prehistoric ages to modern times. Lemarchand 1970, Prunier 1998, and Guichaoua 2010 provide essential background for understanding the roots and routes of political dynamics that culminated in the 1990–1994 genocidal violence and its aftermath.

  • Chrétien, Jean-Pierre. The Great Lakes of Africa: Two Thousand Years of History. Translated by Scott Straus. New York: Zone, 2003.

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    A massive oeuvre that excavates the historical development of Bantuphone culture from early settlement in the last millennium BCE to the waves of genocidal violence that engulfed Rwanda and its neighbors in the late 20th century. Originally published in French as L’Afrique des Grands Lacs: Deux mille ans d’histoire (Paris: Aubier-Historique, 2000).

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    • Guichaoua, André. Rwanda: De la guerre au génocide: Les politiques criminelles au Rwanda (1990–1994). Paris: Editions La Découverte, 2010.

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      A gigantic work that is at once an unmatched history of the 1990–1994 genocidal violence and a pathbreaking step forward in our understanding of post-independence Rwanda. A related website, Rwanda: De la guerre au génocide, contains an impressive corpus of original materials and a freely accessible translation in Kinyarwanda.

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      • Kagame, Alexis. Un abrégé de l’ethno-histoire du Rwanda. 2 vols. Butare, Rwanda: Editions universitaires, 1972–1975.

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        A rich chronological account of the main critical junctures in Rwandan history by a Rwandan scholar. Volume 1 gives a general overview of the Nyiginya kingdom. Volume 2 details the history of the country from 1853 to 1972.

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        • Lemarchand, René. Rwanda and Burundi. New York: Praeger, 1970.

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          A watershed study of political developments. Its rigorous political historiographical approach rooted in “the sociology of revolutionary change” (p. ix) opened up many avenues for further research on this region and elsewhere.

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          • Lugan, Bernard. Histoire du Rwanda: De la préhistoire à nos jours. Paris: Bartillat, 1997.

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            A massive book that is a mine of well-documented information about the evolution of Rwanda from prehistorical times to the 1990s.

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            • Prunier, Gérard. The Rwanda Crisis: History of a Genocide. London: Hurst, 1998.

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              First published in 1995 and now in its third edition with a new chapter, this book is the first thorough treatment of the multifaceted roots and components of the 1994 genocide in a more historicized and nuanced way.

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              • Vansina, Jan. Antecedents to Modern Rwanda: The Nyiginya Kingdom. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2004.

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                A masterpiece of analytical thinking and history writing that synthesizes the author’s efforts over a half-century to use African oral traditions as a valid source of history. Building on the author’s ethnographic sensitivity and historical rigor, the book vows “to present a starting point for thinking about Rwanda’s past in the light of the present” (p. 196). Originally published in French as Le Rwanda ancien: Le royaume nyiginya (Paris: Karthala, 2001).

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                Bibliographies

                A now-classic bibliographic work on Rwanda is d’Hertefelt and Lame 1987. Other useful works include Heremans and Ntezimana 1987 and Lugan 1980. There are also a growing number of online documentation networks such as AfricaBib, Réseau documentaire international sur la région des Grands Lacs africains, and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

                • AfricaBib.

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                  AfricaBib stands for Africana Periodical Literature Bibliographic Database. As of November 2011, this online source listed 855 recorded works about Rwanda, the vast majority of which discussed the 1994 genocide along with its roots, consequences, and aftermath.

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                  • d’Hertefelt, Marcel, and Danielle de Lame. Société, culture et histoire du Rwanda: Encyclopédie bibliographique, 1863–1980/87. 2 vols. Tervuren, Belgium: Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale, 1987.

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                    This well-researched and comprehensive work gives an overview of the available literature on Rwanda from the early explorers’ accounts dating back to 1863 and up to 1987.

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                    • Heremans, Roger, and Emmanuel Ntezimana. Journal de la mission de Save 1899–1905. Butare: Editions universitaires du Rwanda, 1987.

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                      A 183-page document that accounts for daily journals maintained by the White Fathers of the Parish of Save in south Rwanda between 1899 and 1905.

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                      • International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

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                        This website is an invaluable mine of information about the trials for genocide as well as background information on various facets of Rwanda, past and present.

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                        • Lugan, Bernard, ed. Sources écrites pouvant servir à l’histoire du Rwanda (1863–1918). Vol. 14, Études rwandaises. Butare: Université Nationale du Rwanda, 1980.

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                          Provides a comprehensive overview of documents written between 1863 and 1918 that serve as a key to writing the history of Rwanda.

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                          • Réseau documentaire international sur la région des Grands Lacs africains.

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                            The International Documentation Network on the Great African Lakes Region is an international interuniversity program based in Geneva, Switzerland. Its overall goal is to collect “grey literature” on the economic, social, and political aspects of Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Congo-Kinshasa.

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                            Reference Works

                            A major reference work on Rwanda is Dorsey 1994. Viret 2010 gives a well-detailed chronology of mass violence in Rwanda, while Prioul and Sirven 1981 offers a comprehensive atlas of the country.

                            • Dorsey, Learthen. Historical Dictionary of Rwanda. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow, 1994.

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                              A comprehensive survey of defining moments and events that have shaped the social, political, and economic landscapes in Rwanda over the last millennium.

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                              • Prioul, Christian, and Pierre Sirven, eds. Atlas du Rwanda. Kigali, Rwanda: French Ministry for Cooperation for the University of Kigali-Rwanda, 1981.

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                                Gives an overview of key similarities and differences among what the authors describe as the natural regions of Rwanda.

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                                • Viret, Emmanuel. “Rwanda—A Chronology (1867–1994).” In Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence. Paris: Center for International Research and Studies, 2010.

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                                  A meticulously referenced chronology of the major instances of mass violence that Rwanda has withstood, from the enthroning of King Rwabugiri in 1967 to the 1994 genocide.

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                                  Journals

                                  The oldest Rwandan newspaper is Kinyamateka, while the leading local scholarly periodical is Études rwandaises, known as Rwanda Journal since 2009. Key international periodicals that have published a great deal of scholarly work on Rwanda over the last half of the 20th century include Anthropos, Cahiers d’études africaines, and African Studies Review.

                                  • African Studies Review. 1970–.

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                                    Published from 1958 to 1969 under the title African Studies Bulletin, the African Studies Review is a leading academic journal publishing original research and analyses as well as book and film reviews on various aspects of African realities.

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                                    • Anthropos. 1906–.

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                                      Founded in 1906, Anthropos is an international journal known for its genuine interest in the intersection between anthropology, ethnology, linguistics, and religious studies. Most of its issues are available online.

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                                      • Cahiers d’études africaines. 1960–.

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                                        Founded in 1960, the Cahiers d’études africaines is a leading international journal with a focus on original anthropological and historical works on Africa, the Antilles, and the black diaspora in the Americas.

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                                        • Kinyamateka. 1937–.

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                                          Founded in 1937 and published in Kinyarwanda, Kinyamateka (literally, “newsletter”) is the only Rwandan periodical to have survived the political upheavals that the country has experienced. While the journal generally espouses the Catholic Church line, it also occasionally gives room to critical thinking and scholarly debates.

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                                          • Rwanda Journal. 2009–.

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                                            Formerly known as Études rwandaises until 2009, the Rwanda Journal is a periodical published by the National University of Rwanda. Unlike Études rwandaises, which was published in French, the formal language of the Rwanda Journal is English.

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                                            Primary Sources

                                            Over the 20th century, researchers have collected an impressive body of primary sources that can be divided into two main categories: Collections of Oral Traditions and Letters and Narrative Accounts.

                                            Collections of Oral Traditions

                                            Unlike a great many precolonial kingdoms in Africa whose traditions vanished forever in the dark night of history, Rwanda is best known for an extraordinary varied and rich corpus of oral traditions. Loupias 1908 and Delmas 1950 focus on official narratives, d’Hertefelt and Coupez 1964 on the royal rituals, while Bigirumwami 1978, Rugamba 1987, and Smith 1975 explore popular genres. An authoritative reference on the nature and extent of the scientific value of primary sources from and about Rwanda is Vansina 1985.

                                            • Bigirumwami, Aloys. Ibitekerezo, Indirimbo n’Ibyivugo by ’Ikinyarwanda. Nyundo, Rwanda: Diocèse de Nyundo, 1978.

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                                              A gigantic collection of hundreds of popular tales, songs, and poems in the Kinyarwanda language.

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                                              • Delmas, Léon. Généalogies de la noblesse (les batutsi) du Rwanda. Kabgayi: Vicariat apostolique du Rwanda, 1950.

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                                                A collection of genealogical trees of key members of the ruling class of Rwanda in the 1950s; the collection is a mix of official narratives, family histories, and mythological tales.

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                                                • d’Hertefelt, Marcel, and Andre Coupez. La royauté sacrée de l’ancien Rwanda: Texte, traduction et commentaire de son rituel. Royal Museum for Central Africa Annals 52. Tervuren, Belgium: Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale, 1964.

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                                                  The first attempt ever to write down, translate into a foreign language, and make public the liturgy—the “Esoteric Code”—of the royal rituals in Rwanda.

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                                                  • Loupias, Paulin. “Tradition et légende des Batutsi sur la création du monde et leur établissement au Rwanda.” Anthropos 3.1 (1908): 1–13.

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                                                    One of the oldest collections of Rwandan materials translated into a European language. It features major myths and legends revolving around the origins of the human species and the supremacy of the noble class of Batutsi.

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                                                    • Rugamba, Cyprien. Ngucire umugani. Vols. 1–2. Butare, Rwanda: Institut national de recherche scientifique, 1987.

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                                                      A comprehensive two-volume work in the Kinyarwanda language featuring key popular tales collected in various parts of Rwanda.

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                                                      • Smith, Pierre. Le récit populaire au Rwanda. Paris: A. Colin, 1975.

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                                                        A collection of old Rwandan tales with an introduction to key features of Rwandan literature.

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                                                        • Vansina, Jan M. Oral Tradition as History. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985.

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                                                          A methodical, evidence-based inquiry into the puzzle of how a historian can establish the value of historical narratives amidst the danger of standardization, alterations, interpolations, or deletions if they are not products of speculation pure and simple.

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                                                          Letters and Narrative Accounts

                                                          Accounts of the early European explorers who referred to Rwanda include Grant 1864, Speke 1863, and Stanley 1878.

                                                          • Grant, James Augustus. A Walk across Africa; or, Domestic Scenes from My Nile Journal. Edinburgh and London: W. Blackwood, 1864.

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                                                            A collection of moving scenes and descriptions recorded from Captain Grant’s journal. In this journal, Rwanda is described as “the country from whence rises the largest feeder of the [lake] Victoria” (p. xvii). Text available online.

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                                                            • Speke, John Hanning. Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile. Edinburgh and London: W. Blackwood, 1863.

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                                                              A detailed account of Speke’s life in Africa, with an emphasis on his four-and-a-half months at the court of King Muteesa of Buganda. While Speke did not visit Rwanda, his theory of the existence of an aristocratic race assumed to belong to “a small residue of the original European stock” (chapter 9) was later to find fertile ground in Rwanda. Edition by Gavan Tredoux available online.

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                                                              • Stanley, Henry Morgan. Through the Dark Continent; or, the Sources of the Nile around the Great Lakes of Equatorial Africa and down the Livingstone River to the Atlantic Ocean. London: Sampson Low, Marston, Seale and Livingstone, 1878.

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                                                                A detailed account by Stanley, the first European explorer to solve the enigma of the source of the Nile River. The author crossed Rwanda from northeast to southwest and from all the neighboring countries.

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                                                                Historical Background

                                                                Rwandan history can be roughly divided into five key periods ranging from the prehistoric era and the Nyiginya kingdom, to colonization and the Hutu Revolution, to the 1994 genocide and its aftermath. Jefremovas 2000 provides a concise intellectual framework within and against which one can understand contemporary debates and controversies revolving around the weight of the past in the present and vice-versa. See also Politics and Government.

                                                                • Jefremovas, Villia. “Treacherous Waters: The Politics of History and the Politics of Genocide in Rwanda and Burundi.” Africa 70.2 (2000): 298–308.

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                                                                  An excellent critical review of a number of major works on Rwanda as a means of drawing a line between empirically grounded, well-thought-through works on one hand and simplistic, hearsay-based acounts on the other.

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                                                                  Prehistoric Rwanda

                                                                  Archeological remnants suggest that early inhabitants were familiar with Urewe ceramics, smelted iron, sorghum, eleusine, and cattle. However, little is known about their social and political life until the rise of powerful kingdoms including Rwanda under the Nyiginya dynasty. A comprehensive archeological history of Rwanda is given in van Noten 1983, which builds on—while completing—Hiernaux and Maquet 1960 and Nenquin 1967.

                                                                  • Hiernaux, J., and E. Maquet. Cultures préhistoriques de l’Âge des Métaux au Rwanda-Urundi et au Kivu (Congo belge). Part 2. Royal Academy of Overseas Sciences, Moral and Political Sciences Section, n.s. 10. Brussels: Belgian Royal Colonial Institute, 1960.

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                                                                    Provides ample evidence of prehistoric agricultural practices and products in the region covering modern Rwanda, Burundi, and the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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                                                                    • Nenquin, Jacques. Contributions to the Study of the Prehistoric Cultures of Rwanda and Burundi. Royal Museum for Central Africa Annals 59. Tervuren, Belgium: Institut national de recherche scientifique, 1967.

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                                                                      A comparative study of archeological evidence of agricultural practices in prehistoric Rwanda and Burundi. It provides ample evidence that sorghum and finger millet or eleusine were extensively cultivated in this part of the world during the first millennium BCE.

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                                                                      • van Noten, Francis L. Histoire archéologique du Rwanda. Royal Museum for Central Africa Annals 112. Tervuren, Belgium: Institut national de recherche scientifique, 1983.

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                                                                        Provides a comprehensive account of the archeological history of Rwanda. Ample evidence that human settlement in this region is tens of thousands of years old.

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                                                                        The Nyiginya Dynasty and the Birth of Modern Rwanda

                                                                        The birth of modern Rwanda is generally associated with the Nyiginya dynasty. Contra Kagame 1959 and Nkurikiyimfura 1994, which situate the rise of the Nyiginya kingdom in the 10th and 11th centuries, Vansina 1962 and Vansina 2004 situate it in the 1600s. Newbury 2001 summarizes key issues in the study of Rwanda’s past in a regional context.

                                                                        • Kagame, Alexis. La notion de génération appliquée à la généalogie dynastique et à l’histoire du Rwanda des Xe–XIe siècles à nos jours. Royal Academy of Overseas Sciences, Moral and Political Sciences Section, n.s. 9. Brussels: Belgian Royal Colonial Institute, 1959.

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                                                                          A fascinating timeline of the history of the Rwandan kingdom and its kings since Gihanga, who allegedly founded the kingdom in the 10th century. This chronology appears to be a standardized version based more on fairy tales and dominant ideologies than on empirical evidence or reliable sources.

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                                                                          • Newbury, David. “Precolonial Burundi and Rwanda: Local Loyalties, Regional Royalties.” International Journal of African Studies 34 (2001): 255–314.

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                                                                            Adopting a regional comparative approach informed by evidence from an extensive body of oral literature and written sources, this article examines the complex social, economic, and political processes through which Rwanda and Burundi have evolved and changed over time before consolidating their nation-state status in the late 19th century.

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                                                                            • Nkurikiyimfura, Jean-Népomucène. Le gros bétail et la société rwandaise: Évolution historique des XIIe–XIVe siècles à 1958. Paris: L’Harmattan, 1994.

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                                                                              A historical long-run approach to the role of the bovid cattle economy in consolidating Nyiginya power in Rwanda from the 12th century to the eve of the 1959 Hutu Revolution (see From the 1959 Revolution to the Hutu Republic).

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                                                                              • Vansina, Jan. L’Evolution du royaume Rwanda des origines à 1900. Royal Academy of Overseas Sciences, Moral and Political Sciences Section, n.s. 26. Brussels: Belgian Royal Colonial Institute, 1962.

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                                                                                Evidence-based and rigorous inquiry into Rwanda’s past from an outstanding pioneer. Covers the emergence of the Nyiginya dynasty in the 1600s to German occupation.

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                                                                                • Vansina, Jan. Antecedents to Modern Rwanda: The Nyiginya Kingdom. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2004.

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                                                                                  A thorough revision of Vansina 1962 with a bit of new evidence on the social and political history of the Nyiginya dynasty. Originally published in French as Le Rwanda ancien: Le royaume nyiginya (Paris: Karthala, 2001).

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                                                                                  Non-Nyiginya Dynasties and Peripheral Kingdoms

                                                                                  Much of the literature deals with precolonial Rwanda as synonymous with the Nyiginya kingdoms. Notable exceptions include Pauwels 1967, d’Arianoff 1975, Nahimana 1981, and Ntezimana 1980, which focus on peripheral kingdoms globally—but to some extent abusively—known as the “Hutu kingdoms” or “Hutu principalities.”

                                                                                  • d’Arianoff, Alexandre. Histoire des Bagesera, souverains du Gisaka, c. 1400–1915. Nairobi, Kenya: East Africa Publishing House, 1975.

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                                                                                    Unearths the history of Bagesera, a clan that founded and reigned over the kingdom of Gisaka from the 1400s until it was incorporated into Rwanda in 1915.

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                                                                                    • Nahimana, Ferdinand. “Les principautés Hutu du Rwanda septentrional.” In La civilization ancienne des peuples des Grands Lacs: Colloque de Bujumbura. Edited by Centre de Civilization Burundaise, 115–135. Paris: Karthala, 1981.

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                                                                                      Gives an overview of the main characteristics of the “Hutu” kingdoms situated between two major rivers, Nyabarongo-Mukungwa, in the central north of modern Rwanda.

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                                                                                      • Ntezimana, Emmanuel. “L’arrivée des Européens au Kinyaga et la fin des royaumes Hutu du Bukunzi et du Busozo.” Études rwandaises (June 1980): 15–39.

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                                                                                        A compelling account of the tragic fall of two small kingdoms, Busozo and Bukunzi, in southwestern Rwanda that were incorporated by force into Rwanda by the colonial administration in the late 1920s.

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                                                                                        • Pauwels, Marcel. “Le Bushiru et son Muhinza ou roitelet Hutu.” Annali Lateranensi 32 (1967): 205–322.

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                                                                                          A comprehensive account of the history and key features of the kingdom of Bushiru in northern Rwanda. The term Muhinza along with its translation roitelet Hutu (small king Hutu) reflects the Nyiginya court’s ideology, according to which the Nyiginya king was the only one worth calling mwami (king).

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                                                                                          Colonial Period

                                                                                          The Germans marched into Rwanda in 1897 and established a colonial policy of indirect rule until their defeat during World War I. The Belgians took over and ruled the country from 1916 to 1962. Louis 1963 and Honke 1990 are the leading references on this period. Des Forges 2011 and Newbury 1988 account for the complex political relations between the Europeans and Rwandans. Works by leading Rwandan scholars, including Mbonimana 1981, Nahimana 1987, and Rumiya 1992, examine contending facets of colonization along with its controversial roles.

                                                                                          • Des Forges, Alison Liebhafsky. Defeat Is the Only Bad News: Rwanda under Musinga, 1896–1931. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2011.

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                                                                                            Posthumously published doctoral thesis (Yale University, 1972), with an introduction and refreshing notes by David Newbury. It provides an excellent account of the extraordinary entanglements of domestic politics and colonial domination behind the rise and the fall of the last non-Christian king of Rwanda, Yuhi Musinga.

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                                                                                            • Honke, Gudrun, ed. Au plus profond de l’Afrique: Le Rwanda et la colonisation allemande 1985–1919. Wuppertal, Germany: Peter Hammer Verlag, 1990.

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                                                                                              An edited volume that provides a rich and rare bibliography on the German administration.

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                                                                                              • Louis, W. Roger. Ruanda-Urundi, 1884–1919. Oxford: Clarendon, 1963.

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                                                                                                A well-documented account of the German occupation of Rwanda and Burundi from the 1885 Berlin Conference to the German defeat in the wake of the First World War.

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                                                                                                • Mbonimana, Gamaliel. “L’Instauration d’un royaume chrétien au Rwanda (1900–1931).” PhD diss., Université catholique de Louvain, 1981.

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                                                                                                  Drawing on extensive, rare, and unpublished sources from Catholic missions, describes how the once-conservative Tutsi elite ended up becoming “civilized” on the white man’s terms and how in the process colonial Rwanda become a “Christian kingdom.”

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                                                                                                  • Nahimana, Ferdinand. Le blanc est arrivé, le roi est parti: Une facette de l’histoire du Rwanda contemporain, 1984–1931. Kigali, Rwanda: Printer Set, 1987.

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                                                                                                    Examines the rise and the fall of King Yuhi Musinga as a case in point of the broader historical process through which the white man destroyed and replaced traditional local centers of power with the triumvirate regime comprising Belgian officials, White Fathers, and the Christianized Tutsi elite.

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                                                                                                    • Newbury, Catharine. The Cohesion of Oppression: Clientship and Ethnicity in Rwanda, 1860–1960. New York: Columbia University Press, 1988.

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                                                                                                      A bottom-up analysis of the complex transformations in the Rwandan political landscape from 1860 to the dawn of the Hutu Republic in 1960. Special emphasis on the relationship between the concentration of power in the hands of Tutsi and ethnic solidarity among Hutu in lightly controlled peripheral areas like Kinyaga.

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                                                                                                      • Rumiya, Jean-Gualbert. Le Rwanda sous le mandat belge: 1916–1931. Paris: L’Harmattan, 1992.

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                                                                                                        An excellent historical account of the Belgian administration, from the military occupation of Rwanda during World War I to the deposition and deportation of the last non-Christian king of Rwanda, Yuhi Musinga. A rich corpus of sources from the colonial administration and Catholic missions is included.

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                                                                                                        From the 1959 Revolution to the Hutu Republic

                                                                                                        Between 1959 and 1962, Rwanda experienced mass violence that paved the way for the fall of the Nyiginya kingdom and the birth of the Hutu Republic, which dominated the country between 1960 and 1994. Nkundabagenzi 1961 is the standard source on the Hutu Revolution alongside several post hoc and generally biased works, including Murego 1975, Logiest 1988, and Rutembesa 2002.

                                                                                                        • Logiest, Guy. Mission au Rwanda. Brussels: Didier Hatier, 1988.

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                                                                                                          Autobiography of a former Belgian high-ranking military and political official in Rwanda, Colonel Guy Logiest; it revolves around the author’s proudly biased political and military intervention, which played a decisive role in the fall of the Tutsi kingdom and the rise of the Hutu Republic.

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                                                                                                          • Murego, Donat. La révolution rwandaise, 1959–1962: Essai d’interprétation. Louvain, Belgium: Publications de l’Institut des sciences politiques et sociales, 1975.

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                                                                                                            A post-hoc reading of the social and political dynamics leading to and following the 1959 Hutu Revolution through the prism of the allegedly timeless ethnic conflict between Tutsi invaders and native Hutu.

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                                                                                                            • Nkundabagenzi, Fidèle. Le Rwanda politique, 1958–1960. Brussels: Centre de recherche et d’information socio-politiques, 1961.

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                                                                                                              An excellent view-from-within of the major events that shaped the political landscape in Rwanda between 1958 and 1960.

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                                                                                                              • Rutembesa, Faustin, et al. Peuplement du Rwanda: Enjeux et perspectives. Butare, Rwanda: Editions Universitaires, 2002.

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                                                                                                                A collective volume in which a group of Rwandan scholars reexamine the now-contested hypothesis of the “three-phase settlement”—first, the primitive Twa, then the Hutu farmers, and later the Tutsi pastoralists—as a window into the broader politics of history, ethnicity, and genocide ideology.

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                                                                                                                Genocide and its Aftermath

                                                                                                                Des Forges 1999 remains the authoritative reference on the genocide that engulfed Rwanda in 1994. Rigorous works that shed light on various facets of the logics and mechanics of genocide include Fujii 2009, Guichaoua 2005, and Straus 2006. The most compelling accounts from the perspective of survivors include Mujawayo and Belhaddad 2005 on the Tutsi side and Umutesi 2004 on the Hutu side. Finally, two multiauthor volumes, Clark and Kaufman 2009 and Straus and Waldorf 2011 (cited under Politics and Government: The Post-Genocide State), account in sharply contrasting ways for the two faces of post-genocide Rwanda.

                                                                                                                • Clark, Philip, and Zachary Kaufman, eds. After Genocide: Transitional Justice, Post-conflict Reconstruction and Reconciliation in Rwanda and Beyond. London: Hurst, 2009.

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                                                                                                                  A multiauthored volume that vows to illuminate and “to respond holistically to the complex challenges of rebuilding lives after genocide” (p. 19). With two notable exceptions, most of the articles in this volume are from Rwandan officials or in line with official narratives.

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                                                                                                                  • Des Forges, Alison. Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda. New York: Human Rights Watch, 1999.

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                                                                                                                    The most comprehensive account to date of the roots and routes of the genocidal slaughter of Tutsi in Rwanda by a Hutu extremist group that captured the state apparatus in April 1994.

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                                                                                                                    • Fujii, Lee Ann. Killing Neighbors: Webs of Violence in Rwanda. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2009.

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                                                                                                                      A compelling view from below of the logics and mechanics of the webs of genocidal violence that engulfed Rwanda in 1994.

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                                                                                                                      • Guichaoua, André. Rwanda 1994: Les politiques du génocide à Butare. Paris: Karthala, 2005.

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                                                                                                                        A well-documented and empirically grounded work that explores the unfolding of genocide in Butare, a peripheral region that fiercely resisted for a while until the genocidal government transformed it into the worst killing field in the country.

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                                                                                                                        • Mujawayo, Esther, and Souâd Belhaddad. SurVivantes: Rwanda, histoire d’un génocide. La Tour-d’Aigues, France: Éditions de l’Aube, 2005.

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                                                                                                                          A compelling and vivid recount of the 1994 genocide with a poignant focus on the terrible guilt shared by the survivors: “Why did I survive?”.

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                                                                                                                          • Straus, Scott. The Order of Genocide: Race, Power, and War in Rwanda. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2006.

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                                                                                                                            A carefully researched and multidisciplinary analysis of the complex interactions among social norms, political mobilization, and critical junctures that paved the way for the 1994 genocide as a widely accepted state-run project.

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                                                                                                                            • Umutesi, Marie Béatrice. Surviving the Slaughter: The Ordeal of a Rwandan Refugee in Zaire. Translated by Julia Emerson. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2004.

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                                                                                                                              A compelling firsthand account of the atrocious crimes committed by Rwandan troops and their Ugandan and Congolese allies when they invaded Zaire in 1996 and destroyed the refugee camps hitherto hosting thousands of Hutu populations who had fled Rwanda in 1994. Originally published in French as Fuir ou mourir au Zaïre: Le vécu d’une refugiée rwandaise (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2000).

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                                                                                                                              Politics and Government

                                                                                                                              The political landscape in Rwanda can be roughly divided into five critical junctures that correspond to five successive political regimes that have governed the country over recent centuries: the King’s State (1600–1900), the Colonial State (1900–1962), the First Republic (1962–1973), the Second Republic (1973–1994), and the Post-Genocide State (1994–). While each regime has its record of dramatic changes and violent ruptures, general trends suggest a longstanding continuous political culture of one-man top-down authoritarian regimes. A good summary of this thread may be found in Prunier 1995. Desrosiers and Thomson 2011 suggests clear continuities of increasing authoritarianism in pre- and post-genocide Rwanda. See also Historical Background.

                                                                                                                              • Desrosiers, Marie-Eve, and Susan Thomson. “Legacies of Leadership: Projections of ’Benevolent Leadership’ in Pre- and Post-genocide Rwanda.” Journal of Modern African Studies 49.3 (2011): 429–453.

                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1017/S0022278X11000279Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                An excellent account of continuities between the regimes of Habyarimana (1973–1994) and Kagame (since 1994), with an emphasis on how both military leaders have claimed to be able to build a “new” Rwanda along the path to peaceful politics, ethnic unity, and development.

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                                                                                                                                • Prunier, Gérard. “Rwandese Society and the Colonial Impact: The Making of a Cultural Mythology.” In The Rwanda Crisis: History of a Genocide. By Gérard Prunier, 1–40. London: Hurst, 1995.

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                                                                                                                                  This chapter sums up the myths and realities of the nature and style of the king’s authority in precolonial Rwanda and explains how, under colonial administration, this authority evolved gradually toward an ever-greater administrative centralization and more authoritarian forms of political control.

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                                                                                                                                  The King’s State

                                                                                                                                  Two authoritative but sharply divergent references on the nature and extent of government and politics of the Nyiginya kingdom are Kagame 1952 and Vansina 1962. Butare 1972 focuses on the innovations dating from the reign of Rwabugiri. Vansina 2004 provides an updated overview of key issues related to the history and legacies of the Nyiginya kingdom.

                                                                                                                                  • Butare, A. “Les transformation politiques au Rwanda sous la règne de Kigeli IV Rwabugili (1853–1895).” MA diss., Université Nationale du Zaire, 1972.

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                                                                                                                                    A rather sober but insightful account of the nature and extent of dramatic political transformations associated with the reign of King Rwabugiri—the watershed of the Nyinginya kingdom.

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                                                                                                                                    • Kagame, Alexis. Le code des institutions politiques du Rwanda précolonial. Royal Academy of Overseas Sciences, Moral and Political Sciences Section, n.s. 9. Brussels: Belgian Royal Colonial Institute, 1952.

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                                                                                                                                      Describes a well-articulated social and political order governed by timeless rituals, self-reinforcing norms and interdictions, hierarchical chains of dependence and solidarity, and sacred royal decrees. Seen by critics as nothing more than an imagined ideal Rwandan old order reframed along Christian lines.

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                                                                                                                                      • Vansina, Jan. L’Evolution du royaume Rwanda des origines à 1900. Royal Academy of Overseas Sciences, Moral and Political Sciences Section, n.s. 26. Brussels: Belgian Royal Colonial Institute, 1962.

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                                                                                                                                        Work of an outstanding pioneer in evidence-based and rigorous inquiry into Rwanda’s past, from the emergence of the Nyiginya dynasty in the 1600s to German occupation.

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                                                                                                                                        • Vansina, Jan. Antecedents to Modern Rwanda: The Nyiginya Kingdom. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2004.

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                                                                                                                                          A thorough revision of Vansina 1962, this work sheds light on the origins and legacies of the Nyiginya political culture of cyclic violence and authoritarianism, of which the 1994 genocidal violence is a paradigmatic example. Originally published in French as Le Rwanda ancien: Le royaume nyiginya (Paris: Karthala, 2001).

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                                                                                                                                          The Colonial State

                                                                                                                                          The colonial state in Rwanda evolved in three distinctive phases: the short-lived indirect rule of German domination (1885–1916); the early years of the Belgian administration, which culminated in the overthrow and deportation of King Musinga (1916–1931); and the triumph of the Catholic Church from the coronation of a Christian king, Charles Rudahigwa, to the collapse of the kingdom at the dawn of independence (1931–1962). Authoritative references on the colonial state and its legacies are Des Forges 2011 and Mamdani 2001. Codere 1973 offers a simplified “biography” of Rwanda covering the period 1900–1960, while Botte 1985 provides a broader regional political framework within which to contrast Rwanda with her twin sister Burundi.

                                                                                                                                          • Botte, R. “Rwanda and Burundi, 1889–1930: Chronology of a Slow Assassination.” International Journal of African Historical Studies 18 (1985): 53–91.

                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.2307/217974Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                            A rigorous and well-documented chronology of key events that took place in Rwanda and Burundi between 1889 and 1930. The documented events range from natural events (passage of meteors) and social calamities (famines, epidemics) to major political events (king’s death, colonial decrees) to colonial military expeditions and political interventions. Rich details and ample quotes from original sources are provided.

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                                                                                                                                            • Codere, Helen. The Biography of an African Society: Rwanda, 1900–1960: Based on Forty-Eight Rwandan Autobiographies. Tervuren, Belgium: Musee Royale de l’Afrique Centrale, 1973.

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                                                                                                                                              Provides a comprehensive overview of key events that characterized Rwanda under colonial rule between 1890 and 1960. The Biography is based on forty-eight personal narratives from key informants recorded by the author.

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                                                                                                                                              • Des Forges, Alison Liebhafsky. Defeat Is the Only Bad News: Rwanda under Musinga, 1896–1931. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2011.

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                                                                                                                                                A 1972 doctoral thesis (Yale University) posthumously published, with an introduction and extensive updated notes by David Newbury. It provides an excellent account of the extraordinary entanglements of domestic politics and colonial domination behind the rise and fall of the last non-Christian king of Rwanda, Yuhi Musinga.

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                                                                                                                                                • Mamdani, Mahmood. When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001.

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                                                                                                                                                  Casts new light on the colonial politics of divide and rule that, in the context of Rwanda, ended up creating a divide between “native” Hutu and Tutsi “invaders” and thus paved the way for the 1994 genocide of the Tutsi, who were seen as “foreigners.”

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                                                                                                                                                  The First Republic

                                                                                                                                                  The First Republic, centered around president Gregoire Kayibanda and his ruling party, MDR-Parmehutu (Mouvement Democratic Republicain-Parti du Mouvement de l’Emancipation Hutu), has received scant attention in the literature. Notable exceptions include Bezy 1990 and Paternostre de la Mairieu 1972, which focus on the social and development dimensions, while Lemarchand 1970 and Webster 1966 address differences and similarities between Rwanda and Burundi. Prunier 1998 gives a fair, if post hoc, overview of the First Republic’s leadership style.

                                                                                                                                                  • Bezy, Fernand. Rwanda, 1962–1989: Bilan socio-économique d’un régime. Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium: Institut des Pays en Développement, 1990.

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                                                                                                                                                    A comprehensive assessment of the social and economic development of Rwanda under the First and Second Republics, from independence to the eve of the 1990 civil war.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Lemarchand, René. Rwanda and Burundi. New York: Praeger, 1970.

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                                                                                                                                                      A watershed in the study of political developments in Rwanda and Burundi. Its rigorous political historiographical approach rooted in “the sociology of revolutionary change” (p. ix) opened up many avenues for further research on this region and elsewhere.

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                                                                                                                                                      • Paternostre de la Mairieu, Baudouin. Le Rwanda, son effort de développement. Brussels: de Boeck, 1972.

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                                                                                                                                                        Sympathetic account of key achievements in social and economic development in the first decade of independence.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Prunier, Gérard. “The Hutu Republic (1959–1990).” In The Rwanda Crisis: History of a Genocide. By Gérard Prunier, 41–92. London: Hurst, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                                          A chapter that gives an excellent overview of the rise and the fall of the Hutu Republic. A special section titled “The Kayibanda Years (1961–1973)” describes Kayibanda as the “mwami [king] of the Hutu” whose deliberate, authoritarian, and secretive governance style “unavoidably recall[s] the old kings’ leadership style” (p. 54).

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                                                                                                                                                          • Webster, John. The Political Development of Rwanda and Burundi. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University, 1966.

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                                                                                                                                                            A less-cited but insightful comparative study of variation in the political landscapes of Rwanda and Burundi before and after independence.

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                                                                                                                                                            The Second Republic

                                                                                                                                                            Barahinyura 1988 and Shimamungu 2009 offer extremely contrasting, if excessively subjective, views of the Second Republic dominated by Major-General Juvenal Habyarimana and his ruling single-party MRND (Mouvement Revolutionaire National pour le Developement). More-nuanced accounts offering views from within include Gasana 2002 and Nsanzuwera 1993.

                                                                                                                                                            • Barahinyura, S. J. Le Général-Major Habyarimana, 1973–1988: Quinze ans de tyrannie et de tartuferie au Rwanda. Frankfurt: Izuba Verlag, 1988.

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                                                                                                                                                              The first account by a Rwandan citizen to dare to paint a negative image of President Habyarimana before the 1990s.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Gasana, James. Rwanda: Du parti-état à l’état-garnison. Paris: L’Harmattan, 2002.

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                                                                                                                                                                A critical appraisal of Habyarimana’s regime and ruling party, MRND, by one of his key former ministers.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Nsanzuwera, François-Xavier. La magistrature rwandaise dans l’étau du pouvoir exécutif: La peur et le silence, complice de l’arbitraire. Kigali, Rwanda: Collectif des Ligues et Associations de défense des droits de l’homme au Rwanda, 1993.

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                                                                                                                                                                  A bold and courageous view from within by a high-ranking magistrate commenting on the government’s excessive control of the judiciary.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Shimamungu, Eugene. Habyarimana: L’homme assassiné le 6 avril 1994. Lille, France: Éditions Source du Nil, 2009.

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                                                                                                                                                                    Provides a detailed biography of the late President Habyarimana based on extensive interviews with his close relatives and confidants.

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                                                                                                                                                                    The Post-Genocide State

                                                                                                                                                                    Post-genocide Rwanda presents two contrasting faces: a metaphor for an African Renaissance, as Kinzer 2008 claims, versus the old wine of ethnopolitics in the new bottle of “knowledge construction” according to Pottier 2002 (p. 109). A comprehensive review of the polarized and polarizing debates on post-genocide Rwanda may be found in Straus and Waldorf 2011, while Nkuliyingoma 2011 provides the first comprehensive view-from-within account in the Kinyarwanda language. Reyntjens 2011 sheds light on the puzzle of how and why the international community has fallen prey to the post-genocide regime’s technocratic governance.

                                                                                                                                                                    • Kinzer, Stephen. A Thousand Hills: Rwanda’s Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2008.

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                                                                                                                                                                      A quasi-hagiographic view of post-genocide Rwanda as a world metaphor for an African Renaissance incarnated by the most visionary military and political leader in modern times, general Paul Kagame.

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Nkuliyingoma, Jean Baptiste. Inkundura: Amateka y’intambara yavanyeho igitugu ikimika inkindi. Paris: Éditions La Pagaie, 2011.

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                                                                                                                                                                        Written by a former minister in the post-genocide government, this book provides insightful analysis supported by firsthand evidence of the dramatic process through which the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) ousted the Hutu-based dictatorship and imposed its own Tutsi-dominated dictatorship.

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Pottier, Johan. Re-imagining Rwanda: Conflict, Survival and Disinformation in the Late Twentieth Century. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

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                                                                                                                                                                          A fierce critic of the tactics and techniques expertly used by the post-genocide government to “sell” a shining image while silencing its challengers and exploiting the international community’s moral sympathy and sense of guilt.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Reyntjens, Filip. “Constructing the Truth, Dealing with Dissent, Domesticating the World: Governance in Post-genocide Rwanda.” African Affairs 110.438 (2011): 1–34.

                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1093/afraf/adq075Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                            An up-to-date, comprehensive inquiry into the paradoxes of post-genocide Rwanda—“a ’donor darling,’ despite being a dictatorship with a dismal human rights record and a source of regional instability” (p. 1).

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Straus, Scott, and Lars Waldorf. “Introduction: Seeing Like a Post-Conflict State.” In Remaking Rwanda: State Building and Human Rights after Mass Violence. Edited by Scott Straus and Lars Waldorf, 3–21. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2011.

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                                                                                                                                                                              An up-to-date, historicized, nuanced, but critical appraisal of Rwanda’s post-genocide recovery in both normative and theoretical terms.

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                                                                                                                                                                              Geography

                                                                                                                                                                              Bart 1993; Gotanegre, et al. 1974; and Moeyersons 1991 give an overview of key issues in geography in Rwanda. Olson, et al. 1995 focuses on land use, while Kanyamibwa 1998 and Plumptre, et al. 2001 explore the impact of violent conflict on environmental conservation. These and all major works on Rwanda (see, for instance, Des Forges 1999, cited under Genocide and Its Aftermaths; Uvin 1998, cited under Economy; and Guichaoua 2010 and Vansina 2004, cited under General Overviews) highlight Rwanda’s densely populated fertile highland environment.

                                                                                                                                                                              Society and Cultures

                                                                                                                                                                              Distinctive features of Rwandan society that have intrigued and divided scholars over the 20th century include Clans and Ethnic Groups (Twa, Hutu, Tutsi). Marquet 1954 analyzes the dynamics of social relations in precolonial Rwanda, while Bourgeois 1957 extends the same analysis to Burundi. Hiernaux 1956 enters pseudo-scientific ground in its endeavor to justify the existence of biological differences between Hutu and Tutsi as distinct races. Lame 2005 offers a bottom-up approach that sheds light on the complexity of ruptures and continuities that the society experienced throughout the 20th century.

                                                                                                                                                                              • Bourgeois, René. Banyarwanda et Barundi: Ethnographie. Vol. 1. Royal Academy of Overseas Sciences, Moral and Political Sciences Section 15. Brussels: Belgian Royal Colonial Institute, 1957.

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                                                                                                                                                                                A comprehensive ethnographic study of core similarities and differences among the peoples of Rwanda and Burundi.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Hiernaux, Jean. Analyse de la variation des caractères physiques humains en une région de l’Afrique centrale: Ruanda-Urundi et Kivu. Royal Museum for Central Africa Annals 3. Tervuren, Belgium: Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale, 1956.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  A pseudo-scientific analysis of the alleged biological evidence pertaining to Tutsi and Hutu as different races—the former being associated with a Caucasian appearance (taller, with thin lips and pointed noses), the latter seen as true Negroes (shorter, with broader lips and flat noses).

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                                                                                                                                                                                  • Lame, Danielle de. A Hill among a Thousand: Transformations and Ruptures in Rural Rwanda. Translated by Helen Arnold. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2005.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    An excellent, empirically grounded study of the nature and extent of dramatic changes that swept across Rwanda before, during, and in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide, as seen and experienced by lay people in one village—a hill among a thousand—of southern Rwanda.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Marquet, J. Le Système des relations sociales dans le Rwanda ancien. Royal Museum for Central Africa Annals 1. Tervuren, Belgium: Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale, 1954.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      An intellectual reconstruction of the allegedly rigid hierarchical social relations along ethnic lines (Tutsi, Hutu, and Twa) in precolonial Rwanda through the lens of 19th-century “racial” theories.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      Clans

                                                                                                                                                                                      Since d’Hertefelt 1971, Newbury 1980 remains the most comprehensive and critical review of the debates on the clans of Rwanda. Nyagahene 1997 suggests a radical, if controversial, reconceptualization of clans as “autochthonous” communities.

                                                                                                                                                                                      • d’Hertefelt, M. Les clans du Rwanda ancien: Eléments d’ethnosociologie et d’ethnohistoire. Royal Museum for Central Africa Annals 70. Tervuren, Belgium: Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale, 1971.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        This work, based on several years of field research and surveys, examines how the eighteen major clans of Rwanda cut across the three ethnic groups (Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa) and historical regions of the country.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • Newbury, David. “The Clans of Rwanda: A Historical Hypothesis.” Africa 50 (1980): 389–403.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          Building on the author’s longstanding familiarity with the peculiarities of African tribes and kinship, this article rejects the dominant assumption of “primordial” clans whose unchanging identities reach far in the prekingdom past. Hence, it places greater emphasis on the necessity of reassessing and accounting for changes over time in the concepts of clan.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Nyagahene, Antoine. “Histoire et peuplement: Ethnies, clans et lignage dans le Rwanda ancien et contemporain.” PhD diss., Université Paris-VII/Septentrion, 1997.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            The author, a Rwandan scholar, conceptualizes clans as “autochthonous” groups, generally associated with precolonial kingdoms, each of which had some economic specialization.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            Ethnic Groups (Twa, Hutu, Tutsi)

                                                                                                                                                                                            Ethnicity, along with its underlying divide among Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa, is probably the most talked about and the most controversial of all issues Rwandan, as beautifully summarized in Jefremovas 1997. Various myths and realities about ethnicity in Rwanda are omnipresent in the literature, from Loupias 1908 and Pagès 1933 to Kanyamachumbi 1995 and Mugesera 2004.

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Jefremovas, Villia. “Contested Identities: Power and the Fictions of Ethnicity, Ethnography and History in Rwanda.” Anthropologica 39.1–2 (1997): 91–104.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              A comprehensive account of how precolonial myths and colonial racist theories have paved the way for modern ethnopolitics in postcolonial Rwanda.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              • Kanyamachumbi, P. Société, culture et pouvoir politique en afrique interlacustre: Hutu et Tutsi de l’ancien Rwanda. Kinshasa, Zaire: Editions Select, 1995.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                Written by a Zairian priest of Tutsi origin, the book describes precolonial Rwanda as an ideal society where, before the colonial administration divided them, Hutu and Tutsi worked hand in hand to build a strong nation-state.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                • Loupias, P. “Tradition et légendes des Batutsi sur la création du monde.” Anthropos 3.1 (1908): 1–13.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  A collection of myths and legends that were used to justify the nature and extent of social, political, and economic inequalities among the ruling Tutsi, the exploited Hutu, and the marginalized Twa.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Mugesera, Antoine. Imibereho y’Abatutsi kuri Repubulika ya mbere n’iya kabiri. Kigali, Rwanda: Les Editiones Rwandaises, 2004.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    An acrimonious assessment of the various forms of harassment the Tutsi people suffered under the First and Second Republics. Despite its a posteriori conclusions and self-fulfilling statements influenced by the prism of the 1994 genocide, the book is based on a rich corpus of primary written materials.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Pagès, A. Un royaume hamite au centre de l’Afrique: Au Ruanda sur les bords du lac Kivu (Congo belge). Royal Academy of Overseas Sciences, Moral and Political Sciences 1. Brussels: Belgian Royal Colonial Institute, 1933.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      A simplistic and racist theorizing of the Tutsi as distant descendants of Ham, the biblical son of Noah, and therefore the founders of the highly civilized “Hamitic kingdom” of Rwanda amidst savage Hutu Negroes and Twa pygmies.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      Women and Gender

                                                                                                                                                                                                      In the wake of the 2008 elections, Rwanda became the first country in the world where women outnumbered men in Parliament. Key references that provide context and insights into the bright and dark sides of this success story include Newbury and Baldwin 2001, Powley 2004, and Devlin and Elgie 2008. Mugwaneza and Hategekimana 1982 gives an overview of major works on the issues of gender and women in the 1970s, while Jefremovas 1991 analyzes the problem of gender through the lens of power and resource control on the eve of the 1994 genocide.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Devlin, Claire, and Robert Elgie. “The Effect of Increased Women’s Representation in Parliament: The Case of Rwanda.” Parliament Affairs 61.2 (2008): 237–254.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1093/pa/gsn007Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                        A well-documented, empirically grounded analysis of the impact of women’s representation in three areas: parliamentary culture, the parliamentary agenda, and policy outcomes.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Jefremovas, Villia. “Loose Women, Virtuous Wives and Timid Virgins: Gender and the Control of Resources in Rwanda.” Canadian Journal of African Studies 25.3 (1991): 378–395.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          An insightful account of social and political barriers to gender equality in general and women’s access to resources in particular in late-1980s Rwanda.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Mugwaneza, Gregoire, and Annie Hategekimana. “Recueil des études et ouvrages ayant trait à la femme rwandaise.” Études rwandaises (1 January 1982).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            Provides an excellent collection of the publications revolving around the theme of women in the context of Rwanda in late 1970s.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Newbury, Catharine, and Hannah Baldwin. “Confronting the Aftermath of Conflict: Women’s Organizations in Postgenocide Rwanda.” In Women and Civil War: Impact, Organizations, and Action. Edited by Krishna Kumar, 97–128. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2001.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              Provides essential background for understanding the plight of women in the context of Rwanda and the crucial role of women’s nongovernmental organizations in dealing with the wounds of the 1994 genocide.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Powley, Elizabeth. Strengthening Governance: The Role of Women in Rwanda’s Transition: A Summary. Washington, DC: Women Waging Peace, 2004.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                Provides an overview of the unusual path that led women in Rwanda to move from having the status of powerless victims of social barriers to outnumbering men in Parliament. Other key issues addressed include significant changes in gender roles and the relationship between women’s political representation and the ruling elite’s commitment, as well as some of the achievements and challenges ahead for women representatives.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                Economy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Among the main economic factors in Rwanda are endemic poverty, overpopulation, land pressure, rural exodus, authoritarian governance, clientelism, and increasing dependence on foreign aid, all of which contribute to worsening vertical and horizontal inequalities and thus pave the way for renewed structural violence. Authoritative references on distinctive features of the economy in precolonial and colonial Rwanda are, respectively, Vidal 1974, and Dorsey 1983 and Bezy 1990. Paternostre de la Mairieu 1972 and Nduwayezu 1992 draw a rosy picture of the postcolonial situation, while Uvin 1998 offers a broader intellectual framework within and against which to understand the close link between developmentalist ideology, foreign aid, and structural violence in post-independence Rwanda. Musahara 2011 explores the problem of urbanization, while Ansoms 2009 sheds light on the dark side of the “social engineering” nature of post-genocide economic policies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Ansoms, An. “Re-engineering Rural Society: The Visions and Ambitions of the Rwandan Elite.” African Affairs 108.431 (2009): 289–309.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1093/afraf/adp001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A well-documented, empirically grounded critical analysis of the mismatch between the ruling elite’s growth-driven social engineering policies and the rural realities of widening inequalities and enduring impoverishment.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Bezy, Fernand. Rwanda, 1962–1989: Bilan socio-économique d’un régime. Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium: Institut des Pays en Développement, 1990.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Provides a comprehensive assessment of the social and economic development of Rwanda under the First and Second Republics, from independence to the eve of the 1990 civil war.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Dorsey, Learthen. “The Rwandan Colonial Economy, 1916–1941.” PhD diss., Michigan State University, 1983.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A comprehensive analysis of the Rwandan colonial economy in the first three decades of the Belgian administration, highlighting such new economic features as monetary transactions and paid labor services.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Musahara, Herman. “A Socio-economic Analysis of the Nature of Rural-Urban Migration Dynamics in Rwanda 1960 to 2010.” Rwanda Journal 22, ser. B (2011): 27–54.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Against the conventional Harris–Todaro-type models, this paper calls for an ambitious, multidisciplinary approach to account for the causes, consequences, policies, and prospects of the problem of rural exodus and urbanization since the 1960s.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Nduwayezu, Jean Damascène. Les fondements physiques, humains et économiques du développement du Rwanda. Ruhengeri: Editions Universitaires du Rwanda, 1992.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A comprehensive study of Rwanda—defined as a “climatic and ecological island” (p. 1)—with emphasis on the interactions among the physical setting, human agency, and economic development.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Paternostre de la Mairieu, Baudouin. Le Rwanda, son effort de développement. Brussels: de Boeck, 1972.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A sympathetic account of key achievements in social and economic development in the first decade of independence.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Uvin, Peter. Aiding Violence: The Development Enterprise in Rwanda. West Hartford, CT: Kumarian, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A carefully documented, empirically grounded analysis of the relation between development aid and the genocide in Rwanda. It shows convincingly how, through voluntary blindness, business as usual, and normal professionalism, donors ended up strengthening the dynamics of structural violence rather than weakening them in a country that they had for so long considered a model of development.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Vidal, Claudine. “Economie de la société féodale rwandaise.” Cahiers d’études africaines 14.1 (1974).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A short but very clear analysis of precolonial Rwanda’s economic life through the lens of a feudal system.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Religion

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                According to recent official estimates, 56 percent of Rwanda’s population is Roman Catholic, 27 percent Protestant, 11 percent Seventh-day Adventist, and 4 percent Muslim, while fewer than 2 percent claim no religious affiliation or practice traditional religion. This unbalanced rapport de force is overwhelmingly reflected in the existing literature, where traditional practices and Islam have received scant attention. A watershed in the study of religion-related phenomena in Rwanda is Linden 1977.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Linden, Ian. Church and Revolution in Rwanda. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 1977.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This study contextualizes and examines the crucial role of Roman Catholicism along with its conflictual relationships with other religious practices—traditional religions, Protestant churches, and Islam—within the broader context of colonial Rwanda. It provides a rich bibliography, including unpublished sources, articles, periodicals and newspapers, and rare books.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Traditional Religion

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Authoritative references on Rwandan traditional religion are Arnoux 1912 and Freedman 1984. Philipps 1928 adds an interesting political perspective.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Arnoux, A. “Le culte de la société secrète des imandwa au Rwanda.” Anthropos 7 (1912): 287–290, 541–543.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Provides the first empirical account of the cult of Imandwa (“the Initiated”) or the followers of Lyangombe, who is believed to be the prominent intermediary between mortals and Almighty God, Imana.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Freedman, Jim. Nyabingi: The Social History of an African Divinity. Royal Museum for Central Africa Annals 115. Tervuren, Belgium: Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale, 1984.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Describes the cult of Nyabingi, one of the major divine creatures that serve as intermediaries between human beings and Imana (God).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Philipps, J. E. T. “The Nabingi: An Anti-European Secret Society in Africa. British Ruanda, Ndorwa and the Congo (Kivu).” Congo 1 (1928): 313–314.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A two-page description of the traditional religion Nabingi (a.k.a. Nyabingi) as a form of organized resistance against the two pillars of European domination—colonization and Christianity.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Christianity

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Besides Linden 1977 (cited under Religion), a comprehensive and updated overview of key issues related to Christianity in Rwanda may be found in Longman 2010. Kalibwami 1991 analyzes the role of the Catholic Church throughout the colonial period, while Mbonimana 1978 focuses on the crucial role of the Church in fostering ethnic cleavages in the 1930s. Gatwa 2005 brings a view-from-within perspective, with an emphasis on the problem of ethnic rivalry within the Presbyterian Church.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Gatwa, Tharcisse. The Churches and Ethnic Ideology in the Rwandan Crises, 1990–1994. Milton Keynes, UK: Paternoster, 2005.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Written by a Presbyterian Church leader in Rwanda, this inside account examines the ambivalent role of Christianity in ethnic rivalry and genocidal violence in Rwanda.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Kalibwami, Justin. Le catholicisme et la société rwandaise: 1900–1962. Paris: Présence Africaine, 1991.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The most comprehensive account to date of the decisive role of the Catholic Church in Rwanda, from the dawn of colonization to independence.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Longman, Timothy. Christianity and Genocide in Rwanda. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A compelling narrative of how and why, in this overwhelmingly Christian country, the church helped to set a climate that made genocide not only possible but also morally acceptable.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Mbonimana, Gamaliel. “Christianisation indirecte et cristallisation des clivages ethniques au Rwanda (1925–1931).” Enquêtes et Documents d’Histoire Africaine 3 (1978): 125–163.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A well-documented account of how indirect Christianization exacerbated ethnic divisions in Rwanda during the 1925–1931 period.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Islam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Islam has received scant attention in the literature on Rwanda. A notable exception is Kagabo 1988.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Kagabo, José Hamim. L’Islam et les “Swahili” au Rwanda. Paris: Éditions de l’école des hautes études en sciences sociales, 1988.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A compelling, though less empirically grounded, account of the plight of the Swahili community in Rwanda—a marginal community of Muslim, urban businesspeople speaking Swahili in a country where the vast majority of the population are Christian, live in rural areas, and speak (only) Kinyarwanda.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Language

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Kinyarwanda is one of the most spoken and best-studied African languages. Major works in European languages can be roughly divided into two main categories: Dictionaries and Linguistic Studies. Two classic references in the study of Kinyarwanda are Jouannet 1986 and Kagame 1960, for foreign and local audiences, respectively.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Jouannet, Francis, ed. Le Kinyarwanda: Langue bantu du Rwanda; Études linguistiques. Paris: Société des études linguistiques et anthropologiques de France, 1983.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    First comprehensive study, by a group of prominent Rwandan and international linguists, of various aspects of the Kinyarwanda language.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Kagame, Alexis. La langue du Rwanda et du Burundi expliquée aux autochtones. Kabgayi, Rwanda: n.p., 1960.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A didactic manual aiming to introduce basic orthographical and grammatical features of the Kinyarwanda language to native speakers.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dictionaries

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Popular dictionaries of Kinyarwanda translated into European languages include Hurel 1926, Schumacher 1956, and Jacob 1984–1987; the most up to date is Coupez, et al. 2005.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Coupez, André, Thomas Kamanzi, Simon Bizimana, G. Sematama, G. Rwabukumba, and Charles Ntazinda. Inkoranya y íkinyarwaanda mu kinyarwaanda nó mu gifaraansá / Dictionaire Rwanda-Rwanda et Rwanda-Français. 3 vol. Tervuren, Belgium: Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale, 2005.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The most comprehensive and up-to-date bilingual dictionary of the Kinyarwanda language by a team of linguists from Rwanda’s National Institute of Scientific Research and the Royal Museum for Central Africa.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Hurel, Eugène. Dictionnaire français-runyarwanda et runyarwanda-français. Kabgayi, Rwanda: Vicariat apostolique du Ruanda, 1926.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The first translation of key words of the Kinyarwanda language into a European language.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Jacob, Irénée. Dictionnaire rwandais-français. 3 vols. Butare, Rwanda: Institut national de recherche scientifique, 1984–1987.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A three-volume dictionary of Kinyarwanda into French that prevailed before the publication of Coupez, et al. 2005.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Schumacher, Pierre. Dictionnaire phonétique français-runyarwanda, runyarwanda-français. Kabgayi, Rwanda: Vicariat apostolique, 1956.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The first dictionary of Kinyarwanda in a European language, with special attention given to phonetic representation.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Linguistic Studies

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The study of Kinyarwanda as a subject of scientific inquiry started in the 1980s. Influential works include Cadiou 1985, Jouannet 1983, and Kimenyi 1979. Myers and Crowhurst 2008 is an excellent laboratory analysis of the phonology of Kinyarwanda.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Cadiou, Yves, ed. Le kinyarwanda: Études de morpho-syntaxe. Louvain, Belgium: Peeters, 1985.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A collective volume by a group of prominent Rwandan and European linguists, with a focus on distinctive morphological and syntactical features of the Kinyarwanda language.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Jouannet, Francis, ed. Le kinyarwanda: Langue bantu du Rwanda; Études linguistiques. Paris: Société des études linguistiques et anthropologiques de France, 1983.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The first comprehensive study of various aspects of the Kinyarwanda language by a group of prominent Rwandan and international linguists.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Kimenyi, Alexandre. Studies in Kinyarwanda and Bantu Phonology. Edmonton, Canada: Linguistics Research, 1979.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A synthetic overview by a Rwandan scholar of key features of the phonology of the Kinyarwanda language within the broader context of the linguistic family of Bantu languages.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Myers, Scott, and Megan Crowhurst. Kinyarwanda. In Phonology: Case Studies. University of Texas Department of Linguistics, 2008.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A laboratory-based scientific description of the pronunciation of Kinyarwanda based on the voice of a native speaker from Kigali. Key issues addressed include final devoicing, palatization, vowel harmony, vowel deletion, and interaction.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Literature

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mbonimana and Nkejabahizi 2011 is the most updated and comprehensive reference on Rwandan literature. Kagame 1969 and Coupez and Kamanzi 1970 remain the authoritative references on precolonial Rwandan literature.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Coupez, A., and T. Kamanzi. Littérature de cour au Rwanda. Oxford: Clarendon, 1970.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Provides an insightful overview of the rich literature that flourished at the Nyiginya court.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Kagame, Alexis. Introduction aux grands genres lyriques de l’ancien Rwanda. Butare: Editions universitaires du Rwanda, 1969.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The first major and popular introduction of its kind to the major genres of the rich body of precolonial oral literature, with original texts in Kinyarwanda followed by their translations in French.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Mbonimana, Gamaliel, and Jean Chrysostome Nkejabahizi. Amateka y’ubuvanganzo Nyarwanda: Kuva mu kinyejana cya XVII kugeza magingo aya. Butare, Rwanda: Éditions de l’Université nationale du Rwanda, 2011.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The first comprehensive history of Rwandan literature from the 17th century onward.

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