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Fulani people, where did they come from?

With what country the origin of Fulani is closely connected? How do distinctive features of Fulani look like? Read the information below to learn more facts about this oldest tribe.

Fulani people

Fulani people are the nationality living in the Western Africa. It is one of the largest nomadic groups in the world whose origin is furiously challenged by many scientists of the world whose part considers Fulani have Arab origin, and another – African. Fulani were the first in Africa who have accepted Islam through sacred war and since then they are missionaries of Islam, carrying it to other tribes of Africa. During many centuries, wandering from place to place, Fulani were engaged in trade and cultivation of cattle.

Fulani origin

According to the anthropologists, the origin of Fulani is closely connected with Egypt. Research of nationalities of Fulani tells about the Central Asian origin of ancestors on the fatherly line. Ancient moving is traced by modern anthropologists from Central Asia through Egypt, Sudan and Chad that obviously disproves versions about Fulani origin from the southern or southwest direction from Sahel.

While their origin still causes disputes, the Arab writers mention their existence still about 1000 years ago. But experts believe that Fulani have come from the region of present territory of Northern Senegal. For centuries they migrated with the cattle occupying extensive territories in regions Sahel, savannah and Western Africa, and have turned into a large number of subgroups with various designations including Fulbe, Gurma, Gorgava, Fallata, Fulah, Fulakunda, Bororo, Peul, Pulaar, Halpulaar, Liptaako. Fulani tribe is originated in the valley of river Senegal where they have founded their Fulani Empire. Approximately before beginning of the 9th century, they continued their migration to regions Bunda, Bamboo, Diomboko and Bagana. At last, those who have concentrated in Ferlo from 11 to the 14th centuries have moved to the river Volta.

Fulani tribe

Fulani have become Muslims approximately in the 11th century of our era. Islam has extended in East Africa through commerce. Timbuktu, Jenna and Gao became the huge centers of trade in Sahel. Fulani, who conducted both a settled way of life and nomadic have played an important role in the history of Western Africa. A quantity of the West African kingdoms and empires were under strong influence of Fulani. They won all lands on the way to the Southern Spain and have destroyed the empire of Ghana. From 1750 to 1900, they participated in a large number of sacred wars under Islam banners. In the first half of the 19th century, Fulani have conquered two important empires. One was based in Masin, controlled by Timbuktu, and another included city-states of a house, Borno part and the Western Cameroon. Sokoto continued to rule parts of Northern Nigeria up to the British gain of 1903.

Fulani Empire

READ ALSO: How to make Fulani earrings?

Fulani culture

Even in our modern time, traditions of old times in this tribe are very strong. Distinctive features of Fulani are love and respect for beauty expressed in drawing of numerous tattoos on a face and body. And many women have absolutely black mouth from the tattoos put there. Fulani language is divided into 4 dialects and belongs to the West Atlantic branch of the Niger family. It contains about 10 million native speakers. Fulani tribe is nomadic cattle-farmers grazing the herds in extensive dry internal regions of the Western Africa. They seldom mix up with local settled farmers. Fulani usually are nomadic shepherds, and also the dealers and farmers living across all Western Africa. Now the majority of Fulani lives in the city centers. 

Fulani culture

Fulani live in the most different dwellings, beginning with simple temporary huts and finishing with complex structures. Usually, the wandering women Fula often direct construction of family tents and temporary shelters spin walls. Many houses and even build big constructions are made from bricks. People of tribe cover walls with clay. Big constructions like mosque have props from a tree. They make impression of skeleton in the building. The most known building from clay is a mosque in Djenne, the city built on the island on river Niger.

The most part of food, which is used by residents of the village, comes from farms and from neighboring villages. Fulah grow up sorghum (a grain cereal), millet, corn, rice, vegetables, beans and fruits. Many families grow up hens, ducks, goats, sheep and other cattle for meat. Besides, hens and ducks give eggs, and goats with cows give milk as just for drink, and the same for production of oil and yogurt. Residents of villages buy sugar, coffee and spices in small little shops or in the next markets. Fulani who have kept traditional, rural tenor of life practically don't eat beef, killing a cow only in special cases. Also various sauces are important food for Fulani.

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