Fula people

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(Redirected from Fulani)
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Fula women in the East Province of Cameroon

The Fula is an ethnic group of people spread over many countries in West Africa, from Mauritania in the northwest to Cameroon in the east. In Nigeria, others, and literature, usually calls them Fulani. They themselves prefer Fulbe in singular pullo (in counterpoint to what they call the Habe or Hausa people). There are also many other ways they and others refer to them, including Foulah, Peulh, Peul, and Fulbe. A closely related group is the Tukolor (Toucouleur) in the central Senegal River valley.

They speak the Pulaar language, also referred to as Fulfulde, or variants thereof, as do the Tukulor; all local people who speak that language natively are known as the "halpulaar". The traditional dress of the Fula in most places is long colorful flowing robes, modestly embroidered or otherwise decorated. Most Fula in the countryside spend long times alone on foot, moving their herds. They are the only major migrating people of West Africa.

History

The Fulani were traditionally a nomadic, pastoral community, herding cattle, goats and sheep across the vast dry hinterlands of their domain, keeping somewhat separate from the local agricultural populations. During the 16th century the Fula expanded through the sahel grasslands stretching from what is today Senegal to Sudan. Fulani strength was centered on powerful cavalry that could quickly move across the large empire and defeat rivals. This meant the Fulani could not expand southwards, however, as the horses could not withstand the diseases of those latitudes.

During the 19th century under Usman dan Fodio the Fulani became the leaders of a centralized Fulani Empire. This empire continued until 1903 when the Fulani were divided up among European colonizers.

In the west, the Foutah Djallon located mainly in present day Guinea as well as parts of Guinea Bissau, Senegal, Sierra Leone was a major state with a written constitution and ruling alternance between the 2 main parties: the Soriya and the Alphaya. The Foutah Djallon state was born in 1735 when Fulanis Muslims decided to rise against the non Muslims Fulanis and Djalounkes rulers to create a confederation of provinces. Alpha Ibrahima Sory Maoudho was elected as the first Almaamy in 1735 at the capital Timbo in present day Guinea. The Foutah Djallon state lasted until 1898 when the French colonial troops defeated the last ruler Bokar Biro, dismantled the state and integrated it into their new colony of Rivières du Sud which became Guinea.de:Fulbe fr:Peuls nl:Peul (volk)

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