Their cultures are similar, and they all speak the same language. A system of cattle trading helped keep peace among the different groups.
The numerous Portuguese inheritances include the language, the predominant religion and the colonial architectural styles.
The Germans held power from the 1890s until World War I (1914–18). For most of this period, the Europeans treated the Tutsi better than the Hutu.
In the 1950s, however, the Belgians urged the Hutu to challenge Tutsi power.
In 1959 Hutu leaders overthrew the Tutsi monarchy in Rwanda. In Burundi, the change to independence was more peaceful.
The mwami (the Tutsi king) helped the Tutsi and Hutu sides reach an agreement. The Hutu tried to gain power by force, and they were defeated. Hutu power in Rwanda ended in 1994 when Tutsi rebels overthrew the government.