a member of a Bantu farming people of Rwanda and Burundi, in central Africa.
* * *Numbering about 9.5 million, the Hutu comprise the vast majority in both Rwanda and Burundi but were traditionally subject to the Tutsi, who under German and Belgian colonial regimes succeeded in cultivating a lord-vassal relationship. The two cultures are deeply intertwined; both speak Rwanda and Rundi and adhere to similar religious beliefs (traditional and Christian). The Tutsi remained dominant in Rwanda until 1961, when the Hutu expelled most of them and took over the government. After an unsuccessful Hutu coup attempt in Burundi in 1965, that country's Hutu remained subordinate under a Tutsi-dominated military government. Violent clashes occurred in Burundi in 1972, 1988, and 1993 and in Rwanda in 1990 and 1994–96, the later including a Hutu-initiated genocidal campaign in which more than a million people were killed and 1–2 million fled to refugee camps in Zaire (now Congo) and Tanzania.
* * *▪ peoplealso called Bahutu or WahutuBantu-speaking people of Rwanda and Burundi. Numbering about 9,500,000 in the late 20th century, the Hutu comprise the vast majority in both countries but were traditionally subject to the Tutsi (q.v.), warrior-pastoralists of Nilotic stock.When the Hutu first entered the area, they found it inhabited by the Twa, Pygmy hunters whom they forced to retreat. Hutu life centred on small-scale agriculture, and social organization was based on the clan, with petty kings (bahinza) ruling over limited domains. The Tutsi in turn entered the area in the 14th or 15th century and gradually subjugated the Hutu, forcing them into a lord–vassal relationship. The Tutsi remained dominant in Rwanda until the period 1959–61, when the Hutu expelled most of the Tutsi from the country and took over control of the government. An unsuccessful Hutu coup attempt took place in Burundi in 1965, and that country's Hutu remained subordinate under a Tutsi-dominated military government. Relations between the two groups periodically led to mass killings and struggles. In 1994, one of the worst incidents of genocide in modern history took place in Rwanda, where Hutu extremists slaughtered nearly a million Tutsi and moderate Hutu.The Hutu and Tutsi cultures have been largely integrated. The Tutsi adopted the mutually intelligible Bantu languages of Rwanda and Rundi, which were originally spoken by the Hutu. The Hutu's kinship and clan system is probably derived from Tutsi culture, as is the central importance of cattle. The Hutu and the Tutsi adhere essentially to the same religious beliefs, which include forms of animism and (today) Christianity.
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