|Regions with significant populations|
|Guinea, Nigeria, Cameroon, Senegal, Somalia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, Burkina Faso, Benin, Niger, the Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Chad, Mauritania, Sudan, Egypt, Ghana, Togo, Côte d'Ivoire.|
|Related ethnic groups|
|language||Pulaar (west), Fulfulde (east)|
Fula people or Fulani or Fulbe (Fula: Fulɓe; French: Peul; Hausa: Fulan; Portuguese: Fula; Wolof: Pël; Bambara: Fulaw) are an ethnic group spread over many countries, predominantly in West Africa, but found also in Central Africa and Sudanese North Africa. African countries where they are present include Somalia, Mauritania, Ghana, Senegal, Guinea, the Gambia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Niger, Chad, Togo, the Central African Republic, Liberia, and as far as Sudan and Egypt in the East. Fula people form a minority in every country they inhabit, but in Guinea they represent a plurality of the population (40%).
There are also many names (and spellings of the names) used in other languages to refer to the Fulɓe. Fulani in English is borrowed from the Hausa term. Fula, from Manding languages, is also used in English, and sometimes spelled Fulah or Foulah. Fula and Fulani are commonly used in English, including within Africa. The French borrowed the Wolof term Pël, which is variously spelled: Peul, Peulh, and even Peuhl. More recently the Fulfulde / Pulaar term Fulɓe, which is a plural noun (singular, Pullo) has been Anglicised as Fulbe, which some people use. In Portuguese, the terms Fula or Futafula are used.
Related groups 
Fula society in some parts of West Africa features the "caste" divisions typical of the region. In Mali and Senegal for instance, those who are not ethnically Fula have been referred to as yimɓe pulaaku (people of the Fula culture). This caste system however, is not followed in places like northern Nigeria or Cameroon, where in many cases the Fulani and Hausa have intermixed and taken influences from each other's cultures. (See Hausa-Fulani.) This phenomenon is not seen outside the eastern subregion of West Africa, and in places like Mali or Guinea, cultures between the Fulani and different groups are kept distinct.
One closely related group is the Tukolor (Toucouleur) in the central Senegal River valley, who had a strong kingdom paying a negotiated tribute to the Fula. Large numbers of other Fula-speakers live scattered in the region and have a lower status. They are descendants of Fula-owned slaves. Now legally emancipated, in some regions they still pay tribute to Fula elites, and they are often denied chances for upward social mobility. In-between groups are the Fula-speaking fishermen and handcraftsmen. These groups are often collectively referred to (together with Fulɓe of the region) as Haalpulaar (Fula: Haalpulaar'en, literally "Pulaar-speakers").
Traditional livelihood 
The Fulani are traditionally a nomadic, pastoralist, trading people, herding cattle, goats and sheep across the vast dry hinterlands of their domain, keeping somewhat separate from the local agricultural populations.
Origins and spread 
In Nigeria, the Fulani are often categorized with the Hausa as a conglomerated ethnic group Hausa-Fulani. Following the Fulani War, their histories in the region have been largely intertwined. Outside Nigeria, the two groups are usually considered distinct and are different as a matter of fact.
The Fulani were the first group of people in West Africa to convert to Islam through jihads, or holy wars, and were able to take over much of the Sahel region of West Africa and establish themselves not only as a religious group but also as a political and economical force.
In the 9th century they may have been involved in the formation of a state with its capital at Takrur which is suggested to have had influx of Fulani migrating from the east and settling in the Senegal valley although John Donnelly Fage suggests that Takrur was formed through the interaction of Berbers from the Sahara and "Negro agricultural peoples" who were "essentially Serer".
Rise to political dominance 
Beginning as early as the 17th and 18th centuries, but mainly in the 19th century, Fulas and others took control of various states in West Africa.
Culture and language 
The language of Fulas is called Pulaar or Fulfulde depending on the region, or variants thereof. It is also the language of the Tukulor. It is a language closely related to Wolof and Serer. All Senegalese and Mauritanians who speak the language natively are known as the Halpulaar or Haalpulaar'en, which stands for "speakers of Pulaar" ("hal" is the root of the Pulaar verb haalugol, meaning "to speak"). In some areas, e.g. in northern Cameroon, Fulfulde is a local lingua franca.
With the exception of Guinea (where the Fula make up a plurality - approximately 40% of the population), Fulas are minorities in every country they live in (most countries of West Africa and parts of Central and North Africa), so most also speak other languages of the countries they inhabit.
The traditional dress of the Fula consists of long colourful flowing robes, modestly embroidered or otherwise decorated. Also characteristic Fula tradition is that of women using henna and indigo around the mouth, resulting in a blackening around the lips. Fula ethics are strictly governed by the notion of pulaaku. Men wear long robes to the lower calves with trousers of cotton. Herdsmen wear the distinctive conical straw hat and a turban. Women wear long robes and turbans. They decorate themselves with necklaces, earrings, nose rings and anklets.
Fula are primarily known to be pastoralists, but are also traders in some areas. Most Fula in the countryside spend long times alone on foot, moving their herds; they were the only major migrating people of West Africa, though most Fula now live in towns or villages. Wealth is counted by how large the herd of cattle is and how many cattle. Long ago Fulani tribes used to fight over cattle.
The Fula have a rich musical culture and play a variety of traditional instruments including drums, hoddu (a plucked skin-covered lute similar to a banjo) and riti or riiti (a one-string bowed instrument similar to a violin), in addition to vocal music. The well known Senegalese Fula popular musician Baaba Maal sings in Pulaar on his recordings. "Zaghareet" or ululation is a popular form of vocal music formed by rapidly moving the tongue sideways and making a sharp, high sound.
The Fulani traditionally eat millet, milk and meat as staples. Millet is eaten in the morning, noon and night as a porridge with a sauce or stew which usually contains tomatoes, peppers, bone, meat, onion and water and other vegetables. On special occasions they eat meat such as goat or beef. A thick beverage similar to the Tuareg beverage eghajira is made by pounding goat cheese, milk, dates and millet.
Traditionally, Fula live in domed houses during the dry season. The domed house is supported by compact millet stalk pillars. During the wet season, the house is covered by reed mats. However many Fula now live in mud or concrete block houses.
Notable Fulani people by country 
||This article contains embedded lists that may be poorly defined, unverified or indiscriminate. (November 2011)|
- Tandja Mahamadou,President from 2000 to 2009
- Sheefu Amadou, President of transition
- Hamma amadu, President de l'assemblée et premier ministre au temps de tandja!
- Baare Mainassara, President defunt victime d'un coup d'état a mort!
- Abdou Moumouni, fondateur de l'universitée de Niamey qui porte son nom.
- Usman dan Fodio, founder, Sokoto Caliphate
- Nana Asma’u, scholar, author, and pioneer of women's education, Sokoto Caliphate
- Umaru Yar'Adua, former President of Nigeria
- Shehu Shagari, former President of Nigeria
- Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President of Nigeria
- Muhammadu Buhari, former Nigerian Head of State
- Ahmadu Bello, first Premier of Northern Nigeria
- Shehu Musa Yar'Adua, Nigerian politician, former vice president and the brother of former Nigerian president Umaru Yar'Adua
- Vice-Admiral Murtala Nyako, current Governor of Adamawa State,former Chief of Naval Staff
- Ibrahim Gambari, Under Secretary-General/Special Adviser - Africa in the UN; former Minister of Foreign Affairs.
- Professor Jibril Aminu, pioneer cardiac surgeon, former minister of education and petroleum.
- Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, central bank Governor of Nigeria
- Aliko Dangote, Richest person of African descent.
- Mohammed Shata, Former Internal Affairs Minister
- Fatimah Tuggar Visual Artist
- Mariama Bâ Senegalese author and feminist
- Daouda Sow, Former head of the parliament
- Baaba Maal, Composer, singer, head of the band Daande Leñol
- Omar Ibn Said, Scholar and former slave in America
- Oumou Sy, Fashion designer
- Ibrahim Ba, French-Senegalese former football player
- Mamadou Niang, football player
- Issa Ba, football player
- Macky Sall,President of Senegal,former Prime minister of president Abdoulaye Wade
- Demba Ba, Football player
- Tidjane Thiam, Ivorian with Senegalese Ancestry,the Chief Executive (CEO) of Prudential plc, the UK-based insurance group, the first black person to lead a FTSE 100 company
- Ayuba Suleiman Diallo, also known as Job ben Solomon, was a famous Muslim who was a victim of the Atlantic slave trade
- Omar Sy, French actor with Senegalese Ancestry
- Saifoulaye Diallo,(1923–1981), former Guinean politician, first president of the national assembly (1958–1963) held various cabinet positions under the regime of Sekou Toure.
- Diallo Telli, Lawyer, former Diplomat, First Sec. Gen. of the Organization of African Unity, died of starvation at Camp Boiro in 1977.
- Cellou Dalein Diallo, Prime Minister of Guinea from 2004–2007
- Abdulrahman Ibrahim Ibn Sori, Prince Among Slaves
- Bobo Balde, football star
- Katoucha, former haute couture model and anti-female circumcision activist
- Abdoul Salam Sow, former footballer
- Abdallah Bah, football star
- Ibrahima Diallo, football star
- Alpha Yaya Diallo, musician
- Siradiou Diallo, Guinean journalist and politician
- Tierno Monenembo, Guinean writer
- Amadou Hampâté Bâ, researcher and author
- Seku Ahmadu, Founding King of Fula Kingdom of Macina, Mopti
- Adame Ba Konaré, historian and spouse of the former president Alpha Oumar Konaré
- Amadou Toumani Touré, Malian President
- Mountaga Tall, lawyer and political figure founding president of CNID party and ex-vice president of the National Assembly of Mali
- Ousmane Sy, politician
- Habib Koité, musician
- Abdoulaye Sékou Sow, Former Prime Minister from 12 April 1993 to 4 February 1994
Sierra Leone 
- Amadu Wurie, Early Sierra Leonean educationist and politician, Former Minister of Education
- Sir Banja Tejan-Sie, Former Chief Justice, Governor General of Sierra Leone
- Amadu Jalloh, Sierra Leonean politician
- Alimamy Rassin, Sierra Leonean chief during colonial period
- Minkailu Bah, Sierra Leone's minister of Education, Youth and Sports
- Sulaiman Tejan-Jalloh, Sierra Leone ambassador to the United Kingdom
- Abubakarr Jalloh, Former Minister of Mineral Resources
- Alimamy Jalloh, Sierra Leonean football star
- Mahmadu Alphajor Bah, Sierra Leonean football star
- Umu Hawa Tejan Jalloh,First female Chief Justice of Sierra Leone
- Neneh Cherry, Swedish singer-songwriter and rapper of mixed Black African-European descent
- Abass Bundu, Former politician and diplomat
Burkina Faso 
- Thomas Sankara, Former President of Burkina Faso
- Youssouf Sambo Bâ, Burkinabé politician
- Bénéwendé Stanislas Sankara, Burkinabé politician
- Modibo Adama, Fulani scholar and holy warrior
- Ahmadou Ahidjo, first President of Cameroon
- Issa Hayatou, current President African Football Confederation (CAF)
- Bello Bouba Maigari, political leader, Minister of Transport
- Sadou Hayatou, former prime minister and former General Manager of BEAC(Central African Reserve Bank)Cameroon
- Garga Haman Adji, former minister and political leader
- Issa Tchiroma Bakary, current minister of comminucation and political leader
- Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo, Interim President
See also 
- Guinea entry at The World Factbook
- The homonym "Fulani" is also used by the Manding peoples, being the diminutive form of the word Fula in their language (with suffix -ni), essentially meaning "little Fula".
- The letter "ɓ" is an implosive b sound, which does not exist in English. In the orthography for languages of Guinea (pre-1985), this sound was represented by bh, so one would have written Fulbhe instead of Fulɓe or Fulbe.
- Lotte Pelckmans (2011) Travelling hierarchies. Roads in and out of slave status in a central Malian Fulbe network.
- Hrbek, I. (1992). General History of Africa volume 3: Africa from the 7th to the 11th Century: Africa from the Seventh to the Eleventh Century v. 3 (Unesco General History of Africa (abridged)). James Carey. p. 67. ISBN 978-0852550939.
- Creevey, Lucy (August 1996). "Islam, Women and the Role of the State in Senegal". Journal of Religion in Africa 26 (3): 268–307.
- Fage, John Donnelly (1997). "Upper and Lower Guinea". In Roland Oliver. The Cambridge History of Africa, Volume 3. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521209816.
- Pulaaku Ethics
General references 
- Almanach de Bruxelles (now a paying site)
- Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (ed.) (2005): "Adamawa Fulfulde". Ethnologue: Languages of the World, 15th ed. Dallas: SIL International. Accessed 25 June 2006.
- Ndukwe, Pat I., Ph.D. (1996). Fulani. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.
- Christiane Seydou, (ed.) (1976). Bibliographie générale du monde peul. Niamey, Institut de Recherche en Sciences Humaines du Niger
Further reading 
- Prof. Mark D. DeLancey's Fulbe studies bibliography, Accessed 25 March 2008.
- webPulaaku Portal of Fulɓe history and culture
- Online magazine published/edited in Fulfulde by Saajo Bah
- Online magazine published/edited in Fulfulde by Ibrahima Sarr
- Online magazine in Fulfulde published by Fedde Bamtaare Pulaar in Mauritania
- Online Magazine published/edited by Ibrahima Ly
- Fulfulde online paper
- Fulfulde online news site published/edited by Lewlewal Group Networks
- KJPF Egypt
- Online bilingual dictionary authored by Oumar Bah
- Mini trilingual dictionary of political and legal terminology
- Mini bilingual dictionary of mathematical terminology
- Portal of Fulɓe Fuuta Jaloo history and culture
- based in USA/ published by Pulaar Speaking Association
- WorldStatesmen - Nigerian Traditional states