The University of Wisconsin Press

African Studies / History / Ethnic Studies


Antecedents to Modern Rwanda
The Nyiginya Kingdom
Jan Vansina
Translated by the author

Africa and the Diaspora: History, Politics, Culture
Thomas Spear, David Henige, and Michael Schatzberg, Series Editors

"For historians . . . the choice is clear. Only at their peril will they ignore Vansina's seminal contribution to our understanding of one of the most complex and controversial chapters in the history of the continent. There are few books about Africa today I would qualify as a magnificent achievement. This is one of them."—Rene Lemarchand, African Affairs

To understand the genocide and other dramatic events of Rwanda's recent past, one must understand the history of the earlier realm. Jan Vansina provides a critique of the history recorded by early missionaries and court historians and provides a bottom-up view, drawing on hundreds of grassroots narratives. He describes the genesis of the Hutu and Tutsi identities, their growing social and political differences, their bitter feuds, revolts, and massacres, and the relevance of this dramatic history to the post-genocide Rwanda of today.

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. His many books include his 1994 memoir Living with Africa, Paths in the Rainforests, Oral Tradition as History, Kingdoms of the Savanna, and The Children of Woot, all published by the University of Wisconsin Press.

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cover is bright graphic treatment

January 2005
LC: 2004007798 DT
320 pp
.   6 x 9
11 maps

Book icon Paper $24.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-20124-1
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