Pre-colonial (<1900)

Habineza Pascal & Mwubahamana Shalon


Growing up as an orphan, Mwubahamana Shalon is curious about the life of other orphans and asks her uncle, Habineza Pascal, about how they live. She carefully listens to Habineza Pascal’s numerous experiences with taking care of orphans, as well as his advice. The story is full with Habineza Pascal’s aspirations for his niece and other orphans; to “do good things so that people around you will never see you in that image of being hopeless."

Uwayezu Dieu Domme & Gota Issa


Gota Issa asks his father, Uwayezu Dieu Domme, to explain the difference between how Rwandese lived in the past and how they live today. Uwayezu Dieu Domme takes this opportunity to describe how life was in Rwanda before ethnicities were brought by the white people. This was a time when Rwandese respected and helped each other, regardless of their background. Uwayezu Dieu Domme hopes that the Rwandese today can learn from the culture of their ancestors and start to respect each other once again. He notes that “the most important battle is to know history.”

Kayiranga Celestin & Mukasine Dafrose


At Mukasine Dafrose's request, Kayiranga Celestin recounts the story of Rwabugiri and Rwanyonga. The story of a king and his highest confidant and the jealousy and hostility between them. The events that transpire during a hunting trip, a contest, and a wedding, communicate to Mukasine Dafrose that heroism comes in many forms and allows her to compare modern life with the ways of the past. Kayiranga Celestin uses this folk tale to encourage Mukasine Dafrose to be heroic in her daily life by living in harmony and being hospitable to those in need.

Kajuga Augustin & Nkurikiyimana Ignace


Kajuga Augustin, born in 1939, has much to tell Nkurikiyimana Ignace about Rwanda before colonialism: the history of kings and how power was transferred from one to another, how young people were treated differently by their mothers versus their fathers, and how they were joined in marriage. He recounts how some practices are thankfully outdated, like drowning unmarried, pregnant women, while some celebrate values that are still positive, such as respect and cooperation.


SEPTEMBER 2014 - Archival Science 14 (Nos. 3-4, 2014): 275-306. Available here


OCTOBER 2014 - Founder and Director Patricia Pasick, Ph.D. has been honored as a 2014 Purpose Prize Fellow which recognizes “outstanding social innovators over aged 60 who are working to change the world by finding solutions to challenging social problems.“

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