Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V11, Page 292 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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FULA (FULBE, FELLATAH or PEULS), a numerous and powerful African people, spread over an immense region from Senegal nearly to Darfur. Strictly they have no country of their own, and nowhere form the whole of the population, though nearly always the dominant native race. They are most numerous in Upper Senegal and in the countries under French sway immediately south of Senegambia, notably Futa Jallon. Farther east they rule, subject to the control of the French, Segu and Massena, countries on both banks of the upper Niger, to the south-west of Timbuktu. The districts within the great bend of the Niger have a large Fula population. East of that river Sokoto and its tributary emirates are ruled by Fula princes, subject to the control of the British Nigerian administration. Fula are settledin Bornu, Bagirmi, Wadai and the upper Nile Valley,' but have no political power in those countries. Their most southerly emirate is Adamawa, the country on both sides of the upper Benue. In this vast region of distribution the Fula populations are most dense towards the west and north, most scattered towards the east and south. Originally herdsmen in the western and central Sudan, they extended their sway east of the Niger, under the leadership of Othman Dan Fodio, during the early years of the 19th century, and having subdued the Hausa states, founded the empire of Sokoto with the vassal emirates of Kano, Gando, Nupe, Adamawa, &c. The question of the ethnic affinities of the Fula has given rise to an enormous amount of speculation, but the most reasonable theory is that they are a mixture of Berber and Negro. This is now the most generally accepted theory. Certainly there is no reason to connect them with the ancient Egyptians. In the district of Senegal known as Fuladugu or " Fula Land," where the purest types of the race are found, the people are of a reddish brown or light chestnut colour, with oval faces, ringlety or even smooth hair, never woolly, straight and even aquiline noses, delicately shaped lips and regular features quite differentiating them from the Negro type. Like most conquering races the Fula are, however, not of uniform physique, in many districts approximating to the local type. They nevertheless maintain throughout their widespread territory a certain national solidarity, thanks_ to common speech, traditions and usages. The ruling caste of the Fula differs widely in character from the herdsmen of the western Sudan. The latter are peaceable, inoffensive and abstemious. They are mainly monogamous, and by rigidly abstaining from foreign marriages have preserved racial purity. The ruling caste in Nigeria, on the other hand, despise their pastoral brethren, and through generations of polygamy with the conquered tribes have become more Negroid in type, black, burly and coarse featured. Love of lu eury, pomp and finery is their chief characteristic. Taken as a vt hole, the Fula race is distinguished by great intelligence, frankness of disposition and strength of character. As soldiers they are renowned almost exclusively as cavalry; and the race has produced several leaders possessed of much strategical skill. Besides the ordinary Negro weapons, they use iron spears with leatherbound handles and swords. They are generally excellent rulers, stern but patient and just. The Nigerian emirs acquired, however, an evil reputation during the 19th century as slave raiders. They have long been devout Mahommedans, and mosques and schools exist in almost all their towns. Tradition says that of old every Fula boy and girl was a scholar; but during the decadence of their power towards the close of the 19th century education was not highly valued. Power seems to have somewhat spoilt this virile race, but such authorities as Sir Frederick Lugard believe them still capable of a great future. The Fula language has as yet found no place in any African linguistic family. In its rudiments it is akin to the Hamito-Semitic group. It possesses two grammatical genders, not masculine and feminine, but the human and the non-human; the adjective agrees in assonance with its noun, and euphony plays a great part in verbal and nominal inflections. In some ways resembling the Negro dialects, it betrays non-Negroid influencesin the use of suffixes. The name of the people has many variations. Fulbe or Fula (sing. Pullo, Peul) is the Mandingan name, Follani the Hausa, Fellatah the Kanuri, Fullan the Arab, and Fulde on the Benue. Like the name Abate, "white," given them in Kororofa, all these seem to refer to their light reddish hue. See F. Ratzel, History of Mankind (English ed., London, 1896-'1898); Sir F. Lugard, " Northern Nigeria," in Geographical Journal (July 1904); Grimal de Guirodon, Les Pula (1887); E. A. Bracken-bury, A Short Vocabulary of the Fulani Language (Zungeru, 19o7); the articles NIGERIA and SoxoTo and authorities there cited. ' Sir Wm. Wallace in a report on Northern Nigeria (" Colonial Office " series, No. 551, 1907) calls attention, to the exodus " of thousands of Fulani of all sorts, but mostly Mellawa, from the French Middle Niger," and states that the majority of the emigrants are settling in the Nile valley.
FULCHER (or FoucriEa) OF CHARTRES (Io58-c. 1130)

Additional information and Comments

The fulbe are the most intelligent people in africa and are a people with great dignity they are warriors and survivors they are the breath of mankind and the future of africa they are the light because they bring Islam to the people and are just kings and true heroes.The fulbe will rule the world someday
This article has a lot of misleading information. The Fulanis are a unique race of their own and they are not a minority in Africa. In West Africa, ethnic groups populate many different regions. Most West Africans are Mandingo, also known as Malinke or Mbalinke. The Fulanis can easily be distinguished from them, physically. Fulanis are called by their neighbouring people, the Jews of Africa. You can not connect them to Senegal mainly and you have to understand that Tukuleur and Fulanis are not the same people even if they speak similar language. The tukuleur borrowed the Fulani Language. Futa Jallon is situated in Guinea, not Senegal. Fulanis are 10 millions in Northern Nigeria and 40% of the population in Guinea. They are called TEKRURI in Eritrea where they number 2 million and Teckruri in Somalia. Fulanis are very well connected with Ancient Egyptians and have exactly the same crane as those of Ancient Egyptians and same language. references: -Regarding the Tekruri of Eritrea . Contributed by Aida Kidane, 10 Oct 2003 -De l'origine Egyptienne des Peuls by Aboubacry Moussa Lam -Peuls, by Tierno Monenembo. -The Sources of the Nile; by Beke, Charles T, 1860 Read 'De l'origine Egyptienne des Peuls' by Aboubacry Moussa Lam. Fulanis are known to be called Fellata in Sudan, some says it is the same as Felasha in Ethiopia. Many say the Fulanis descend from Prophet Joseph and the Fulanis themselves have kept scriptures with their migrations in Africa from Ancient Egypt, some coming from Ethiopia region, some moving towards Eritrea and some coming from Morocco. The Fulani have been called by French historian Delafosse Judeo-Syrians. But many say Fulanis are not mixed. They are known for their very light skin, thin long noses and long hair.
The Fulanis are not monogamous anywhere near the 'Senegal region' The Fulanis in Senegal region are not same as the ones from Futa Jallon in Guinea. Futa Toroo in Senegal is different from Futa Jallon. Fulanis used horses a lot in the past. Most of their cattle were horses and cows. The cow was holy amongst the Fulanis in the past.
I would like to see that someday all fulani,fula or peuls to come together and understand our origin .
i would like also some day to see all fulbe fulani fula fallata peul to come together and unite and understand thier orign. we hope for them for a greater future in God name
This is great article and I wish to know the writer of the comments below the article. I have some information needed from him. Thanks for your great work
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