Fulani traditional marriage, Fulani are peculiar people filled with distinctive features similar to the Ethiopia, northern Sudan and the Egyptian but who still remains the indigenous people of the northern Nigeria in West Africa. This people are no other than the Fulani. Sometimes it becomes really difficult to pinpoint the exact location where the people come from as they are found in Chad, Niger, and Nigeria.
These people are not only found there in few numbers but with high populations in all the three countries they are and they share so much in common with Hausa’s and speak French, English and another language called Fulfulde or Fula.
The Fulani are cattle rearing people and follow Islamic laws. Cattle are an important factor in their life and they use cattle extensively in their traditional ceremony in which marriage is among.
Important facts about the Fulani people is their bravery. This people can go all the way to do anything imaginable to rescue their cattle in danger. They fight to preserve their cattle which happens to be the major cause of their conflicts. As nomadic and pastoral herdsmen, they move around with their cattle and are known to be brave, hard-working and courageous.
As a people, even though scattered in many countries, they however have culture that unite and bound them together wherever they are and which really serves to identify them as Fulani people from Nigeria.
One of the major differences between the Fulani and the Hausa people, is their views on marriage in the issues of $ex-constraint, celibacy, and virginity. The Fulani has a caste system of marriage involving the nobility, blacksmith, merchants and slaves of wealthy Fulani.
Marriage is usually restricted to the caste system. Hausa place high morals among their girl children whereas the Fulani’s don’t as they allow their children free reigns of intercourse with their young men until they are betrothed to a man and then is restricted from having $ex with other men and encouraged to be faithful to their husbands.
The Fulani Traditional Marriage System Are In Three Stages Known As:
- The Sharo (flogging of the groom)
This is the flogging process where men are being publicly flogged by other men. This is to test for his bravery, courage, strength and discipline. The prospective groom is not expected to cry and if he does, he is being regarded as a coward and may be rejected by the bride’s family. This tradition is not compulsory in all ethnic groups in their culture. The groom in this stage will be followed by his people who will encourage him during the brutal flogging process.
- The Koowgal Satge (payment of dowry)
This is a stage where the dowry and the bride-price are paid and the most important part of the ceremony. Here, the dowry, which is herd of cattle are being transferred from the bride’s father to the groom family while the bride’s price that consists of gifts are transferred from the groom to the bride. The groom is also expected to help his father in his cattle rearing. This is known as bride-service. The koowagal legalise the marriage and the most important stage of the union.
- The Kabbal (An Islamic ceremony during the marriage)
The kabbal is the Islamic wedding ceremony which can be done in the absence of the prospective couple. After the marriage rites, the wife is being accompanied to her husband’s house and she is being welcomed by the women.
The difference between the Hausa’s view and the Fulani’s view on marriage is on the issues of virginity, celibacy and sex-constraint. Sexual activities before marriage are seen and allowed among the Fulani people while it is warned against in Hausa culture. But, as soon as a lady decides on whom to marry, she is being restrained from their sexual activities and expected to be faithful to her spouse.