1. Meaning and Historical background Irembo (singular) or Amarebo (plural) is a Kinyarwanda word which means “gateway”.

In ancient Rwanda, every family lived in an enclosure. And to get into this enclosure, you had to pass through the Irembo. From inside the house, the family could see whoever entered, and they greeted him at the irembo. It was in the irembo that the visitor made himself known if he was not nown, and announced the purpose of his visit. If he/she was not granted a visit, he/she would not enter the enclosure. In case the visitor was not unwanted, he/she couldnot enterthe enclosure, the irembo was closed for him/her. In casehe/she wanted to ask for free passage, the irembocould either be pened “kugururaamarembo”, or denied “gufungaamarembo). In casehe/she wanted to ask for free passage, the irembocould either be opened “kugururaamarembo”, or denied “gufungaamarembo).

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