The original inhabitants of present-day Burundi are thought to be the Twa people, descendants of the pygmies. History and Culture Information and Travel Guide. Vacation package Book. The Hutu arrived from the west in a gradual migration between the seventh and the eleventh centuries. They outnumbered the Twa and put their own regional kings, called bahinza, in place. Most of the Twa retreated farther into the forested highlands. The Tutsi began to appear in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, migrating from the Nile region in present-day Sudan and Ethiopia south and west in search of new cattle pastures. The Tutsi are tall, martial people, and while they never accounted for more than their current 15 percent of the population, they established economic and political control of the region, effectively subduing the Twa and the Hutu majority. From the seventeenth through the nineteen centuries, the kingdom continued to expand, eventually encompassing parts of present-day Rwanda and Tanzania. However, rule was decentralized, following a system similar to that of feudal lords, and internal conflicts led to a situation in which the king controlled only half the land that was nominally part of his domain by 1900.