8 Interesting Facts About Fulani Herdsmen

Interesting Facts About Fulani Herdsmen
Fulani Herdsmen - © Usman/TheGuardian

The Fulani are one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa. They have a population reaching over twenty five million. They are sparsely spread across the Sahel and West Africa. According to Wikipedia an estimated 7 to 8 million of them are herdsmen making them the largest nomadic pastoral community on earth. They can be found in the northern parts of central Africa, West Africa, Lake Chad, Sudan and regions close to the Red Sea.

We also recommend our brief guide to 7 most amazing African tribes.

The origins of this ethnic group are not really clear and various theories have been suggested. However, it is believed that they could be from North Africa or the Middle East probably. Islam is their major religion. They are known to be fiercely loyal to themselves and dutifully pass on their culture from one generation to the next. They are one of the most popular African tribes. Read on for our list of eight interesting things about Fulani herdsmen.

1. THEY DO NOT TAKE PRISONERS OF WAR

Yes, they do not. During their early conquests in the West African region, they took no prisoners of war. They usually asked the conquered to either convert to Islam and live or reject it and die. Pretty straight forward yeah?

2. THEY HAVE NO RULES OF ENGAGEMENT

In times of war don’t expect some level of decency from these people. They attack on sight and hit you till you’re rendered completely useless. This makes them one of the most feared Tribes in Africa.

3. NO BIRTH CONTROL

The Fulani don’t believe in birth control and they have a fertility rate. That’s why their populations are exploding. In the modern democracies they use this as an effective weapon to dominate politics.

4. ISLAM

Now I don’t think I’ve ever heard about a Christian Fulani or a Fulani practicing any other religion for that matter. There may be rare cases but for now I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen any. They are devout Muslims and ensure that this legacy is passed on to their children. It’s not a matter of choice because you have none when it comes to this.

5. CATTLE REARERS

All Fulani own cattle. How can you be a Fulani and not own cattle? What kind of Fulani would you be? Although not all them are nomadic pastoralists. The average Fulani owns cattle and sometimes these cattle are believed to be more precious than human life. Isn’t that just crazy. No? Ok oh.

6. THEY ARE AS FIT AS FIDDLES

Yes, you heard that right. With their kind of lifestyle, fitness comes naturally and wouldn’t advise engaging in a brawl with them. You’ll definitely tire out at some point and then you’ll be thoroughly dealt with.

fact about fulani herdsmen in africa
Fulani Herdsman and Cattle – © Juju Films/flickr

7. PERMANENT ABODE

Remember that quote “no place like home”, it’s not for the Fulani herdsmen. What’s the use? They are always on the move and they still thrive in harsh weather conditions. These people are truly remarkable.

8. LANGUAGE

In Nigeria, the Fulani language is usually confused with Hausa. It is a relatively few people that Fulani and Hausa are two different languages. The Fulani is taught to children as their first language and every other language comes second.
Well that’s all about Fulani herdsmen for now. There are actually many more but for now, let’s hang on to this and the next time you want to mess with a Fulani herdsman, remember this. Cheers.

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