The Intriguing Story of Fulani Dress Styles

The Intriguing Story of Fulani Dress Styles

The Fulani dress styles are very beautiful and well-recognized, just like the Hausa royal attires. The Fulani culture itself is a well-known diverse and rich one. The Fulani are a member of a pastoral and nomadic people of mixed African and Mediterranean ancestry with their unique Fulani dress styles. They are known to be migrants, always, mostly moving from one place to another.

The Fulani cultural attire is what is referred to as ‘Mudukare’ which is worn by the women. It is a sleeveless crop top worn with a wrapper, while the Fulani men usually put on a long sleeveless shirt, with shorts or some long trousers. The men put on a conical hat called a ‘Noppire’. The shirts the men wear have a particular pattern; the shirts have a geometric design and they are usually embroidered.

The Fulani dress styles consist of mostly cotton or sometimes they are made of leather. Both the men and women for the most part are known for their physical attractiveness. The pointed noses and long hair for the women and full hair for the men.

History of Dress Styles

Fulanis are also called ‘Peul’ in French or referred to as ‘Fulbe’. They are known to mostly practice Islam as their religion and are now scattered throughout many areas of West Africa. The Fulani mode of dressing depends on the region they come from and they are distinct from the Hausa tribe.

Some wear the typical white or black cotton material thread embroidered with red, green, and blue mostly in some parts of African countries like; Nigeria, Niger, and also Cameroon.

Whereas, in Central Guinea, the men are said to wear hats with colorful embroidery as their Fulani dress attire. Another mode of dressing comes from the Fulbe Wodabaabe; they are known for putting on long flowing embroidered robes or decorated robes which are said to be very colorful.

After listing the above, it is now a known fact that there are different regions with their different Fulani dress styles. Mostly when a child is born, the child is marked, given a tribal mark on his or her face, or, arms, or any part of their body.

Fulani Attire for Males

Fulani attire for males

1. The Fulani dress attire for males consists of a sleeveless shirt with shorts that go below the knee, also known as three-quarter shorts.

2. They mostly have their hats which are multi-colored or plain, which is known as ‘Noppire’, and a stick that is usually held across their shoulders with their hands hanging over the stick.

Recently, Fulanis are associated with Hausas which are kind of overlapping the Fulani attire. It should be a known fact that Fulanis are different from Hausas and their attires differ as well.

After coming down to West Africa, the Fulanis embraced the Hausa culture but they still hold their culture and heritage in high regard.

Fulani Attire for Females

Fulani female attires

This is called the ‘Madukare’. As we are aware of how females love to adorn themselves almost everywhere, it is no different for the Fulbe ladies too.

They love to adorn their skin, the hand, arm, feet, and legs with henna, decorate their hair, and put on bangles, necklaces, and also earrings. The Fulani dress styles for females differs from the region and in West Africa; in Nigeria, the attire is a sleeveless crop top worn over a wrapper. It is embroidered with a red, blue, and green thread on white or black cotton. Though a lot of things are being modernized, some are made of blue cotton, dark blue to be precise.

Fulanis are known for their exquisite beauty, with their pointed noses and long, soft hair, both the males and females are mostly known for their long slender figures.

1. The female Fulanis decorate their hair with cowrie shells and beads. 

2. Fulani women also adorn themselves with bracelets that are thick and which some may have engravings on them/

3. The female Fulani dress attire is put together with gold earrings, which are mostly twisted and referred to as ‘Dibi’

4. Also, they wear their Fulani dress attire with necklaces which are also handmade necklaces known as ‘Caaka’.

5. They usually adorn themselves with amulets known as ‘Lohol’.

6. The Fulani women love to wear beads around their waist.

Bottom line, they love jewelry and are known to always adorn their heads, hands, nose, ears, and waist. If you are to come across a Fulani lady and get the chance of marrying her, you will be one lucky man. The same goes for the females getting married to Fulani men.

Fulani Traditional Wedding Attire

Fulani wedding

The importance of a wedding is known to all. On this blissful occasion, both the bride and the groom all want to look their best by dressing and adorning themselves. The groom wears a sleeveless shirt with embroidery that differentiates him from the rest, with his shorts and his ‘Noppire’ hat. The women on the other hand wear their crop sleeveless tops which have recently been made longer to cover up the stomach.

The bride’s hair is adorned with big braids or any other known Fulani hairstyles and beads, silver coins, or cowrie shells. The bride’s hands, feet, and legs are designed with henna.

The bride wears gold bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. The bride’s waist is also adorned with beautiful beads. Also among the adornment is beautifying the bride’s forehead with beads.

The bride is expected to have a decorated calabash that is covered with a little colorful beaded bag to go along with her attire in one of the spectacular Fulani dress styles you can find.


Writing about the spectacular Fulani culture can absolutely fill up a lot of blank pages with new interesting facts about the beauty of the culture and the radiance that comes with it, especially the Fulani dress styles.


What is the name of the Fulani men’s hat?


What is the covering of the calabash called?

Fai Fai

Are Fulanis Hausa people?

Fulanis are not Hausa people; they are a tribe with a beautiful culture. Coming down to the north and mixing up with the Hausa people led to the confusion that a Hausa person is also a Fulani person.

What do Fulbe people speak?

They speak Fulfulde.

Do Fulanis have a particular origin?

They are known to be nomads. They mostly come from the Middle East and North Africa, which they later spread all around West Africa.

How Umaru Altine, A Fulani Man Became the Mayor of Enugu

How Umaru Altine, A Fulani Man Became the Mayor of Enugu

Did you know that the first mayor of Enugu city was a Fulani man? Enugu is the capital of old Eastern Nigeria with a majority of Igbo speaking people; therefore it is imperative to explore and understand how a Fulani politician became the mayor of the city. He held this post till 1958.

Who Is Malam Umaru Altine?

Mallam Umaru Altine was an ethnic Fulani cattle dealer from the Old Sokoto Province of defunct Northern Nigeria. His kids were raised in the house of the late Sultan of Sokoto. He grew up under the reign of Sultan Siddiq Abubakar III who was the Sultan for 50 good years and one of the longest-reigning Emirs ever in northern Nigeria.

As a descendant of Uthman Dan Fodio, he could have been Sultan of Sokoto. But he preferred the world of trading, travel, adventure (he joined the army and worked with the railways) and politics (one account says he first contested an election in Tambuwal, Sokoto state), and he carved a niche for himself in these respects. He was handsome, was always well dressed, and people were magnetically drawn to him.

He later migrated southwards where he came under the heavy influence of the late nationalist, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe who was his mentor. Azikiwe gave Altine immense support and played a very significant role in his emergence as the Mayor of Enugu. Nnamdi Azikiwe’s political machine made it possible for Alhaji Umaru Altine to become the mayor of Enugu.

Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first Governor-General and first President of Nigeria was by no means perfect in his political career but his faith in one Nigeria was unshakable, unquestionable and his quest for unity and indivisible Nigeria was never in doubt.

How Umaru Altine Became The Mayor of Enugu

It will interest you to know that Malam Umaru Altine was not appointed. He was elected Mayor of Enugu two times. Malam Umaru Altine was the Vice Chairman of the NCNC Youth Association at Enugu. He identified with the NCNC as a political party. During elections, NCNC decided to nominate him at Coal Camp where he lived. He contested and won the election.

When Altine won the election, it was decided that this man did not see himself as a Fulani man but a nationalist. And the NCNC believed in one Nigeria. So, they let him be the Mayor of Enugu.

Before he was elected the Mayor by fellow councillors, he was President of the Enugu Branch of the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC) Youth Association, a post to which he was elected in May 1953 with the support of the Igbo middle class who were mainly businessmen, civil servants and professionals.

He contested twice for the post of Mayor of Enugu against Igbo opponents and won both times The second election was even more significant in the sense that NCNC had asked him to step down for somebody else and he refused. Instead, he resigned from NCNC, ran as an Independent candidate and beat the NCNC candidate.

On the 10th of November, 1956, at a meeting of the NCNC, Umaru Altine was elected as President of the party branch without any opposition.

By the April of 1957, Altine’s support had dropped and the leadership of the Enugu Municipal Council had to be taken over by Mr LBC Ezechi, a trader from Udi.

His Style As Mayor

In Enugu, he wore the Babban Riga, as well as a Turban. On other occasions, he wore suits as the event demanded. He went to Church in Enugu if his duties as Mayor called for it, and went to do the kick-off at the stadium when occasion demanded. He was willing to adjust while retaining his identity.

Mallam Umaru Altine was fluent in Fulfulde and, to cap it all, he married an Igbo Lady. A noble, free and simple spirit is in evidence here.

Umaru Altne’s Death and Legacy

Malam Umaru Altine died in 1996, in his house in Kaduna. He was survived by his wife and children, including Abdulkareem Balarabe Umaru Altine. He was widely regarded as a detribalized Nigerian. A street in Enugu has been named after him.

What do you think about this great man? Do you think this is possible currently? Tell me in the comments.