The tallest people on the planet. What factors provide the Tutsi with a height advantage?

Tall stature has long been considered an attractive feature in men, and frequently in women.

The leaders in this matter are the Tutsis, the planet’s tallest people.

Where do these people on Earth live? What elements provide the Tutsi with a height advantage?

Tutsi or Watusi live in some African states at once: Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the border regions of neighboring countries. There are quite a lot of them, approximately 2.5 million. Their traditional occupation is animal husbandry. In the semi-desert locations, the Tutsis breed meat and dairy breeds. Although the Tutsis are not nomads, they move from place to place following their herds. Although nowadays, people have moved on to other occupations, animal husbandry still plays a primary role, and bride price is still counted by the number of livestock.

The Tutsis are Catholic, but practice Islam and ancient local beliefs as well. Many speak several languages at once, with dialects of Rundi and Rwanda, as well as French.

But the most popular characteristic of Watusi is their height. While the mean European male is 178 cm and the mean Asian male is around 170 cm, Watusi is 193 cm tall. Naturally, these are only mean. The majority of male Watusi are 2 meters tall or more. Even the mean height of a woman varies by around 175 cm. This makes people the tallest average people on the planet. But what allowed the Tutsis to be so tall?

There are a number of hypotheses that describes the high growth of the Tutsis. Experts believe that in any given population, approximately 65-80% of people’s height is because of genetics. The higher the parents, the higher the kids. From this point of view, researchers explain the great growth of the Tutsi by their occupation. Grass is scarce in the savannah, and groups move rapidly and over long distances. For generations, Tutsi shepherds had to walk a long way on a daily basis, and from time to time, even run after the group. Long legs were an advantage. And step by step, those who was able to give their offspring high growth as a means of survival fixed their genes in the population. This is proved by the fact that the neighboring Tutsi pastoral peoples are tall, too.

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The remaining percentages are accounted for by non-genetic determinants of growth. Nutrition plays a major role among them. The traditional Tutsi occupation played a role here as well. Animal husbandry has left its mark on food. The Tutsi menu is full of dairy products and cereals, particularly sorghum. With a positive influence on bone tissue, these foods can also ensure high growth of the Tutsi.

Sadly, tall stature did not defend the Tutsis. In mid-1994, neighboring Hutus unleashed an armed conflict. The Tutsis were and are still being subjected to brutal genocide. Therefore, the number of tallest people on the planet is lowering.

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