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Population, Way of Life

cattle corrals, poetry recitation, Burundians, common beverages, mancala

Most Burundians live in self-contained compounds of small round grass huts scattered over the countrys many hills. The rugo, the traditional Tutsi hut, is divided into sections and surrounded by an enclosure and cattle corrals. Families farm scattered plots of land on different soils at different altitudes to minimize crop failure. The floors of valleys are avoided due to higher temperatures and tsetse fly infestation. Social roles are largely determined by ethnicity, with the Tutsi as herders, the Hutu as peasant farmers, and the Twa as hunter-gatherers. Family life is central in all groups. Traditionally, the principal goal in life has been parenthood. Women traditionally dress in brightly colored wraps, and men in white. However, many have adopted Western clothes. The Burundian diet consists mainly of sweet potatoes and beans, with bananas, cassava, corn, peas, millet, and fruits added in season. Cattle are herded as signs of wealth and status rather than for their value as food. Meat is consumed by most Burundians only about once or twice a month. Fish is eaten more frequently. Gourds are grown for use as containers. Beer and milk are common beverages. Pastimes include soccer, poetry recitation, storytelling, and mancala, a board game common throughout Africa.

Article key phrases:

cattle corrals, poetry recitation, Burundians, common beverages, mancala, rugo, Hutu, peasant farmers, different altitudes, herders, crop failure, Gourds, parenthood, sweet potatoes, cassava, Pastimes, bananas, millet, Family life, beans, corn, enclosure, soccer, storytelling, ethnicity, fruits, dress, milk, Beer, Africa, Families, Women, status, groups, sections


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