Monday, January 6, 8200

Entrance of the Fulani into Nigeria (c. 1200)

The Fulani (or Fulbe) began to enter the Hausa country of northern Nigeria in the 13th century and by the 15th century they were tending cattle, sheep, and goats in Borno as well. The Fulani came from the Senegal River valley, where their ancestors had developed a method of livestock management based on transhumance.

Transhumance is a term with two accepted usages:

Older sources use transhumance for vertical seasonal livestock movement, typically to higher pastures in summer and to lower valleys in winter. Herders have a permanent home, typically in valleys. Only herds and a subset of people necessary to tend them travel. This is termed fixed transhumance below.

Some recent studies consider nomadism a form of transhumance, in that livestock move to find available plants for grazing over considerable distances following set seasonal patterns trailed by a whole family of herders living in temporary or moveable shelters. This is termed nomadic transhumance below.

Traditional or fixed transhumance occurs throughout the world, including Scandinavia, Caucasus, Morocco, France, Italy, Lebanon, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Spain, Turkey, Macedonia, India, Switzerland, Georgia and Lesotho. It is also practised among more nomadic Sami people of Scandinavia. It is often of high importance to pastoralist societies, the dairy products of transhumance flocks and herds (milk, butter, yoghurt and cheese) often forming much of the diet of such populations.

Gradually the Fulani moved eastward, first into the centers of the Mali and Songhai empires and eventually into Hausaland and Borno. Some Fulani converted to Islam as early as the 11th century and settled among the Hausa, from whom they became racially indistinguishable. There they constituted a devoutly religious, educated elite who made themselves indispensable to the Hausa kings as government advisers, Islamic judges, and teachers.

The Wodaabe (or Bororo) are a small subgroup of the Fulani ethnic group. They are traditionally nomadic cattle-herders and traders in the Sahel, with migrations stretching from southern Niger, through northern Nigeria, northeastern Cameroon, and the western region of the Central African Republic.

The number of Wodaabe was estimated in 1983 to be 45,000.

They are known for their beauty (both men and women), elaborate attire and rich cultural ceremonies.

The Wodaabe speak the Fula language and don't use a written language.

In the Fula language, woɗa means "taboo," and Woɗaaɓe means "people of the taboo."

The Wodaabe culture is one of the 186 cultures of the standard cross-cultural sample used by anthropologists to compare cultural traits.

Fulani - Busy Day

[8200 Ghana Polyrhythms / 8200 Fulani / 8200 Kallawaya Boliva]