Tukulor, Pulaar in Mali






Largest Religion

Main Language


Tukulor people video

Source LinkUp Africa

Introduction / History

Over one million Tukulor live in several West African nations. While most of them are located in Senegal, another large group can be found in the neighboring country of Mali. The Tukulor are thought to have descended from the Fulani and the Wolof or Sereres tribes. The name "Tukulor" is derived from the word Takrur, which is an Arabic term used to describe an eleventh century realm near the middle Senegal River Valley.

Today, the Tukulor are known by a number of names, including Pulaar, Haal Pulaar, and Torobe. They have retained their respective languages, and many are also fluent in Arabic. Most of those in Mali live a rural lifestyle, raising livestock, farming, and fishing. Sadly, a steadily rising population and an unequal distribution of land have resulted in the emigration of large numbers of Tukulor (particularly youth) to the cities in search of better job opportunities.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Traditional Tukulor society is divided into four main social classes, each having twelve "castes." Their social life is a mixture of native customs and Islamic traditions. Neither Islam, the effects of colonization, nor the goals of various national leaders have been able to erase the old social divisions.

The torobe are the aristocratic class. The middle class, or rimbe, is made up of fishermen, farmers, tradesmen, and administrators. The middle class also includes the craftsmen, and the lower class includes the freed slaves and the slaves. Social status rarely changes; however, slaves are freed at every third generation. The Tukulor marry within their class divisions, women usually between the ages of 16 and 18, and men between the ages of 25 and 30. Although it is uncommon, a man may have up to four wives. Families are generally large, with an average of six children per family.

Traditional, rural Tukulor villages are small. They have round huts made of clay or rough bricks, with straw roofs. Villages are governed by a group of elders from the aristocratic caste. Dietary staples include rice, millet, sorghum, fish, nuts, and fruit. The average per capita income is only $150 to $200 per year. The current high levels of unemployment are forcing many men to travel to France or urban areas of Senegal in search of better paying jobs.

Tukulor women often wear large, embedded pieces of wood in the soft lobes of their ears and have two small facial slits near the outside corners of both eyes. Although female genital mutilation is becoming increasingly illegal, over half of all Tukulor girls from the ages of three to nine undergo this practice in order to be considered "clean" and worthy of marriage.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Tukulor first accepted Islam in the eleventh century. Traditional Muslim beliefs, such as the nature of man and his destiny after death, play a significant role in the people's outlook on life. Muslim brotherhoods teach a mystical approach to Islam: the people seek closer relationships to God through rituals, prayer, and other techniques. However, Islam has not brought any major changes to Tukulor attitudes toward spiritism and magic. The people still use charms, amulets, and witchcraft. The Tukulor attribute supernatural powers to various Muslim clerics who practice divination, the use of supernatural powers.

What Are Their Needs?

Decreasing income from the sale of agricultural products, encroachment by the Sahara Desert on farm land, deforestation, and increasing population are resulting in extreme financial concerns for the Tukulor. Nearly all village water sources are polluted. Malaria and other infectious diseases inflict a heavy toll each year. Although there is some literacy among the aristocracy, most of the Tukulor are illiterate.

Islam has enormous penetration into every aspect of Tukulor life. A somewhat isolated people with minimal exposure to other religious ideas, the Tukulor view the world and gain their personal identities from their rigid beliefs in the Islamic family and community. They are extremely reluctant to leave the world they know.

Prayer Points

* Ask the Lord of the harvest to send missionaries to work among the Tukulor of Mali.
* Ask God to give the small number of Tukulor believers boldness to share Christ with their own people.
* Ask God to save key Tukulor leaders who will share the love of Jesus with their own people.
* Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will break up the spiritual soil of Mali through worship and intercession.
* Pray that strong local churches will be raised up among the Tukulor.

Profile Source:   Bethany World Prayer Center  

People Name General Tukulor
People Name in Country Tukulor, Pulaar
Population in Mali 226,000
World Population 1,533,000
Countries 5
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Futankoobe, Haal Pulaaren, Pulaar, Takarir, Tooroobe, Toucouleur
Affinity Bloc Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster Fulani / Fulbe
People Name General Tukulor
Ethnic Code NAB56c
People ID 15622
Country Mali
Region West and Central Africa
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 40  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Primarily northwest, Nioro and Kayes area. Pockets in Segou and Bandiagara, which are remnants of Umar Tal's conquest in the middle 1800s.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Pulaar (226,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Pulaar 226,000

For Main Lanugage: Pulaar

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1982-1993)
New Testament Yes   (1997)
Complete Bible No
Audio Bible Online
Format Resource
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Pulaar
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Primary Religion: Islam

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.20 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
99.80 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
20.0 %
Roman Catholic
80.0 %
Photo Source: Link Up Africa  
Map Source: Bethany World Prayer Center  
Video Source: LinkUp Africa
Profile Source: Bethany World Prayer Center  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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