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Adamawa Region

Tourist Guide for the Adamawa Region of Cameroon

Region, people, climate, history, food: information on every aspect of your travel in this region will put you in the mood for your holiday!

PEOPLE / HISTORY

Many centuries ago, the Fulani tribes migrated from northern Africa and the Middle East into Central and West Africa. Most of them are still nomadic shepherds who travel with their flocks, in search of better grazing land. They are located in an almost horizontal strip across West Africa. The Sahara Desert forms their northernmost boundary, while the threat of tsetse flies control their movement to the south.

Cameroon’s Adamawa Region is inhabited by Fulbe, Fulani peoples (Alternate People Names: Adamawa, Bagirmi Fulani, Falata, Fellata, Fula, Fulba, Kita, Fulfulde-Fulani, Gewe, Gueve, Igboro Fulani, Kano-Katsina, Puel, Sudanese Fula, Toroobe, Voila).

The Fulani tribes are grouped and named according to their locations, occupations, and dialects. The Adamawa Fulani belong to the same group of Fulani who live in Nigeria’s Adamawa province. There are also Fulani groups found in Chad, but these trace their origins back to the Adamawa Fulani of Nigeria. They have lighter skin, thinner lips, and straighter hair than other African groups living near them.

FOOD / LIVELIHOOD

A majority of the Adamawa Fulanis are shepherds, but some also grow a few crops such as sorghum or corn. They trade with neighbouring tribes for millet, yams, and peanuts. Milk is the main staple in their diet, and this distinguishes them from the tribes who do not milk their cattle. They also produce butter, which can be traded in the local markets.

Fulani men hunt, trade livestock, and tend to the herds. While the older men exercise the leadership of the tribes, it is the duty of the younger men to move the herds. Young boys are responsible for helping their older brothers with the herds. The women usually milk the cattle and sell butter in the markets.

CULTURE / TRADITION

While Fulani children are still infants, marriages are arranged for them by their parents. When a boy is initiated into manhood, he moves into a separate hut. This hut will eventually become the home of his fiance. Young girls look forward to being married, since this will give them a higher social status. Having many children is also believed to bring them honour.

The Fulanis have an unusual way of initiating boys into manhood. The young boys must beat each other across the chest with walking sticks while showing no signs of pain. Throughout the rest of their lives, the scars resulting from the initiation are proudly shown as signs of courage.

There are many “taboos” within the Fulani culture. For example, they are forbidden to call a first son or daughter by name. When in public, wives must stay at a distance, but are watched over by their husbands. Goat meat may not be eaten and beef is only eaten at formal ceremonies.

The Fulani traditionally remain both physically and psychologically distant from non-Fulani. They are very reserved and show no strong emotions. In fact, their only emotional ties appear to be with their herds. It is said that no one really knows what a Fulani is thinking. He is gentle, yet shows disdain towards outsiders.

BELIEFS / RELIGION

The Adamawa Fulani are largely Muslim; however, like many other Fulani tribes, their Islamic practices are a bit lax. Many still follow the traditional beliefs and practices of their ancestors.

The Adamaoua plateau (Adamawa) is famous for its numerous lakes (e.g. lake Adamaoua) and plains.

More details coming up soon...


 
 



     

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