The author of the classic Oral Tradition as History bases his account on hundreds of grass-roots narratives. It shows the historical roots of the Rwandan genocide of 1994 through an investigation of Rwanda's Nyiginya Dynasty of the 18th and 19th centuries. It demystifies Rwanda's precolonial past and colonial historiography. It describes the genesis of the Hutu and Tutsi identities, their growing social and political differences, their bitter feuds, revolts and massacres.
North America: University of Wisconsin Press
Jan Vansina is the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor and the Vilas Professor in History and Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin - Madison
Introduction - Central Rwanda on the eve of the emergence of the kingdom (seventeenth century) - The Rwanda of Ndori - Towards the centralisation of power - Ruling in the eighteenth century - Social transformation in the nineteenth century - The triumph of the great families & its consequences - Nightmares. The age of Rwabugiri (1867-96) - In conclusion: history & the present - Appendix 1: chronology - Appendix 2: predynastic fairy tales: central Rwanda before Ndori - Works cited