Introduction / History
The Toukaleur Fulani are located in the Futa Toro region of northeastern Senegal, West Africa. Senegal is located in Africa's tropical zone. In the Futa Toro region, temperatures range from 95 F to 104 F (35 C to 40 C) during the hottest season, and the air is very dry. Large mammals such as elephants, lions, and cheetahs are found in the region, as well as warthogs, monkeys, and dangerous snakes. The rivers are home to crocodiles, hippos, and many species of fish. The Futa Toro region is the richest agricultural district in Senegal because of its two yearly growing seasons.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The Toukaleur Fulani are related to the Fulani people and speak a Fulani dialect. Fulani tribes are often grouped and named according to their locations and dialects. The Toukaleur Fulani are semi-nomadic and live in the southern highlands, or jeeri; hence, their language is called Fulbe Jeeri.
The Toukaleur Fulani consist of primarily two groups: the semi-nomadic peoples and the nomadic peoples. The Toukaleur Fulani primarily farm, fish, and raise livestock for their livelihood. Some have also become blacksmiths, leather workers, wood carvers, weavers, or potters while doing a small amount of farming.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Toukaleur Fulani are an entirely Muslim people, and this has greatly affected their traditions and customs. Many of them send their children to village schools to learn to pray and recite parts of the Koran. However, while some may go on to become priests and leaders of the Islamic faith, most only have a general knowledge of Islam and the Arabic language.
Among the Toukaleur Fulani, marriage involves a payment for the bride, which is usually made with cattle. Polygamy is generally practiced up to the Muslim limit of four wives; however, many divorce and remarry. Each wife lives in a separate hut, and the husband moves among his wives.
The village is the principal focus of activity for the Toukaleur Fulani. In the middle of each village is a central square. The local market and a town mosque are usually located there. Houses are either rectangular or round, with walls made of sun-dried brick. They are built with flat roofs and have an interior courtyard. Fields that are cultivated by farmers surround the villages.
Local disputes are handled by the village headman, who lives in the central court, and the imam (Muslim leader) from the mosque. A supreme chief serves as the head of a cluster of villages. His responsibilities include taxing the crops and herds and settling disputes that cannot be settled by the village headman and imam.
The semi-nomadic Toukaleur Fulani wander in bands and live in temporary camps. These camps consist of clusters of portable huts surrounded by thorn hedges. The huts are made of poles covered with mats, leaves, and grass.
Virtually all of the Toukaleur Fulani are Muslims. Islam is a major world religion that is based on the teachings of Mohammed, the Islamic prophet. The Koran, or holy book of Islam, is said to have been given to Mohammed by the angel Gabriel. The five "pillars" of Islam include affirming that Allah is the only god and Mohammed is his prophet; praying five times a day; giving alms; fasting; and making at least one pilgrimage to Mecca. Islamic schools have been set up throughout Senegal. While Senegal is both a French-speaking country and a commonwealth of nations advocate, it has remained a prominent member of the Islamic world.
What Are Their Needs?
The Toukaleur Fulani are expected to follow a code of high moral behavior known as Pulaaku. Pulaaku extols virtues such as kindness, bravery, patience, tolerance, perseverance, honesty, diligence, generosity, and dignity. To be reserved is part of being dignified; thus, they are shy and modest in public. A mother does not show affection to her infant son. In fact, she never even calls her firstborn by his name all throughout his life.
Adequate rain is always a need for both farming and pastoral peoples like the Toukaleur Fulani.
Ask the Lord to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through worship and intercession.
Pray that God will call those who are willing to go to Senegal and share Christ with the Toukaleur Fulani.
Ask the Lord to give the Toukaleur Fulani believers boldness to share Christ with their own people.
Pray that Toukaleur Fulani elders will be led to Christ and, in turn, begin leading their families to Christ.
Ask the Lord to raise up strong local churches among the Fula Toro.
Scripture Prayers for the Fulani, Toukaleur in Senegal.