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The Tutsi have lived in close proximity to the Twa and Hutu in the forested great lakes area of Central Africa, what is now known as Northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and Southwestern Uganda. The Tutsi, like other groups in the area, speak a Central African Bantu language, Kinyrwanda or Kirundi, depending on whether one is in present-day Rwanda or Burundi. Within the language, the folklore, myths, proverbs, poetry, and parables are all important in teaching the community spiritual, ethical, and moral standards and understandings. Many of the stories told are said to have come from a mythical king named Gihanga. This king also may have been an ancient famed griot, one who has a kingly status as an ancestor because of ...

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