History and culture
Since the 15th century, Burundi was organized as a monarchy around a king known as the Mwami. Burundi has a strong oral tradition, inspiring historians with its legends and tales. The kingdom rejected all the incursions of the Zanzibar slave hunters before submitting to the Germans in 1897. Mwezi Gisabo surrendered on June 6, 1903, at Kiganda which eventually became a historical site. Successively a German then a Belgian colony, Burundi became independent in 1962. The assassinatin of the national hero, Prince Rwagasore, on October 13, 1961, marked the end of the monarchy. In 1966, Michel Micombero became the first president of the Republic of Burundi. The Burundian population is composed of three main ethnic groups (Hutu, Tutsi and Twa). However, unlike what is very often the case in Africa, these groups did not form different cultures. The language Kirundi, as well as most of the social customs, anchors the majority of the population to a territory united since the eighteenth century. Although Burundii has faced challenges in the recent past, the strong base of culture shared by everyone provides the foundation for a people moving forward. The cultural and historical inheritance of the country is extensively rich, especially since there is no written historical record. In an oral civilization, a whole unique cultural universe reveals itself to those who listen to tales circulating in Burundi as well as to those who are interested in visiting ancient locations full of memories.