Rwanda Cultural Experience

About Rwanda Culture

Music and dance are also the essential part of Rwandan ceremonies, festivals, social gatherings and storytelling. The most famous traditional dance is a higly choreographed routine that consists of three components. The Umushagiriro or the cow dance, and is mostly performed by the women, the intore or the dance of heroes, performed by the men and the drumming. Also traditionally performed by the men, on the drums commonly known as Ingoma. The best known dance group is called the National Ballet that was established by President Byarimana in 1974, and performs nationally and internationally. More so traditionally, music is transmitted orally, with many styles that vary between the social groups. The drums are of great importance, the royal drummers enjoy the high status with in the court of the King. Drummers play together in groups of varying sizes, mostly between seven and nine in number. The country has got a growing famous music industry that is influenced by East Africa, the Congolese and the American music. The most popular music is the Hip Hop, with the blend of rap, raga, R & B and the dance pop.

rwanda cultural safaris

The traditional arts and the crafts are also produced throughout the country, even though most of these originated as practical items rather than purely for decoration. The woven baskets and the bowls are most especially common. Imigongo, a unique cow dung art is also produced in the south east of Rwanda, with a history dating back to when this region was also part of the independent Gisaka Kingdom.  This dung is also mixed with natural soils of many colors and painted into the patterned ridges to form geometric shapes. The other crafts also include pottery and wood carving. The traditional housing styles make use of the locally available materials; the circular or rectangular mud homes with grass thatched roofs ate the most common. The government has also introduced a programme to replace these with more modern materials like the corrugated Iron.

Rwanda doesn’t have a long history of the written literature, but there is a strong oral tradition that ranges from poetry to folk stories. Many of the country’s moral values and the details of history have been passed down through the generations. The most common Rwandan literacy figure was Alexis Kagame (1912- 1981), who carried out and published the research into oral traditions as well as writing his own poetry. The Rwanda Genocide also resulted in the emergence a literature of witness that accounts, essays and fiction by a new generation of writers like Benjamin Sehene. There are a number of films that have been produced about the Rwandan Genocide, including the Golden Globe nominated Hotel Rwanda, shake Hands with the Devil, Sometimes in April, and shooting Dogs, the last two having been filmed in Rwanda and having featured survivors as cast members.

There are eleven regular national holidays are observed throughout the year, with others that are inserted by the government. The week that follows the genocide Memorial Day on 7 April is designated on official week of mourning. The great victory for the RPF over the Hutu is also celebrated as Liberation Day on 4th July. The last Saturday of each month is called Umuganda and it’s a national day of community service, during which most normal services close down from 7:00 in the morning till 12:00 noon.