Rwanda Traditions and Culture

Music and dance play an important role in the traditions of all Rwanda's peoples .The Rwandan people have a variety of music and dance which range from acts that demonstrate epics commemorating excellence and bravery, humorous lyrics to hunting root. Traditional songs are often accompanied by a solitary lulunga, a harp-like instrument with eight strings. More celebratory dances are backed by a drum orchestra, which typically comprises seven to nine members, and collectively produce a hypnotic and exciting explosion set of intertwining rhythms.

Lucky visitors have a chance to see spontaneous traditional performances in the villages of Rwanda. The finest exponent of Rwanda's varied and dynamic traditional musical and dance styles is the Intore Dance Troupe. A more modern form of Rwandan music is the upbeat and harmonious devotional singing that can be heard in any church service around the country.

A wide range of traditional handicrafts is produced in rural Rwanda, ranging from ceramics and basketry to traditional woodcarvings and contemporary paintings. A good selection of crafted artifacts can be seen in the main market or street stalls in Kigali. A distinctively Rwandan craft is the cow dung 'paintings' that are produced by a local co-operative in the village of Nyakarimbi near the Rusumo Falls border with Tanzania. Dominated by black, brown and white whorls and other geometric abstractions, these unique and earthy works can be bought in Kigali, but it's worth diverting to source to see how the paintings are reflected in local house decorations.

National Museum at Butare

The most prominent tourist attraction in Butare is the superb National Museum, which houses perhaps the finest ethnographic collection in East Africa. Absorbing displays of traditional artifacts are illuminated by a fascinating selection of turn-of-the-century monochrome photographs, providing insight not only into pre-colonial lifestyles, but also into the subsequent development of Rwanda as a modern African state.

For more photos of the culture gallery visit http://www.rwandatourism.com/culture/Culture/album/