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Fulani: History, Marriage, Food And Belief Of This Adorable Ethnic Group

The Fulani peoples live in West Africa. They are among the most widely dispersed and culturally diverse peoples in all of Africa.


Fulani people are largely located in Nigeria, Senegal, and Guinea. They became the ruling class and intermarried with the local populations in these countries. Their population is estimated to be around six million.

What is the origin of the Fulani people?

There are numerous ideas about the ancestry of the Fulani people that have been proposed. Due to this, their origin is debatable. The Fulani people are regarded as the white-rooted ethnic group in West Africa. They have a much lighter complexion than most Africans.


The Fulani people observe the standard Islamic religious teachings and practices. They pray five times a day, learn to recite Qur'an, give alms to the less privileged, needy, and poor, fast in Ramadan and make a pilgrimage in Mecca.

Fulani marriage

Male family members usually choose spouses for their children. The matches are made between relatives and social equals. They also practice polygamy marriage.

The Fulani people have believed that marriage is supposed to produce a lot of kids, with this, both the male and female Fulani people got married at a young age. In Northern Nigeria, Fulani is rated as the ethnic group with the highest modesty when discussing marriage topics.

One of the signs of legalizing marriage in this community is when the father of the bride transfers one of his herds to the groom. There are lots of cultural ceremonies during the wedding.

Fulani food

The Fulani meals usually consist of milk products like butter and yogurt. However, they have their main meals which include nyiiri (heavy porridge) made up of corn, millet, or sorghum flour.

Fulani mode of dressing

Dress codes and styles usually depend on the region they come from. Generally, most married women and men follow the Islamic dress code, which describes modesty. However, some of them wear a typical white or black cotton material gown.

Most of the time it is embellished with green, red, and blue thread embroidery work. The men wear noppiire, a hat that tappers at three angular tips.

The Fulani women have long hair and they braid and decorate it with beads. Fulani men wear trousers that go down their lower calves and they carry sticks across their shoulders.

Living Conditions

Among the nomadic Fulani, life can sometimes be extremely harsh. They often live in small and temporary camps.

It is easier for them to dismantle as they move in to search water and pasture for their herds. However, there are many Fulani people who settle in cities and towns.


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Fulani Guinea Nigeria Senegal West Africa


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