Dinka are sometimes noted for their height. With the Tutsi of Rwanda, they are believed to be the tallest people in Africa.
If you’ve never been to Rwanda, the only thing you might know about the country is that there are two main ethnic groups, the Hutu and the Tutsi. Tutsis are tall and thin (you’ve read that somewhere), except when they aren’t. Hutus have broad noses (someone told you that), except when they have narrow noses.
Tutsi, also called Batusi, Tussi, Watusi, or Watutsi, ethnic group of probable Nilotic origin, whose members live within Rwanda and Burundi.
The Tutsis, also known as Watutsis, were a nomadic people who began arriving in the Great Lakes region from Ethiopia some four hundred years ago. Eventually, the Tutsis settled amongst the Hutus – adopting their language, beliefs and customs. But economic differences between the groups soon began to form.
At the other end of the spectrum are the top ten countries with the shortest average height, which currently include: Indonesia 62.2 inches. Bolivia 62.9 inches. The Philippines 63.7 inches. Vietnam 63.82 inches. Cambodia 63.98 inches. Nepal 64.17 inches. Ecuador 64.37 inches. Sri Lanka 64.41 inches.
The Netherlands is renowned for its tall population and unsurprisingly the nation has the tallest average height on Earth.
Once seen, these elongated men are never forgotten. Their small, narrow heads perched on top of slim and spindly bodies remind one of some of Henry Moore’s sculptures. Their average height, though well above the general norm, is no more than 5 feet 9 inches, but individuals reach more than 7 feet.
The two ethnic groups are actually very similar – they speak the same language, inhabit the same areas and follow the same traditions. However, Tutsis are often taller and thinner than Hutus, with some saying their origins lie in Ethiopia.
In the years leading up to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, the government used all its propaganda machinery to spread bigotry and hatred of the Tutsi. Tutsis were now called inyenzi ( cockroach ). All Tutsi men, women and children were no longer citizens of a nation but cockroaches.
The African breed is best known for its large horn circumference. They do not have the widest horn spreads, but their horn circumference is the largest among all breeds of cattle in the world. Watusi cows do not give much milk but the milk has a high butterfat content, which helps calves grow rapidly.
” Hutus ” were people who farmed crops, while ” Tutsis ” were people who tended livestock. Most Rwandans were Hutus. Gradually, these class divisions became seen as ethnic designations. Because cattle were more valuable than crops, the minority Tutsis became the local elite.
The name Pygmy describes rainforest hunter-gatherer populations around the globe that share heights of less than around five feet tall. This short stature is genetic, research has shown, not merely the result of malnutrition.
As a result of this, Europeans came to believe that Tutsis had Caucasian ancestry, and were thus “superior” to Hutus. Each citizen was issued a racial identification card, which defined one as legally Hutu or Tutsi. The Belgians gave the majority of political control to the Tutsis.
The same cannot be said of Black Earth Rising. While the story created is fictional, it is inspired by – and touches upon – real events of the Rwandan genocide, when members of the Hutu ethnic majority attempted to wipe out the minority Tutsi group in 1994, killing an estimated 800,000 people.
Tutsis are considered to be of Cushitic origin by some researchers, although they do not speak a Cushitic language, and have lived in the areas where they are for at least 400 years, leading to considerable intermarriage with the Hutu in the area.