Fula Jalon in Senegal

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Futa Jalon (also known as the Fula Jalon) are a large people group located in the western African nations of Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, and Senegal. A small population resides in Guinea Bissau. They are one of the sub-groups belonging to the vast Fulani cluster. Most of the Futa Jalon live in the Fouta Djalon of Guinea, an area of mountains and plateaus. They speak a language called Fouta Dyalon (or Fulbe), which belongs to the Niger-Congo language family.

Fulani herdsmen settled in the Fouta Djalon region over two hundred years ago, and have since spread throughout western Africa. Those who remained in the area became known as the Futa Jalon. Whether in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Mali, or Senegal, the culture of the Futa Jalon is virtually identical.

Senegal's Futa Jalon live in a small, tropical area with a brief wet season. Temperatures are extremely hot, and can reach above 100ºF. The forests are dense, and there are grassy plains along the plateaus of the Fouta Djalon that serve as part-time pastures for their herds.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Most of the Futa Jalon work as farmers and raise livestock. Cattle are raised in large numbers along with sheep and goats. Gathering, hunting, fishing, and trading are also part of their daily lives. Staple crops include millet, rice, and peanuts. Cattle herds, along with sheep and goats, are the primary livestock. The cattle are not the usual Fulani humped breed, but a native Fouta Djalon breed called Ndama, which is resistant to the disease-carrying tsetse fly.

There are clear labor divisions among the Futa Jalon. The men are responsible for herding the cattle, while the women milk the herds. Women also tend to other small livestock in addition to their garden work. The women often carry containers of milk and cheese to local markets to sell or trade.

Futa Jalon girls remain with their mothers until they marry. However, once a young man reaches puberty he leaves the family farm to prepare a home for his future family. A man's first marriage is usually arranged by his father, and the groom must offer bride-services to his wife's family by helping her father with his livestock. First marriages often take place in the man's early twenties. However, more marriages usually follow since, according to Muslim tradition, a man is permitted to have as many as four wives.

Futa Jalon children belong to "age-sets" until they marry. An age-set is a three or four year interval, with every child born in those years belonging to the same set. The children in an age-set usually work together in the community, and they go to school together. Each age-set has a head, a deputy, and a judge.

Futa Jalon villages are widely scattered throughout the Fouta Djalon region. Each village has a central court and a mosque. Houses belonging to the settled Futa Jalon are typically round with mud walls and thatched roofs. Each hut has an encircling veranda. The nomadic Futa Jalon live in open, beehive-shaped huts without walls or verandas. Each hut is surrounded by a cattle corral. In each village, a headman handles village affairs and answers to a chief.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Futa Jalon of Senegal are almost entirely Muslim. Keeping with traditional Islamic customs, they worship Allah and follow the teachings and instructions of the Koran, which is a collection of Mohammed's writings. Today, many of the Futa Jalon children attend Islamic schools. The Futa Jalon became rooted in their Muslim faith centuries ago and are very resistant to change.

What Are Their Needs?

Evangelization efforts have not been very successful, and there are only a handful of known Futa Jalon Christians. Prayer is the key to seeing these precious people effectively reached with the Gospel.

Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Fula Jalon in Senegal.

* Ask the Holy Spirit to grant wisdom and favor to missions agencies focusing on the Futa Jalon.
* Pray that God will give the small number of Futa Jalon believers boldness to share Christ with their own people.
* Ask God to create a hunger for the Truth within the hearts of the Futa Jalon.
* Pray for the salvation of Futa Jalon leaders who will boldly declare the Gospel to their own people.
* Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the spiritual soil of Senegal through worship and intercession.
* Ask the Lord to bring forth many fellowships of believers for the glory of His name!

Profile Source:   Bethany World Prayer Center  

The Waiting World - The Fulani

Source:  The Waiting World      Download

Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2011-02-06
Link Up Africa
People Name General Fula Jalon
People Name in Country Fula Jalon
Population this Country 219,000
Population all Countries 6,347,000
Total Countries 9
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 4
Alternate Names Fulbe Futa Jalon; Futa Dyalon; Futa Fula; Futa Jallon; Futa Jalon Fulani; Fuuta Jalon; Kebu Fula; Peul
People ID 11769
ROP3 Code 103072
Country Senegal
Region Africa, West and Central
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Dakar; Sedhiou region: Casamance area. Seasonal work migrants from Guinea and elsewhere.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Senegal
Region Africa, West and Central
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Dakar; Sedhiou region: Casamance area. Seasonal work migrants from Guinea and elsewhere..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Primary Language Pular
Language Code fuf   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Pular
Language Code fuf   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Pular

Primary Language:  Pular

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1929-2011)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (2011)
Bible-Complete No
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Pular
Film / Video The Prophets' Story
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Pular
Text / Printed Matter Download scripture in this language
Text / Printed Matter Online Bible text (Scripture Earth)
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.01 %)
0.05 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
99.95 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
15.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
5.0 %
Roman Catholic
80.0 %
Photo Source Link Up Africa 
Map Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Video Source The Waiting World
Profile Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


Welcome. I’m a virtual assistant and will try to answer questions about Joshua Project, unreached people groups, the Great Commission and more. How can I help you?

For further help try our FAQ, Definitions or Contact Us pages.