Fulani, Pulaar in Gambia

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Tukulor People Video

Source:  LinkUp Africa      Download

Introduction / History

Over one million Tukulor live in West Africa. While most of them live in the nation of Senegal, another group can be found in Gambia, where they comprise about a small percentage of the population. The Tukulor are thought to have descended from the Fulani and the Wolof or Serer 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 the Guinea Tukulor 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.

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 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 to grant wisdom and favor to missions agencies currently focusing on the Tukulor.
* Pray that the Holy Spirit will anoint the Gospel as it goes forth via radio among the Tukulor.
* 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 Gambia through worship and intercession.
* Pray that strong local churches will be raised up among the Tukulor.

Profile Source:   Bethany World Prayer Center  

Prayer / Resource Links:
Link Up Africa
People Name General Fulani, Pulaar
People Name in Country Fulani, Pulaar
Population in Gambia 6,800
World Population 1,532,700
Total Countries 5
Indigenous Yes
Unreached Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1 to 2
Progress Scale 1
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Alternate Names Futankoobe, Haal Pulaaren, Pulaar, Takarir, Tooroobe, Toucouleur, Tukulor
People ID 15622
ROP3 Code 110257
Country Gambia
Region West and Central Africa
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Central River, Lower River, North Bank, and Upper River divisions.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Gambia
Region West and Central Africa
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Central River, Lower River, North Bank, and Upper River divisions..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Primary Language Pulaar (6,800 speakers)
Language Code fuc   Ethnologue Listing
Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Primary Dialect Toucouleur
Dialect Code 1877   Global Recordings Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Pulaar
Primary Language Pulaar (6,800 speakers)
Language Code fuc   Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect Toucouleur
Dialect Code 1877   Global Recordings Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Pulaar

Primary Language:  Pulaar

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes   (1982-1993)
Bible-New Testament Yes   (1997)
Bible-Complete No
Bible-NT Audio Online
Possible Print Bibles
Forum of Bible Agencies
Gospel Go
World Bible Finder
World Bibles
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 God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Pulaar
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video More Than Dreams (Indigitube.tv)
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent *
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.10 %)
0.20 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
99.80 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
19.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
16.0 %
Roman Catholic
65.0 %
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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