In the 1800s, Modibo Adama, a scholar and Muslim holy warrior, led a jihad in what is now Cameroon and Nigeria, opening the region up to Fulani colonization. He continued his campaign, eventually conquering many villages and founding his own empire, which he named Adamawa after himself. His Fulani people established Islam as the religion in the region. New converts learned classical Arabic in order to study the Koran. To support themselves, the people raised cattle on land that was once forested.
In general, the Fulani peoples are located in an almost horizontal strip across West Africa. The Sahara Desert forms their northernmost boundary, while the threat of tsetse flies controls their movement to the south. The Fulani tribes are grouped and named according to their locations, occupations, and dialects. The Adamawa Fulani are the group of Fulani who live in Nigeria's Adamawa Province. Some live in Cameroon, Chad, Gabon, and Sudan. There are also a small number in Cape Verde.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Although most of the Adamawa Fulani are shepherds, some also raise a few crops such as sorghum or corn. They trade with neighboring tribes for millet, yams, and peanuts. Milk is the main staple in their diet, and this distinguishes them from the tribes who do not milk their cattle. They also produce butter, which can be traded in the markets.
The Fulani nomads live in "wet season camps" while planting and harvesting. The pastures are lush and green, and the cattle graze freely. These camps consist of beehive-like huts made of woven twigs, leaves, and grass. During the dry seasons they camp in portable huts, moving the cattle or sheep to well-watered lands in the flood plains.
Adamawa Fulani men hunt, trade livestock, and tend to the herds. While the older men exercise the leadership of the tribes, it is the duty of the younger men to move the herds. Young boys are responsible for helping their older brothers with the herds. The women usually milk the cattle and sell butter in the markets.
Over the years, some of the Adamawa Fulani have advanced from being exclusively livestock herders to being scholarly, influential leaders in their communities. These people are likely to become political leaders in Nigeria.
These people have the potential to become political leaders in Nigeria.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Fulani are a proud people who teach their young children to have dignity. The Adamawa 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.
In terms of spiritual beliefs, the Adamawa Fulani are almost entirely Sunni Muslim with many animistic beliefs blended in.
What Are Their Needs?
Pray for abundant rain for the Adamawa Fulani as a testimony of God's love and power.
Pray for compassionate believers to take Christ to the Adamawa Fulani people.
Pray for courage and safety for missionaries who venture into Adamawa Province to take the gospel of peace.
Pray for a church planting movement among the Adamawa Fulani people.
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