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Re: History of a people & DNA?
In Response To: History of a people & DNA? ()

I spent all of last summer researching the Watutsi and the Tutsi people. I think that I have read every book, some even in French, on the Tutsi people. I also contacted several American scholars who specialized in Rwanda and the Great Lakes region to get information.What I was told by them was that the many of the Watutsi were originally in Tanzania.I have not done alot of research on that part of the history, mainly because the Tutsi people there are called the "Hima". I felt that my ancestor would have referred to them by that name if that was where he was from.
I also haven't done any more research on Tippo Tip. I did meet Philip Gourevitch author of "We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families, Stories from Rwanda." He went to Rwanda to cover the genocide in 1994. He told me how much the Tutsi prided themselves on not being slaves.
The problem with the historical aspect of the research is that there are two versions of the history. The version of the Tutsi themselves and the version that was created by the French and the Catholic church which was then used to create divison among the people which eventually erupted into the genocide which caused the death of 800,OOO people in 100 days in 1994.
As to the name there are many versions. There are the Watusi, Watutsi, Batutsi, Mututsi, etc. It really depends on who you are talking to. I have seen all of the above. They all refer to the same people.
With the genocide, it has been difficult because many of the people that I could have gotten information from are no longer alive to talk to. I have yet to talk to any Tutsi that did not loose all or most of their family in the genocide. I also felt that because of the political situation and the difficulties I was finding myself in I would try to do this from purely a research standpoint untill I could get a better understanding of who I could and could not trust. But because their history from a traditional standpoint and not the "White" version was handed down through oral tradition I cannot do it all without some personal contact.
In the articles concerning the DNA samples for African Americans, I have read, I have not seen the Watutsi people or Rwandans or Burundians listed in the sample groups. Most are groups that would have been from the more traditionally known people that we know were a part of the slave trade.
I haven't done any research from the English view of the story.Mainly because once I determined that the time period that the Watutsi would have come here would have been after the slave trade was illegal in England, and without determining which port he would have arrived in I came to a dead end. So I began to search for him and his family in the census records.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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