LAND REFORM AND DEPENDANCY AMONG TWA IN BURUNDI

LAND REFORM AND DEPENDANCY AMONG TWA IN BURUNDI

Several academics consider Twa as a broader nomadic group which settled in Burundi, as well as other forested regions of Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Cameroon (Mworoha, 1987; Lewis, 2000; Couillard et al, 2009). Some historical accounts and origin stories find that Twa were the first inhabitants in the forested regions of these countries, including Burundi (Jackson, 2003). Twa often self-identify and share characteristics of indigenous peoples in the region (Jackson, 2003). Hunting and gathering in the forested regions provided an important source of subsistence, along with pottery (Mworoha, 1987). This nomadic lifestyle distinguished Twa from other groups in Burundian society who were more involved in farming or raising livestock. Prior to colonisation and independence, Twa shifted their location more frequently than others, often due to the death of a family member, insufficient hunting and gathering activities or other social problems (UNIPROBA, 2008, 8). Usually living in groups, Twa would move on to find another suitable location with sufficient animals to hunt and establish a semi-permanent dwelling of grasses and leaves.