The Cultural Face of Terror in the Rwandan Genocide of 1994

Christopher C. Taylor

in Annihilating Difference

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2002 | ISBN: 9780520230286
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520927575 | DOI:
The Cultural Face of Terror in the Rwandan Genocide of 1994

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This chapter considers the argument that while political, socioeconomic, and historical factors played a crucial role in the Rwandan genocide, they still cannot explain why the violence was carried out in certain ways. It determines that this violence was deeply symbolic and even embodied a cultural patterning. This discussion emphasizes that Rwandan cultural knowledge did not “cause” the genocide, and that it is, in fact, variably internalized by Rwandans. This chapter also discusses the possibility that a great deal of the violence committed during the Rwandan genocide embodied the root metaphor of flow and blockage.

Keywords: Rwandan genocide; violence; symbolic; cultural patterning; cultural knowledge; root metaphor; flow and blockage

Chapter.  20741 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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