Posted on September 18, 2014
Today the world-famous Royal Drummers of Burundi will be playing traditional beats, and dancers will be performing the abatimbo and the abanyagasimbo, celebrating the anniversary of the 1961 victory of the UPRONA political party in U.N.-assisted elections for the National Assembly.
Violence between the Hutu and the Tutsi people—the same ethnic fighting that devastated Burundi's neighbor, Rwanda—had cropped up again and again in Burundi ever since the Tutsi's arrived in that African land in the 15th Century.
When European nations colonized Africa, Germany and later Belgium colonized Burundi and Rwanda, but they left in place the governmental structures and officers, which meant also leaving in place constant struggles between different groups, rivalry, court intrigue. After World War II, Ruanda-Urundi (now Burundi and Rwanda) became a United Nations trust territory but remained under Belgian administration. And when the elections were held in 1961, the party headed by Prince Louis Rwagasore, who was the eldest son of the current mwami, won in a big way—what is called a “sweeping victory”!
Check out the Royal Drummers!
This drumming video features dancers as well.
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