21+ Differences Between Hutu And Tutsi

Hutus and Tutsis are the two ethnic groups that have been living in Africa for centuries. Due to several similarities between Hutus and Tutsis, these terms are often confused and used interchangeably.

Hutus and Tutsis mainly reside in Rwanda and Burundi. Hutus had been living in these areas longer than Tutsis. In addition, Tutsis arrived here later than Hutus from Ethiopia. Thus, Hutus are the majority community while Tutsis are the minority community

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Key Differences –

Hutus –

  1. Hutus were the first to reside in Rwanda and Burundi during 500 – 100 B.C.
  2. Hutus are also known as Bahutu or Wahutu.
  3. They speak the Bantu language. 
  4. On the arrival of Tutsis, Hutus were the majority community in central Africa. 
  5. Hutus are primarily employed in Agriculture and generally have lower incomes than Tutsis.
  6. Speaking of physical appearances, Hutus generally have short height with big noses and have a low-pitched voice. 

Tutsis –

  1. Tutsis came to Rwanda and Burundi from Ethiopia during the 14th and 15th centuries.
  2. Tutsis are also known as Batusi, Tussi, Watusi, or Watutsi. 
  3. They also speak the Bantu language. 
  4. On their arrival, Tutsis were the minority community in central Africa. 
  5. Tutsis are primarily employed in cattle herding and are richer than Hutus. 
  6. Tutsis are taller & thinner with long noses and have a high-pitched voice. 

Comparison Between Hutu And Tutsi

ParameterHutusTutsi
MeaningHutus are the people living in Central Africa who were the first habitants to reside in Rwanda and Burundi.Tutsis are the people living in Central Africa who came to Rwanda and Burundi from Ethiopia.
Time frame of coming to Rwanda and BurundiHutus acme to reside in Central Africa during 50 – 100 B.C.Tutsis came to reside in Central Africa during 14th and 15th century.
CommunityHutus are a majority community in the countries of Rwanda and Burundi. Tutsis are a minority community in the countries of Rwanda and Burundi. 
BusinessAgriculture and Agricultural activities are major means of employment for Hutus.Cattle Herding is the main business of Tutsis. 
WealthHutus are generally less wealthy than Tutsis.Tutsis are generally wealthier than Hutus. 
LanguageBantu language is spoken by the people of the Hutu community. Bantu language is spoken by the people of the Tutsi community. 
Height & WeightHutus are mainly strong and short in height. Tutsis are mainly thinner and tall in height. 
NoseHutus are known for their big noses. Tutsis are known for their long noses. 
VoiceHutus generally have a low – pitched voice. Tutsis generally have a high – pitched voice. 
Also known asBahutu and Wahutu are some of the other names to address Hutus. Batusi, Tussi, Watusi, and Watutsi are some of the other names to address Tutsis.

Major Differences Between Hutus And Tutsis

Who exactly are Hutus?

Hutus are the people who came to Rwanda and Burundi before the Tutsis. People of the Hutu community are generally Short and Strong, with big noses and high-pitched voices.

Even though Hutus were always in the majority after the coming of Tutsis, they were not the “strong” majority.

Hutus were known for their involvement in Agricultural practices and were not much wealthy.

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Features of Hutus –

  1. Original habitants of Rwanda and Burundi. 
  2. Short in height and Strong in power. 
  3. Big noses and low–pitched voice. 
  4. Majority yet vulnerable community of Rwanda and Burundi.
  5. Speak Bantu language. 
  6. Involved in agriculture and agricultural practices. 
  7. Less wealthy than Tutsis. 
  8. Also known as Bahutu and Wahutu. 

Who exactly are Tutsis?

Tutsis are the people who came from Ethiopia to Central Africa during the 14th and 15th centuries. People of the Tutsis community are generally Tall and Thin with small noses and low–pitched voices.

Tutsis communities were known as the minority community in Rwanda and Burundi, but despite this, they were always the “dominant” community.

Tutsis were known for their business of Cattle herding and were very wealthy. Higher income than the Hutus was one reason Tutsis were dominant over the Hutus.

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Features of Tutsis –

  1. Tutsis were not the original habitants of Rwanda and Burundi.
  2. Came to Rwanda and Burundi from Ethiopia during the 14th and 15th centuries.
  3. Taller and Thinner people.
  4. Long and high–pitched voices. 
  5. Minority yet dominant community of Rwanda and Burundi. 
  6. Speak Bantu language. 
  7. Involved in Cattle Herding.
  8. More wealthy than Hutus.
  9. Also known as Batusi, Tussi, Watusi, and Watutsi. 

Contrast Between Hutus And Tutsis

Meaning

  • Hutu – Hutus are the majority community of Rwanda and Burundi, which were the first to reside in Central Africa.
  • Tutsi – Tutsis are the minority community of Rwanda and Burundi, which came to Central Africa from Ethiopia.

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The words of Professor Izangola during an interview conducted in 1966 –

“In Rwanda, the Tutsi and the Hutu are the same people. They are all people–large grouping or communities which go from seven regions of Cameroon to Uganda–all the way to South Africa, in the same culture,” Izangola said. “People used to be Tutsi or Hutu, depending on the proximity to the king. If you were close to the king, owned wealth, and owned a lot of cattle, you are a Tutsi. If you are far from the king, you are a cultivator; you don’t own much cattle; you are a Hutu.”

Came To Rwanda And Burundi

Hutu – Hutus were the first to reside in Rwanda and Burundi during 500 – 1000 B.C.

Tutsi – Tutsis came to Rwanda and Burundi from Ethiopia during the 14th – 15th century. 

Community

  • Hutu – Hutus were the majority community in Rwanda and Burundi. 
  • Tutsi – Tutsis were the minority community in Rwanda and Burundi. 

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Reasons that make Tutsis a minority yet dominant community –

  • Tutsis earned way better than Hutus and were wealthier than Hutus, and this was one of the reasons behind Tutsis being dominant over Hutus. 
  • Amidst the German rule, the Tutsis were given more preference for their long noses and tall heights over the majority community, i.e., Hutus. During this time, Tutsis were given westernized education and government jobs. 

These are some of the reasons that made Tutsis a minority yet a dominant community and Hutus a majority yet a vulnerable community. 

Business

  • Hutu – Hutus are generally employed in Agriculture and Agriculture related activities. 
  • Tutsi – Tutsis are generally employed in the activities of Cattle Herding. 

Language

  • Hutu – Bantu language is spoken by people of the Hutu community. 
  • Tutsi – Bantu language is spoken by people of the Tutsi community. 

Wealth

  • Hutu – Hutus are generally less wealthy than Tutsis. 
  • Tutsi – Tutsis are generally wealthier than Hutus. 

Height

  • Hutu – Hutus are generally shorter in height than Tutsis. 
  • Tutsi – Tutsis are generally taller than Hutus. 

Noses

  • Hutu – Hutus have bigger noses than Tutsis. 
  • Tutsi – Tutsis have longer noses than Hutus. 

Voice

  • Hutu – Hutus mainly have low–pitched voices. 
  • Tutsi – Tutsis mainly have high–pitched voices. 

Also Known As

  • Hutu – Hutus are also known as Bahutu and Wahutu. 
  • Tutsi – Tutsis are also known as Batusi, Tussi, Watusi, and Watutsi. 

Conclusion

Hutus and Tutus are the two ethnic and cultural communities of Central Africa, especially in Rwanda and Burundi. Despite significant similarities, the communities and their people have various differences.

Hutus were the first to reside in Rwanda and Burundi and had been living since 50 – 100 B.C. On the other hand, Tutu came to Rwanda and Burundi from Ethiopia during the 14th and 15th centuries and had been living there since then.

Despite being a majority community, Hutus were weak, while Tutsis were dominant despite being a minority.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What are the physical features of Hutus and Tutsis?

Hutus are strong and short-heighted. They have big noses and have a low–pitched voices. Tutsis, on the other hand, are thin and Tall. They have long noses and have a high–pitched voices. 

Q2. When did Hutus and Tutsis come to reside in Central Africa?

Hutus have been living in Central Africa since 50 – 100 B.C. On the other hand, Tutsi have been living in Central Africa since the 14th and 15th centuries. Both communities have been living together for around 600 years. 

Q3. What are the major differences between Hutus and Tutsis?

The major differences between Hutus and Tutsis are –

1. Hutus were the original habitants of the countries of Rwanda and Burundi, whereas Tutsis came to countries of Rwanda and Burundi from Ethiopia. 
2. Hutus are the majority community of Rwanda and Burundi, whereas Tutsis are the minority community of Rwanda and Burundi. 
3. Hutus have generally employed in Agriculture and Agriculture related activities, while Tutsis are generally engaged in Cattle Herding activities. 
4. Hutus mainly have low-income levels, while Tutsis mainly have high-income levels. 


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