The Fula, Fulani, or Fulɓe people are one of the largest ethnic groups in the Sahel and West Africa, widely dispersed across the region. 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 Fulani people live in many parts of Africa and are spread across almost 20 countries from the west to the east. However, Here are 5 things you didn’t know about the Fulani people.
1.) They are the largest nomadic people in the world
Almost all Fulani people are nomadic, making it the largest group of such kind in the world. They live everywhere in Africa and solely rely on their cattles and farming. They carry a mobile house with them known as a bukkaru.
2.) They come from the upper Nile
According to reports, the Fulani’s descended from a nomadic group that once lived in the upper Nile region around 3500 BC. Once the climate of the Sahara became too harsh, they migrated out of the area to find greener pastures.
3.) Most of them are Muslims
Islam became prominent in West Africa in the 11th century and the Fulani’s converted at the time. They have even participated in campaigns over the centuries to convert others.
4.) The Fulani language is one of the most widely spoken in Africa
Firstly, Fulani is an official language in Guinea, Nigeria and Senegal and is spoken in 20 other countries across Africa. It is referred to as Fulfulde and estimated that around 18 million people in Africa speak the language.
Out of those, there are five major dialects, but all have similar grammar and vocabulary.
5.) They Vary
There isn’t one specific way of dressing for all Fulanis thanks to their diversity. In some places, women adorn their hair with shells, cowries or use henna to decorate their hands and feet. But both men and women often have face markings they were given as children.