Height has long been considered an attractive trait for men and often for women. The leaders in this regard are considered Tutsis – the tallest people on the planet. Where do the tallest people on Earth live? What factors gave the Tutsi the height advantage?
The Tutsis or Watusi live in Africa in several countries at once: Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in the border areas of neighboring countries. They are quite numerous – about 2.5 million people. Their traditional occupation is cattle breeding. In the semi-desert regions, the Tutsi raise beef and dairy cattle breeds.
Although not strictly nomadic, the Tutsis moved from place to place in their herds. Although people today have begun to engage in other activities, livestock production still plays a leading role and prices are still measured by the number of cattle.
The Tutsis are Catholic, but Islam and ancient local beliefs are also used. Many people speak multiple languages at once: Rundi and Rwandan dialects, as well as French.
But the most famous feature of Watusi is their height. While the average European is 178 cm tall and the average Asian is about 170 cm, Watus is 193 cm tall. Of course, these are just average values.
Most Watusi men are 2 meters or more tall. Even the average height of a woman fluctuates around 175 cm. This makes humans the tallest average people on the planet. But what allowed the Tutsis to become so tall?
There are several versions explaining the highly evolved Tutsis. Scientists believe that about 65-80% of the height of people in any population depends on genetics. The taller the parents, the taller the child. From this point of view, scientists explain Tutsis’ great height by their profession.
There is not much grass in the savanna and the herds move quickly and over long distances. For generations, Tutsi shepherds had to walk long distances every day, and sometimes even run in herds. Long legs are an advantage. And gradually, those who were able to let their offspring grow tall as a means of survival secured their gene pool in the population. The fact that the neighboring Tutsi herding peoples are also tall speaks to this.
Sorghum is a herbaceous plant belonging to the cereal or grassland grass family. It includes about 30 species that grow in Asia, Africa, South and North America, Europe and Australia. As a cultural crop, many varieties of sorghum are grown – bread, technical and forage.
The remaining percentage refers to non-genetic determinants of growth. In it, nutrition plays a leading role. Here, the traditional occupation of the Tutsi also plays its part. Livestock also leaves a mark on nutrition. The Tutsi menu includes a lot of dairy products and grains, especially sorghum. With a positive effect on bone tissue, these foods can also help Tutsi grow taller.
Unfortunately, high growth did not protect the Tutsis. In mid-1994, the Hutus involved began an armed conflict. The Tutsis were and are still suffering from a brutal genocide. Therefore, the number of tallest people on the planet is decreasing.