Gishora is one of the famous touristic sites in Burundi. It is perched on the top of a hill at 7km from the urban center of Gitega and is an breathtaking and exciting sanctuary where you find one of the most sacred culture of this country; The Drums.
It was founded by King Mwezi Gisabo after his victory over the rebellious chief Ntibirangwa. This site was and always remains run by a local community called ‘Abatimbo’ descending from the ancient lineage of ‘Abanyigisaka’.
These specialized families lived in a ritualistic way of life and enjoyed huge privileges from the royal court. In ancient Burundi, the drums were the pillar of the political power of the monarchy. They were made and beat on special occasions, important venues, announcing great events of the country like the royal enthronement, the sowing festival, during the burial of the kings and they also gave the rhythm of regular seasons.They were only played by a particular lineage of families called ‘Abatimbo’
The site of Gishora also houses two ritual drums that were never played: Ruciteme (the one for whom we clear the forest) and Murimirwa (the one for whom we cultivate). The two names are intimately linked to the farming vocation and refer clearly to the fertility, characteristic of the king. We have also ordinary drums ‘Ingendanyi’ (retinue), which the Batimbo could beat on special occasions of the country.
Visit the drum sanctuary of Gishora to relive the cultural tradition of Burundi which is becoming scarcer. The site recreates an architectural complex of Royal palace, rarely found elsewhere in the country
The hilly slopes of Burundi have a truly amazing people, culture and history. You can explore a traditional way of life in a small ‘Busekera’ village, visit the countryside and learn about its farming community, or participate in the discovery of the history behind the vibrant life in these hills.
The original inhabitants of Burundi, just like the rest of the early Africans are known for their art and ability to survive in their different environment. In the 16th century, they set up kingdoms which were a sign of power and authority. Later, in the 19th century, the kingdoms gave birth to the modern political life of this beautiful country. In the early administrative city; Gitega, detailed history of their remarkable ancient skills, royal families, tradition beliefs and traditional way of ruling, are some of the artifacts found in the National Museum. A unique chance to listen to music related to the early kingdoms of Burundi is offered in Gishora Drum Sanctuary.
In these legendary hills lies amazing secrets of the ancient kingdoms; Kiganda, a small town in Muramvya is a Burundian Heritage site with two separate royal grounds.
One of the sites is a beautiful park which is a historical sanctuary containing all details about signing the Treaty between Germans and King Mwezi Gisabo who was the traditional ruler during that colonial era. The treaty was signed on June 06, 1903 and then that date was seen as the official colonial era.
The other site is the royal inauguration grounds where the Kings Mutaga Mbikije,Mwezi Gisabo and many other ancient political kings were inaugurated.In order for these important occasions to be always remembered, inauguration trees have been planted since many years back. These trees are a very important landmark in the history of Burundi hence they are well protected and the whole venue where the inauguration took place in those early days is well maintained.
Touring this site is an incredible chance for one to enjoy the Burundian ancient royal walk on elegant, well kept royal grounds.