The Fulani People
The Fulani people call themselves Fulve*(Pullo, in singuler).They were originallynomadic herders, traders and farming peopleliving throughout West Africa. Today themajority of fulani people live urban centers.While their origins are disputed, Arab writersrecorded their existence over 1000 years ago.However experts believe that they originatedfrom a region that occupied the present dayNorthern Senegal. Over the centuries, theymigrated with their cattle to occupy vastareas in the Sahel and Savannah regions of West Africa and evolved into many subgroupswith a variety of designations including Fulve,Jelgove, Gurma, Gorgave, Fellata, Fula,Fulakunda, Bororos, Wodaabe, Peul, Pulaar,Halpulaar, Liptaako, Toucouleur, and Tukolor.Presently, they live in communitiesthroughout much of the West-Africa, fromSenegal to Cameroon and as far east asSudan and Ethiopia.The fulani range coversan area larger than continental United Statesand western Europe.Historically, the Fulani played a significantrole in the rise and fall of ancient Africanempires such as Ghana, Mali, Songhai and theMossi states.They greatly contributed to the spread of Islam throughout Western Africa.More recently, slavery and colonialism dispersed Fulani throughout the MiddleEast, the Americas and Europe. American history books are full of individuals of Fulani origin who have distinguished themselves in North and South Americaand the Caribbean.Fulve have rich traditions and fascinating wayof life. They have had a significant social,religious and political impact in West Africa.As minorities in most of the West Africancountries where they reside, the Fulani aresteadily mixing with local dominant cultures.The phenomenon of local integration,combined with the impact of colonization andwesternization, has slowly eroded the Fulanilanguage and traditions.