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.

Conclusion

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.

FAQs

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

Noppire.

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 to Marry a Hausa Lady in 4 Weeks

How to Marry a Hausa Lady in 4 Weeks

The Hausa language is the predominant language in the northern part of Nigeria, with a significant population of indigenous speakers in the Niger Republic, Ghana, Cameroon, Sudan as well as other African countries.

Hausa ladies are no doubt beautiful, soft-spoken and elegant. If you have been active on social media for the past few years, sights and sounds from the glamorous weddings of Hausa ladies are enough to make you wish to have one as a wife. Well, if you are curious and would like to know how to get married to a Hausa lady, you are at the right place. But before you start thinking of the numbers and colors of kaftan to sew, it is important for you to know these steps that I will share with you. Now, let’s go straight into it!

How to Get Married to a Hausa Lady

With a large percentage of Hausa people practicing the religion of Islam, marriage in Hausaland shares an intricate relationship with that of Islam. This involves laws that disallow any unnecessary communication and physical contact completely between prospective spouses until they become officially pronounced as husband and wife.

That being said, what will you do when you finally see the Hausa lady that captures your heart?

Formal Introduction

The first thing you need to do after seeing the lady of your dreams is to do a little background check, after which you will send your relatives or other respected members of the society to meet her parents, inform them of your intention and seek permission to initiate communication between you two. The lady will then be called upon by her parents – usually the mother – and be asked whether she loves you. If she does, then the proposal will be accepted and investigations regarding you and your family will begin almost immediately. Some families will only accept your proposal if they are satisfied with the results of the background check they have conducted. While a lot of youths now skip this step and go straight to letting the lady know of their intentions, it still remains the ideal.

Now that you have been accepted as a prospective son-in-law, you will be formally allowed to go see their daughter from time to time and discuss future plans. Don’t forget to be going along with gifts though — ladies love gifts.

READ ALSO: Why Hausa Societies Don’t Perform Anymore Baiko During Marriages

Hada Kayan Lefe

After fixing a date for the wedding, this is where your savings will play a part. You will start buying Kayan Lefe. This includes a set of boxes containing jewelry, cosmetics, shoes, bags, undies, and any other clothing material that your future wife will use in your house after marriage. These items are bought based on the list that the lady will provide; you sure wouldn’t want to spend your money buying things that she won’t need. The quantity and quality of items depend on your financial status and that of the lady’s family, so you should be mindful of the family you are planning to marry from.

READ ALSO: The Average Cost of Kayan Lefe

Na Gani Ina So

After seeking permission to start seeing their daughter, some female members of your family are to meet with the lady’s family to present them with gifts. The gifts can be in form of a box containing clothes, jewelry, shoes, bags, and even some cash, depending on your financial strength.

Gaisuwan Iyaye

A little later after being accepted as a prospective in-law, what comes next is to officially go and greet your in-laws-to-be. Here, you will go well-dressed along with your siblings, close friends, or relatives to greet the parents of your future bride as well as their close relatives and friends. You might want to carry some cash with you and give it out after every greeting.

Fixing of Wedding Date (Sa Rana)

As you start getting along with your future wife, you will be expected to start making more moves towards making it official. This is where kayan sa rana comes in; these are items your family will present to the lady’s family so as to fix a date for the wedding. The two families will negotiate and finally agree on a date that will be most convenient for both sides, nevertheless, the lady’s family usually has the upper hand in making the decision. Kayan sa rana usually includes packs or cartons of sweets, chewing gums and kolanut, and some money. For a Fulani lady, you will need to add some bags of salt too.

Shelter and Kayan Daki

Providing shelter is your sole responsibility as the prospective husband. If you cannot build a house, you should rent or get a comfortable apartment before the marriage. While getting the apartment is your responsibility, the lady usually will furnish the house with furniture, kitchen items, etc. Notwithstanding, there is nothing wrong with you doing it by yourself, especially if her family will find it difficult to do it. After all, you are interested in knowing how to get married to a Hausa lady and you want her to leave her parents’ house and move to yours.

Pre Wedding Events

Several pre-wedding events are sometimes held. While events like Kamu, Kunshi/Sa Lalle, and the likes have been practiced for quite a while in Hausaland, many events, earlier unknown to Hausas have been borrowed from other cultures. This includes bridal shower, mother’s eve, Arabian night, and lots more. So, depending on the family you are marrying from, you could end up with a wedding without a single pre- or post-wedding event, or one with several.

ALSO READ: The Evolution of Kamu Tradition in Hausa Land

Kai Kayan Lefe

Delegated female members of your family will take the kayan lefe you have bought to the lady’s family. This is usually done about a week before the wedding. The lady’s family will prepare a small feast that day, and your delegates will be given some tips, known as tukwuici.

Jere

A few days to the wedding, female members of both families will go to the house you have prepared for your bride and arrange the kayan daki brought by her family, and the lefe brought by you.

Kayan Gara

These are food items that the lady’s family will bring to you usually in large quantities. It is either brought during the jere, along with the amarya after the Wedding Fatiha or after the wedding celebrations. If you have spent all your savings and even borrowed additional money to meet up with the marriage expenses, this will help you to recover for a while, before you continue with your responsibility of providing food for the family.

Sadaki (Dowry)

Unlike in some foreign cultures e.g. in India, where the bride’s family is obliged to give out the bride alongside the bride price, it is not the same in Hausaland. Here, the man is expected to give this obligatory gift to his prospective wife, or at least make a promise to pay it at a later time if he cannot afford it at the moment.  This is an expression of the man’s desire to marry her and shoulder her responsibilities. It can be as little as agreed by the prospective couples or as much as they can afford, without however going to the extremes. Nevertheless, if the lady is of Fulani origin, you might be expected to give some cows as dowry or a mixture of cash and cows. It is advised that you consult people from the same community as your prospective wife, to know the range of amount in cash or its equivalence in-kind usually given there.

Daurin Aure

This is the day you have been waiting for. The Wedding Fatiha is officiated by Islamic scholars or other respected members of the society. The lady’s guardian, ‘waliyyi’ will formally announce to have given out his daughter in marriage to you, and your representative, ‘wakili’ will accept her on your behalf in the presence of witnesses. This is done to involve elders in the union, so that whenever the couples are facing a problem, they will be able to intervene and provide solutions. The amount of dowry paid before or on this day is also announced to the hearing of those present.

Conveyance of the Bride (Kai Amarya)

After the Wedding Fatiha, and all other events that will follow, the next thing is to convey the bride (amarya) to her new home. This is the time when most brides cry, not because they are not happy getting married, but because of how sad it is to finally leave the home they’ve known all their lives, for a completely new one. The bride is escorted by her friends and close relatives to the new house, and sometimes one or two might spend the night in the house.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to get married to a Hausa lady, we hope you will take the necessary steps and invite us to your wedding soon. Do you have more to tell us about Hausa weddings or how it differs with your tribe’s, please do tell us about it in the comments section below. We are eager to hear from you!

FAQs

How do Hausa people marry?

This starts from seeking permission from the parents, followed by some pre-wedding rites and events, and officially concluded during the Wedding Fatiha with representatives from both families and witnesses.

How long will it take to marry a Hausa lady?

This depends on several factors, including financial readiness and parents from both sides being satisfied with their prospective in-law.

Can I marry a Hausa lady in four weeks?

Yes, you can. For some families, the whole wedding process can be concluded in much less time.

How much is Hausa Bride Price?

There is no fixed amount for bride price in Hausa land.  It can be as low or as high as the two families agree on. However, moderation is advised, so, always consult with people from the same community ad your prospective wife.

Is Hausa wedding expensive?

This depends on the family you are marrying from. You will definitely spend a lot if you are planning to marry someone from a rich family, but overall, Hausa weddings aren’t expensive.

Can a non-Hausa man marry a Hausa lady?

Yes. A significant example is the marriage of Idris Ajimobi, son of Oyo state governor, Abiola Ajimobi, and Fatima Ganduje, daughter of Kano State governor.