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AfriGeneas Writers Forum Archive

History of a people & DNA?
In Response To: My story: The Watutsi ()

Shell Writes After sending my story to the top Tutsi anthropologist in Belgium, He wrote that not only was my story credible, but that he did not see the necessity for any DNA testing to prove it. He explained that the Watutsi, or present day Tutsi, were never involved in the slave trade. When Tippo Tip , the portugese slave trader, came to enslave the Tutsi that they were such great warriors that he was turned away. He also felt that my ancestor reached England by traveling with explorers or missionaries. The first explorers to reach Rwanda were from Great Britain.

Shell I am wondering to what extent you have explored the history of the Watutsi. Why has the name changed to Tutsi? It is generally accepted that the slave trade did not really get a strong footing in the East of Africa. You may want to see what explorers may have 'migrated' Watutsi tribesprople to Europe and why. Get a look at their records. What information can you share about Tippo Tip? Where did he turn to when he was turned away?

There is an AfriGeneas member, Nova Law, who spent a full year in England going through ship manifests and logs in search of her kinspeople. Nova was motivated in part by issues related to the death of her mother and its cause to focus on genealogy from a health point of view. Nova therorized that to get to the root of the cause one must get to the beginning root of the family. Following her year in England she entered medical school in Michigan with a focus in genetics and DNA. I have not read her full findings but did have some discussion with her about preliminaries. Nova has two publications on beginning genealogy. The second one is almost totally DNA/Health based.

I do not understand more than an iota about DNA but I would say that it has an importance which cannot be discounted or ignored in writings whether your platform is fiction or fact based. What consideration have you given to DNA?

My brother, Preston, who is a distinguished professor at Emory University has a scholarly familiarity with African peoples and has written extensively on the subject. I will be glad to run your story by hom after we have fleshed it out a bit more in this forum.

I will try and make a post each day ( as time permits) in an effort to help you sort out where you are and where you are wanting to go with this. Maybe some AfriGeneas members will assist you in sorting out various elements of "My Story"

"If not us, who?"


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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