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Watusi

Long-horned, 'humpless' domestic cattle were well established in the Nile Valley by 4000 BC. These cattle, known as the Egyptian or Hamitic Longhorn, appear in pictographs in Egyptian pyramids. Over the next 2000 years, the Egyptian Longhorn migrated with its owners from the Nile to Ethiopia, and then down to the southern reaches of Africa.

By 2000 BC, humped cattle (Longhorn Zebu) from Pakistan and India reached Africa. When these Zebu reached the region now known as Ethiopia and Somalia, they were interbred with the Egyptian Longhorn. This combination produced the Sanga which spread to the Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, and other parts of eastern Africa, becoming the base stock of many of the indigenous African breeds. The Sanga demonstrated most of the typical Zebu characteristics, such as pendulous dewlap and sheath, upturned horns, and a neck hump of variable size. Modern descendants of the Sanga, however, vary greatly in size, conformation, and horns, due to differing selection pressures by different tribes.

Particularly remarkable are the cattle found in Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi. In Uganda, the Nkole tribe's Sanga variety is known as the Ankole. In Rwanda and Burundi, the Tutsi tribe's Sanga variety is called the Watusi. The Rwanda common strain of Watusi is called Inkuku. The giant-horned strain, owned by the Tutsi kings and chiefs, is called the Inyambo, though some current tribal reports claim that this type is now extinct.    more...

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