The TOUCOULEUR PEOPLE, also called TUKULOR or HAALPULAAR , are a West
African ethnic group. They are found mostly in
Futa Tooro region of
They speak the
Pulaar language , and are distinct from but related to
the Fula , Wolof and
Serer people . The Toucouleur are traditionally
sedentary, settled primarily in the
DISTRIBUTION AND LANGUAGES
They are found primarily in the northern regions of
The Pulaar language, also called the Fula or Fulani language, is their first language. It is an Atlantic branch of the Niger-Congo language family of languages. Locally, they are variously referred to as Pulaar : Torooɓe, Futanke, or Haalpulaar (French literature).
The name Toucouleur is of unclear origin, with some sources stating
it as a French derivation meaning "of color", which may be a folk
etymology . Other sources citing it as a deformation of tekruri a
pre-colonial term meaning "people from Tekrur", considering them the
descendants of the West African kingdom of
According to the oral traditions of the Toucouleurs and Serer people , the Toucouleurs are descendants of Serer and Fula ancestors. This tradition is supported by many scholars including Foltz and Phillips. A mutually acceptable bantering-style interaction, called the joking relationship by anthropologists, exists between the Serers and Toucouleurs .
Umar Tall returned to
PEOPLE AND SOCIETY
Toucouleur marabout (left) and women in traditional dresses (19th century).
The Toucouleurs speak the Futa Tooro dialect of Pulaar . They call themselves Haalpulaar’en, which means "those who speak Pulaar". They are Muslims. Culturally, the Toucouleur differ from other Fula people by the sedentary nature of their society.
Toucouleur society is patriarchal and divided into strict and rigid caste hierarchies .
The highest status among the five Toucouleur castes is of the aristocratic leaders and Islamic scholars called Torobe. Below them are the Rimbe, or the administrators, traders and farmers. The Nyenbe are the artisan castes of the Toucouleur society. The fourth caste strata is called the Gallunkobe or the slaves or descendants of slaves "who have been freed". The bottom strata among the Toucouleurs are the Matyube or slaves. The slaves were acquired by raiding pagan ethnic groups or purchased in slave markets, or the status was inherited.
The hierarchical social stratification has been an economically closed system, which historically has meant a marked inequality. Property and land has been exclusively owned by the upper caste members. Occupations and caste memberships are inherited. The Toucouleur castes have been endogamous, segregated and intermarriage has been rare. The clerics among Toucouleur like the Wolof people formed a separate group. The religious leaders were not necessarily endogamous nor an inherited post in Toucouleur people's long history, but it has been rare for lower caste people to become religious specialist, states Rüdiger Seesemann, as they were viewed as not sufficiently adhering to the "clerical standards of piety".
A Toucouleur interpreter called Alpha Sega with his sisters. Image taken in 1882.
Marriage among the Toucouleurs requires a bride price payable to the bride's family. A girl from high social status family such as of noble lineage expects substantially higher payment than one of lower status such as artisan castes or with slave lineage.
The marriage is validated by a mosque. The bride comes to live with her husband's joint family. Traditionally, before the marriage is consummated, the bride's aunt checks if the girl is a virgin, then bathes and massages her. The bride and groom then join in a wedding feast where the village members join in, marking the start of a new couple.
CHILDBIRTH AND NAMING
One week after pémbougale (childbirth), the baby is named and a gorgol (sister of the father) cuts its hair. The father tells the marabout the name he has chosen, after which the marabout whispers the name in the infant's ear and prays. Following this, the marabout informs a gawlo "griot ", of the name that has been chosen, and the griot announces the name to the village.
* ^ A B C D E F G H I J Anthony Appiah; Henry Louis Gates (2010). Encyclopedia of Africa. Oxford University Press. pp. 500–501. ISBN 978-0-19-533770-9 . * ^ A B C D E F G H Tukulor, Encyclopædia Britannica * ^ A B C D Wendy Doniger (1999). Merriam-Webster\'s Encyclopedia of World Religions. Merriam-Webster. p. 1116. ISBN 978-0-87779-044-0 .
* ^ Tal Tamari (1991). "The Development of