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The Fulani people
« on: March 09, 2019, 11:32:32 AM »
The Fulani people
A large ethnic group in Sahel and West Africa
The Fula people or Fulani or Fulɓe (Fula: Fulɓe; French: Peul; Hausa: Fulani or Hilani; Portuguese: Fula; Wolof: Pl; Bambara: Fulaw), numbering between 38 and 40 million people in total, are one of the largest ethnic groups in the Sahel and West Africa, widely dispersed across the region. As an ethnic group, they are bound together by the Fula language and their Islamic religious affiliation, their history and their culture.

"Fulani" redirects here. For other uses, see Fulani (disambiguation).
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A significant proportion of the Fula a third, or an estimated 12 to 13 million are pastoralists, making them the ethnic group with the largest nomadic pastoral community in the world. The majority of the Fula ethnic group consisted of semi-sedentary people as well as sedentary settled farmers, artisans, merchants and nobility. Inhabiting many countries, they live mainly in West Africa and northern parts of Central Africa but also in, South Sudan, Sudan and regions near the Red Sea coast.

The Fulas are leaders in many West African countries. These include the president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari; the President of Senegal, Macky Sall; the President of Gambia, Adama Barrow; and the Vice President of Sierra Leone, Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh. They are also leaders in International Institutions such as the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina J. Mohammed; and Secretary General of OPEC, Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo.


Fulani herders in the arid region of Gao, Northern Mali
Names

A Bodaado (singular of Wadaabe) Fula man
There are many names (and spellings of the names) used in other languages to refer to the Fulɓe. Fulani in English is borrowed from the Hausa term. Fula, from Manding languages, is also used in English, and sometimes spelled Fulah or Fullah. Fula and Fulani are commonly used in English, including within Africa. The French borrowed the Wolof term Pl, which is variously spelled: Peul, Peulh, and even Peuhl. More recently the Fulfulde / Pulaar term Fulɓe, which is a plural noun (singular, Pullo) has been Anglicised as Fulbe, which is gaining popularity in use. In Portuguese, the terms Fula or Futafula are used. The terms Fallata Fallatah or Fellata are of Kanuri origins, and are often the ethnonyms by which Fulani people are identified by in parts of Chad and in Sudan.

Geographic distribution

A distribution map of Fula people. Dark green: a major ethnic group; Medium: significant; Light: minor.
The Fula people are widely distributed, across the Sahel from the Atlantic coast to the Red Sea, particularly in West Africa. The countries where they are present include Mauritania, Ghana, Senegal, Guinea, the Gambia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Niger, Chad, Togo, South Sudan the Central African Republic, Liberia, and as far east as the Red Sea in Sudan and Egypt. With the exception of Guinea, where the Fula make up the largest ethnic group, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, and Fulas are either a significant or a minority ethnic group in nearly all other countries they live in. Alongside, many also speak other languages of the countries they inhabit, making many Fulani bilingual or even trilingual in nature. Such languages include French, Hausa, Bambara, Wolof, and Arabic.

Major concentrations of Fulani people exist in the Fouta Djallon highlands of central Guinea and south into the northernmost reaches of Sierra Leone; the Futa Tooro savannah grasslands of Senegal and southern Mauritania; the Macina inland Niger river delta system around Central Mali; and especially in the regions around Mopti and the Nioro Du Sahel in the Kayes region; the Borgu settlements of Benin, Togo and West-Central Nigeria; the northern parts of Burkina Faso in the Sahel region's provinces of Seno, Wadalan, and Soum; and the areas occupied by the Sokoto Caliphate, which includes what is now Southern Niger and Northern Nigeria (such as Tahoua, Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi, Zinder, Bauchi, Diffa, Yobe, Gombe, and further east, into the Benue River valley systems of North Eastern Nigeria and Northern Cameroon).


Fulani woman with traditional hairstyle and jewellery
This is the area known as the Fombina, literally meaning "The South" in Adamawa Fulfulde, because it represented the most southern and eastern reaches of Fulɓe hegemonic dominance in West Africa. In this area, Fulfulde is the local lingua franca, and language of cross cultural communication. Further east of this area, Fulani communities become predominantly nomadic, and exist at less organized social systems. These are the areas of the Chari-Baguirmi Region and its river systems, in Chad and the Central African Republic, the Ouadda highlands of Eastern Chad, the areas around Kordofan, Darfur and the Blue Nile, Sennar, Kassala regions of Sudan, as well as the Red Sea coastal city of Port Sudan. The Fulani on their way to or back from the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, settled in many parts of eastern Sudan, today representing a distinct community of over 2 million people referred to as the Fellata.


Fulani woman hawking milk and yogurt
While their early habitat in West Africa was apparently in an area in the vicinity of the tri-border point of present-day Mali, Senegal and Mauritania, they are now, after centuries of gradual migrations and conquests, spread throughout a wide band of West and Central Africa. The Fulani People occupy a vast geographical expanse located roughly in a longitudinal East-West band immediately south of the Sahara, and just north of the coastal rain forest and swamps. There are an estimated 20-25 million Fulani people.

There are generally three different types of Fulani based on settlement patterns, viz: the Nomadic/Pastoral or Mbororo, The Semi-Nomadic and the Settled or "Town Fulani". The pastoral Fulani move around with their cattle throughout the year. Typically, they do not stay around, for long stretches {not more than 24 months at a time}. The semi-nomadic Fulani can either be Fulɓe families who happen to settle down temporarily at particular times of the year, or Fulɓe families who do not "browse" around past their immediate surroundings, and even though they possess livestock, they do not wander away from a fixed or settled homestead not too far away, they are basically "In-betweeners".[citation needed]

Settled Fulani live in villages, towns and cities permanently and have given up nomadic life completely, in favor of an urban one. These processes of settlement, concentration and military conquest led to the existence of organized and long-established communities of Fulani, varying in size from small villages to towns. Today, some major Fulani towns include: Lab, Pita, Mamou and Dalaba in Guinea, Kaedi, Matam and Podor in Senegal and Mauritania, Bandiagara, Mopti, Dori, Gorom-Gorom and Djibo in Mali and Burkina Faso, on the bend of the Niger, and Birnin Kebbi, Gombe, Yola, Digil, Jalingo, Mayo Belwa, Mubi, Maroua, Ngaoundere, Girei and Garoua in the countries of Cameroon and Nigeria, in most of these communities, the Fulani are usually perceived as a ruling class.


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The Fulani people
« on: March 09, 2019, 11:32:32 AM »


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