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.
The early origin of Fulani People is most fascinating and deepened in mystery with widely divergent opinions. Many scholars believe that they are of Judaeo-Syrian origin. However, it is generally recognized that Fulani descended from nomads from both North Africa and from sub-Sahara Africa. They came from the Middle-East and North Africa and settled into Central and West Africa from the Senegal region they created the Tekruur Empire which was contemporary to the Ghana Empire. Then, they spread in all the countries in West-Africa, continuing to lead their nomadic life style. They created here and there mixed states where they sometimes were the dominant group. But more often, they were absorbed by the indigenous population whom they had dominated.
While some have speculated over the origin of Fulani people, current
linguistic and genetic evidence suggests an indigenous West African
origin among the Peul. The vast majority of genetic lineages associated
with them reflect those most commonly seen in other West Africans.
Their language is also of West African origin, most closely related to
that of the Wolof and Serer ethnic groups. Historical and
archaeological records indicate that Peul-speakers have resided in
western Africa since at least the 5th century A.D. as well.
Interestingly, rock paintings in the Tassili-n-Ajjer suggests the
presence of proto-Fulani cultural traits in the region by at least the
fourth millennium B.C. Scholars specializing in Fulani culture believe
that some of the imagery depicts rituals that are still practiced by
contemporary Fulani people.
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