Pulaar Fulani in Guinea-Bissau

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Pulaar (or Tukulor) are thought to have descended from the Fulani and the Wolof or Serere tribes. The name "Tukulor" is derived from the word Takrur. This term was used by Arab geographers to describe an eleventh century realm near the middle Senegal River Valley. Today, the Tukulor are known by a number of names, including Pulaar and Haal. They have retained their respective languages, and many are also bilingual in Arabic. While the majority of Pulaar Fulani live in Senegal, another significant group lives in Guinea, where they comprise a very small percentage of the population. There are also small numbers of Pulaar Fulani in Guinea-Bissau, Mali and Mauritania.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Most Pulaar Fulani live a rural life. They raise livestock, farm and fish. They live in small villages in round huts made of clay or rough bricks, with straw roofs. Their dietary staples include rice, millet, sorghum, fish, nuts, and fruit. A steadily rising population and an unequal distribution of land have resulted in the emigration of large numbers of Pulaar (particularly youth) to the cities in search of better job opportunities. Traditional Pulaar society is divided into four main social classes, each having twelve "castes."
Their social life is a mixture of local 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. Villages are governed by a group of elders from this caste. The middle class, or rimbe, is made up of fishermen, farmers, tradesmen, and administrators. The middle class includes the craftsmen, and the lower class includes the freed slaves and the slaves. Social status rarely changes. The Pulaar 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. Pulaar 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 Pulaar girls from the ages of three to nine undergo ritual genital circumcision in order to be considered "clean" and worthy of marriage.

The Pulaar proudly acknowledge themselves as the first black Africans to convert to Islam although spiritism and magic play a significant role in daily life
What Are Their Beliefs?

The Pulaar Fulani people are Sunni Muslims who believe that the supreme God, Allah, spoke through his prophet, Mohammed, and taught mankind how to live a righteous life through the Koran and the Hadith. To live a righteous life, you must utter the Shahada (a statement of faith), pray five times a day facing Mecca, fast from sunup to sundown during the month of Ramadan, give alms to the poor, and make a pilgrimage to Mecca if you have the means. Muslims are prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, slandering, and making idols. They gather for corporate prayer on Friday afternoons at a mosque, their place of worship.
The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah.
Sunni religious practices are staid and simple. They believe Allah has pre-determined our fates; they minimize free will.
In most of the Muslim world, common people depend on the spirit world for their daily needs since they regard Allah as too distant. Allah may determine their eternal salvation, but the spirits determine how well they live on a daily basis. For that reason, some Muslims appease spirits using charms and amulets to help them with spiritual forces. More orthodox Muslims consider these practices heretical and un-Islamic.

What Are Their Needs?

The Pulaar Fulani people need to be given the chance to hear the life-changing gospel so they can enjoy life to the full.

Prayer Points

Pray for loving gospel workers to catch a vision for reaching the Pulaar Fulani people and that in God's sovereign timing the hearts of these people would be open and ready to follow him.
Pray for Jesus movements to bless extended families so the gospel will spread rapidly.
Pray for the spiritual lives of the Pulaar Fulani people to become fruitful so others will be drawn to Jesus Christ.

Scripture Prayers for the Fulani, Pulaar in Guinea-Bissau.



Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

Additional Info
Fulani profile for Children and Family Missions Activities
Link Up Africa
People Name General Fulani, Pulaar
People Name in Country Fulani, Pulaar
Natural Name Pulaar Fulani
Pronunciation poo-LAR foo-LAH-nee
Alternate Names Futankoobe; Haal Pulaaren; Pulaar; Takarir; Tooroobe; Toucouleur; Tukulor
Population this Country 371,000
Population all Countries 3,092,000
Total Countries 7
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 7
People ID 15622
ROP3 Code 110257
Country Guinea-Bissau
Region Africa, West and Central
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Bafata region: especially south of Geba river; Gabu region: central and north; Tombali region: between Aldeia Formosa and Carubel river.   Source:  Ethnologue 2022
Country Guinea-Bissau
Region Africa, West and Central
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Bafata region: especially south of Geba river; Gabu region: central and north; Tombali region: between Aldeia Formosa and Carubel river..   Source:  Ethnologue 2022

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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
100.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Pulaar (371,000 speakers)
Language Code fuc   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Pulaar (371,000 speakers)
Language Code fuc   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Pulaar
Photo Source Link Up Africa 
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.