Pulaaku: ethnic identity among the Adamawa Fulbe

Among the Fulbe (Adamawa, Nigeria), ethnicity has a variety of basic components, including descent/territory of origin, kinship, race, language and patterns of custom. Fulbe themselves stress their general character and mode of behaviour, as well as their physical appearance, as factors distinguishing them from other ethnic groups. The most significant aspect of membership in the ethnic group is a culturally defined mode of behaviour and specific personal qualities or virtues, all of which are subsumed under the symbol/concept of ‘pulaaku’. Pulaaku, by definition, is ‘Fulbeness’. The behavioural and personal aspects of pulaaku are codified into a diversity of ‘components’: ‘semteende’ (shyness, reserve), ‘munyal’ (patience, endurance), ‘ngoru’ (bravery), ‘marugo na’i’ (owning cattle), ‘en’dam’ (kindness), ‘Juldamku’ (being a Muslim), ‘ne’d’daku’ (dignity), ‘ardungal’ (leadership), ‘daraja’ (honour or prestige obtained through position), and ‘ndottaku’ (honour accumulated with age). The author suggests there is a need for anthropologists to give greater consideration to such cultural definitions of ethnicity and the practical nature and implications of features of ethnic identities upon structural and normative elements of society. Bibliogr., notes.

Title:Pulaaku: ethnic identity among the Adamawa Fulbe
Author:Vereecke, C.
Year:1986
Periodical:Annals of Borno
Volume:3
Pages:91-106
Language:English
Geographic term:Northern Nigeria
Abstract:Among the Fulbe (Adamawa, Nigeria), ethnicity has a variety of basic components, including descent/territory of origin, kinship, race, language and patterns of custom. Fulbe themselves stress their general character and mode of behaviour, as well as their physical appearance, as factors distinguishing them from other ethnic groups. The most significant aspect of membership in the ethnic group is a culturally defined mode of behaviour and specific personal qualities or virtues, all of which are subsumed under the symbol/concept of ‘pulaaku’. Pulaaku, by definition, is ‘Fulbeness’. The behavioural and personal aspects of pulaaku are codified into a diversity of ‘components’: ‘semteende’ (shyness, reserve), ‘munyal’ (patience, endurance), ‘ngoru’ (bravery), ‘marugo na’i’ (owning cattle), ‘en’dam’ (kindness), ‘Juldamku’ (being a Muslim), ‘ne’d’daku’ (dignity), ‘ardungal’ (leadership), ‘daraja’ (honour or prestige obtained through position), and ‘ndottaku’ (honour accumulated with age). The author suggests there is a need for anthropologists to give greater consideration to such cultural definitions of ethnicity and the practical nature and implications of features of ethnic identities upon structural and normative elements of society. Bibliogr., notes.