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Gatsibo: Pastoralist Heritage


Gatsibo: Pastoralist Heritage: The culture of pastoralist has been hereditary; the social characteristics of the Rwandese pastoralists can still be traced in parts of the eastern province in Gatsibo district and Nyagatare district. The rural life in these villages elegantly and conventionally gives a very unique experience about the culture of grazing, introduces you to the history and value of cows in Rwanda including the INYAMBO cows which were very significant in many cultural festivals brought up by Kigwa a descendant of Gihanga. The importance of cows ranges from paying dowry to strengthening relationships between families or individuals. The beauty of a cow is exhibited in the cultural dances of Rwanda. The tour takes you to the pastoralist village where guests observe and participate in the tradition of cattle grazing; get ready to make your own traditional rain coat from grass, learn how to milk with your own hands and no machines here! After milking, the pastoralists will show you the different calabashes used in preserving milk and the qualification it takes to make one; this goes in line with norms of handling calabashes, drinking milk etc. Milk is used in different ways for example taken fresh after milking it or fermented to make traditional yoghurt in a traditional way, and the unforgettable experience of making ghee, which ends with cooking local food with your own ghee and eating your own ghee.

Over 30 pastoralists with their families do benefit directly through the tours plus the entire community which benefits from the established Tourism Community Development Fund.

In the same village, you get the opportunity to learn about the historical monuments left behind by some prominent kings like King MUSINGA 1, RWABUGIRI, MUTARA 111 – RUDAHIGWA and RUGANZU around 1902.

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