Fulani origin: an exposé


The Fulani, also called Fula, Pula and Peul, are a people found primarily along the southern fringes of the Sahara Desert from Senegal And The Gambia  to the eastern side of the Lake Chad. From the 10th century CE they began spreading eastward (Johnston 1967). They have been quiet about their origin (Williams and Shenley 2012), and the oyinbo who have been parading themselves as the best researchers and recorders of the origins of various peoples all over the world have also been ‘silent’ about this. Like the oyinbo, they have been colonizing and displacing others, under the guise of conducting Islamic Jihad. It has been suggested that they are the descendants of the grandson of Noah and son of Ham called Put (Genesis 10:6), based on the appearance of the names Peul and Put as possible cognates (Jeffreys 1947). But, Put is named in the Table of Nations as a brother of someone named Cush that has been shown to be the name of a settlement from which Nimrod ruled. And that section is quite suspect, especially as Nimrod was never begotten by Cush and apparently never had Ham but Noah as a grandfather. Perhaps it is better to find out from the Aku oral records the identities of Ham and Put and see if there is any connection with Peul.

Iwa is the name that is the closest match to Ham, based on the similarity of the /w/ and /h/ sounds: (I)wa> Ha(m). It is another name of the person known as Oduduwa. Earlier, it had been demonstrated here that the biblical children of Noah were actually Ashe (Shem), Epe (Japheth) and Ohun (Ham), that the oyinbo attached themselves to this lineage to cook up a simultaneously fraudulent and schizoid ancestry, that Ashe and Epe did not sire any offspring while Ohun did, and that Ohun’s offspring are the people of the Aku division called Idanre. Noah who is Iwa cannot therefore have sired himself – we do not know of any case of a person having his/her enikeji (spirit double) as an immediate offspring. These beg the question: did Noah ever beget Put as a son or grandson?

In the bible, the name Put is also rendered as Pul (Isaiah 66:19), thus supporting the suspicion that they are actually the Fulani. Furthermore, there is mention in 2 Kings15:19 of a ruler of Assyria allegedly named Pul, as if this name referred to a single individual. But what if this ruler was not a person but the Fulani people? If yes, then the information in this passage of a time (early 8th century BCE) before the northern kingdom of Israel was deported by the Assyrians is that the Fulani had just become the ruling class of another nation, the Assyrians.

The name Assyria which is also Assur appears to have been derived from Hausa: (H)ausa> Assu(r), which is especially obvious upon noting that the -ria suffix is a linguistic device of the Indo-Europeans e.g. Persia, Nigeria, Moravia, Serbia, Yugoslavia, etc. And it has been shown that the Assyrians are actually the Hausa (Lange, The Bayajidda Legend and Hausa History 2012). By the 18th century CE the Fulani had not only attached and developed a parasitic relationship with them but became their rulers under the guise of conducting an Islamic Jihad. Additionally, the northern kingdom of Israel was actually the self-acclaimed former Oyo Empire (Lange, Origin of the Yoruba and “The Lost Tribes of Israel” 2011), and since the 18th century the Fulani have led the Hausa to carry out successful raids against Oyo, annexing her cities and sacking her, just as during the earlier age that was recorded in the bible. If the Fulani truly led the Assyrians against Israel, then they are the ones who led them in a fatally unsuccessful campaign against Judah, the coronation city of Israel, during which a divinity destroyed their army and Sennacherib their king was consequently assassinated by two sons of his (2 Kings 18-19; 2 Chronicles 32:1-23).

Well, the same thing happened in in the early 19th century when the Fulani led the Hausa to the present Ile-Ife in continuation of their Jihad but then perished before getting there when the female divinity called Oshun killed all but one of them and let the survivor escape to warn his people. This coincided with the reign of a particular Sultan of Sokoto, seat of the Fulani-Hausa Caliphate, who was regarded by his people as weak and ineffective following some defeats and the sudden abandonment of their siege against the Kebbi people at Argungu. He was either Ali Babba bin Bello (1842-1849) or Abu Bakr Atiku and had two sons just like Sennacherib (1837 – 1842) – getting information about the manner of his end has been curiously unsuccessful; was he likewise killed? Interestingly, the name Judah (also Judaea, Yehudah) appears to have been derived from Ife Owodaye which is one of the appellations of Ife: Owodaye > (Y)ehuda or (O)woda(y)e > Judae(a).

In the bible there is no record of the people of Pul ever establishing their own independent state but in Nahum 3:9 they are mentioned as a “helper” of Assyria, which must have been the state of their relationship before the former became the foreign rulers. Upon achieving dominance of Assyria they began raiding others like Israel, whom they partly deported and sacked, to acquire slaves and wealth to build their empire. This happened again when, in this age, they began spreading across the Sudan into Hausa states first as immigrants and later taking over and thereafter carrying out several slave raids which continued into the 1920s and perhaps thereafter (van Beek 1988)against other peoples like Oyo and many in Nigeria’s Middle Belt, sacking many in the process. In short, their state apparatus with the Fulani is parasitic and used as leverage to attack others. And they have been sacking others till date and their herdsmen who have always been defended by the sedentary group have been noted as the fourth most deadly terrorist group on earth (IEP 2015). Today, a lot of the Fulani are to be found in northern Nigeria and were initially all nomadic cattle herders but some became sedentary upon becoming rulers of the Hausa so as to manage their subjects.

They are also known in the northern Nigerian states of Bornu and Adamawa respectively as Bororo and Abore. The b-r consonantal root is common to both. Some other similar words from neighbouring languages are Twi boro (to trespass), Aku afara (bridge), Aku ibara (ford), Aku ibara-mu (across the nose), Aku eburu (shortcut), and the Hebrew abar (cross over, trespass).

All have to do with trespassing or movement across an area via a shortcut which is what the Fulani are noted for in Nigeria where they lead their cattle to wander across the lands of others without permission and ravage their farmlands and kill farmers. It is so bad that anytime they are in the news it seems to be about violence and bloodletting. A simple query via any internet search engine for news about them is enough evidence. For instance, visit http://www.google.com, type Fulani and press ‘Enter’ to get a list of results, click the ‘News’ category to narrow down the results to only items about them that are reported in the News media, and then go through the results. They have also been demanding rather than appealing that others should give way for them to pass through their lands through whichever path they choose, especially now that one of their own, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.) is now the president of Nigeria (http://leadership.ng/news/445553/pmb-to-use-ptf-blueprint-to-resolve-farmersfulani-clashes). A perusal of the results also reveals a lack of remorse or apologies from them for such acts, and the issuance of threats of vengeance against anybody who seeks redress and seeks to preserve his/her life and farmlands in self-defense. An example of such threats was issued at 11.51 AM (GMT +1) on the 15th of July 2012 by a prominent sedentary Fulani named Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai, now governor of Kaduna State of Nigeria, on his twitter handle (https://twitter.com/elrufai/status/224577000218689537):

We will write this for all to read. Anyone, soldier of not that kills the Fulani takes a loan repayable one day no matter how long it takes.

These four features trespassing (passing through without permission), wandering like fugitives, bloodletting and lack of remorse are also associated with one of the alleged sons of Adam and Eve (Genesis 4:1-15) who murdered his brother. The murderer is named as Cain who was a farmer and the victim Abel who reared cattle. When Cain murdered Abel and God queried him about it he got angry, showed no remorse and was cursed as punishment such that he would be unable to till the ground if he wanted to farm, and become a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth. Next is the declaration allegedly from God that sevenfold vengeance would be exacted on anybody who killed him. Like the Fulani, the murderer did not show any remorse for his misdeed and he began a nomadic lifestyle which involves wandering but as a fugitive such that others would want to kill him.

It is hard to believe that others would want to kill him with no justification, and that a God would ensure that if the unremorseful murderer was killed he would avenge his death sevenfold. Given that this entire section of the bible about the origins of man is riddled with fraud, this Cain and Abel narrative should not be taken as it is. Otherwise, it is akin to accepting that a person who is killed in cold blood should never be avenged even if the murderer is likely to kill again and keeps on killing, and that, if truly the murderer is Fulani, they have a divine sanction to trespass against others without retribution. Quoted earlier is an example of Fulani threats of one-sided vengeance, for which they are well notorious as seen in the Google News search results but have apparently never claimed any divine motivation.

After he murdered his brother, God queried him about it but he was unremorseful, expressing angst at being queried. So God cursed him such that any effort of his to till the earth (for farming) would be fruitless. An obvious consequence of this would have been that the murderer would have to begin scavenging for food like stealing the food of others which would make them want to kill him in self-preservation and he would be on the run like a fugitive from them. In spite of the curse, he showed no remorse (like Nasir El-Rufai above) and resolved that he would continue to trespass and in addition seek sevenfold vengeance on anybody who tried to kill him or his descendants for doing so.

But Abel, the alleged name of the murder victim appears to be a cognate of Pul/Peul/Abore/Eburu etc., unlike Cain. More likely, Abel who reared cattle killed Cain who tilled the ground to farm. Akin is an Aku name which means ‘brave one’ and looks like Cain was derived from it. It is common to the Aku region of Ondo which is east (southeast) of Ile-Ife and where Ogun, the divinity of war and metals and the founder of blacksmithing, exerted a lot of influence. Nod, the name of the land which Cain emigrated to and which was located east of Eden (Genesis 4:16), appears to have been derived from Ondo: (O)nd(o) > N(o)d; and there exists at the eastern wall of the palace of the Ooni of Ife (the king of all kings of the Aku people) a gate leading to a premises called Edena (Lange, Preservation of the Canaanite Creation Culture in Ife 2004). As there have been different Ile-Ifes (Adesanya 1981)wherever the Akus re-established their nation and incorporated with each would be an Edena, the present one cannot be the site of the biblical Eden. But this prompts the question of whether he moved Ondo somehow after being murdered if truly he was the victim or he moved there before being murdered. Besides, more support for his identification as the victim is seen in the same verse where it is recorded that he went out from the presence of God which is strange for an unrepentant murderer and unlike the fate alleged parents Adam and Eve who were driven out as alleged in Genesis 3:24.

There is a similar Aku account that was recorded in the book Yoruba Legends (Ogumefu 1929)and it is reproduced below:

A CERTAIN Yorùbá King, Ajaka, had a favourite wife of whom he was very fond; but, alas for his hopes! She gave birth to twins.

At that time it was the universal custom to destroy twins immediately at birth, and the mother with them. But the King had not the heart to put this cruel law into execution, and he secretly charged one of his nobles to conduct the royal mother and her babes to a remote place where they might live in safety.

Here the twin brothers grew to manhood, and loved one another greatly. They were inseparable, and neither of them had any pleasure except in the company of the other. When one brother began to speak, the other completed his phrase, so harmonious were their thoughts and inclinations.

Their mother, before she died, informed them of their royal birth, and from this moment they spent the time vainly regretting their exile, and wishing that the law of the country had made it possible for them to reign.

At last they received the news that the King their father was dead, leaving no heir, and it seemed to the brothers that one of them ought to go to the capital and claim the throne. But which?

To settle this point they decided to cast stones, and the one who made the longer throw should claim the throne, and afterwards send for his brother to share in his splendor.

The lot fell on the younger of the twins, and he set off to the capital, announced himself as the Olọfin’s son, and soon became King with the consent of all the people. As soon as possible he sent for his brother, who henceforth lived with him in the palace and was treated with honour and distinction.

But alas! jealousy began to overcome his brotherly affection, and one day as he walked with the King by the side of the river, he pushed his brother suddenly into the water, where he was drowned.

He then gave out in the palace that his brother was weary of kingship, and had left the country, desiring him to reign in his stead.

The King had certainly disappeared, and as no suspicion fell on the twin brother, he was made King and so realized his secret ambition.

Some time later, happening to pass by the very spot where his brother had been drowned, he saw a fish rise to the surface of the water and begin to sing:

“Your brother lies here

Your brother lies here.”

The King was very much afraid. He took up a sharp stone and killed the fish.

But another day when he passed the spot, attended by his nobles and shielded by the royal umbrella made of the skins of rare animals, the river itself rose into waves and sang:

“Your brother lies here

Your brother lies here.”

In astonishment the courtiers stopped to listen. Their suspicions were aroused, and when they looked into the water they found the body of the King.

Thus the secret of his disappearance was disclosed, and the wicked brother was rejected in horror by his people. At this disgrace he took poison and so died.

In this account both brothers died, and the motivation for the murder was different even though similarly based on uncontrolled jealousy. Since both were probably never offspring of Adam and Eve as they are not listed in Genesis 5 as ever being their offspring, the possibility that Genesis 4:2-5 about the origin of the rift could be a fabrication should not be ruled out –  it allegedly began when each presented offerings to God and that of the victim and the victim himself were respected while the murderer’s offering and the murderer himself were not – no reason has been provided – and God then advised the murderer on what to do to be accepted(instead of respected). Additionally, if reincarnation which is a fundamental belief of adulawo is applied to this account and the bible’s, it is possible that both reincarnated together at another time in another age and the same event reoccurred but with a different trigger. It is also possible that this is the original account and that Ajaka not Adam was their father and that the victim was resurrected.

That Ajaka could be the father of Cain and Abel is seen in his identity. He is an orisha (revered ancestor) whose enikeji (spirit double) is known as the divinity Ogun and Tobe-Ode. He did rule at Ire in Ekiti and at Ile-Ife, and is also known to have fathered a particular set of twins whom he sent away with their mother to Ondo (Johnson 1921). The people of this region are mostly farmers, and farming requires the services of blacksmiths, for instance to prepare the implements used in tilling the ground. However, there exists disdain for blacksmiths in the region of northern Nigeria where nomadic cattle rearing by the Fulani is prevalent (Imhotep 2010).

In Genesis 4:16-24 is a story of a certain Lamech who allegedly sired three sons: Jabal (also Yabal) who was the “father of those who dwell in tents and have cattle”, Jubal (the brother of Jabal who was the “father of all those who play the harp and the flute” and Tubal-Cain who was the “instructor (not father) of every craftsman in bronze and iron”. If they are allegedly ante-diluvian founders of these professions and Noah and his three sons and their wives were allegedly the sole survivors of the deluge, were the latter also practitioners of these professions and their sole survivors? The prefix Tubal- of the name Tubal-Cain might have been derived from Tobe, and Tubal-Cain might actually have been Tobe-Ogun, which would point to the bearer as Ogun. But Lamech is named there as the father of Tubal-Cain while Ogun is known to have been sired by Oduduwa. Perhaps the genealogy of this section is entirely fraudulent as Tubal-Cain could not have been begotten by Lamech. Also, the name Jabal/Yabal seems to be a re-lexification of Abel, and the bearer was a nomad who like Abel engaged in cattle husbandry.

Then there is the strange insertion of an alleged confession by Lamech that he killed a man – no reason mentioned – and that if Abel would be avenged sevenfold then he would be avenged seventy-sevenfold. What if Jabal is actually Abel and thus Fulani, and Lamech and Jubal were his sons? Or what if Lamech was not related at all to Jabal? The somewhat insatiable and unreasonable thirst for revenge based on Islam that is exhibited by those oyinbo in North Africa who call themselves Arabs (Jackson 1820)can be described as Lamechian. Perhaps he is their progenitor.

As for the possibility of the resurrection of Cain, there is an Aku narrative (Ellis 1894) about two brothers that is also similar to that of the bible – one murdered the other, the murder was exposed, the murderer killed and the victim resurrected:

“There were two boys, brothers, who knew and sang the popular songs of the country so well, that they were in great demand for festive occasions.

“One day they were asked to go to a festival at a neighbouring village, and their mother gave them permission.

“They went to the village, where the people were assembled to play, and they sang their songs and beat their drums so well that the people rewarded them highly. They gave to each boy a thousand cowries, and plenty to eat and drink. Then they dismissed them next morning to return home.

“On the way back the elder boy, covetous of the thousand cowries that had been given to the younger, led him off the path into the forest, and murdered him. Then he took the thousand cowries, added them to those which he already had,

and returned home.

“When he came back alone, his mother asked him where was his brother. ‘I left him behind on the road,’ said the boy.”The day passed, and night began to fall, and still the younger brother had not returned home. Then his mother and her neighbours went to look for the child, but they could not find him. They searched for him for many days, but found him not. They concluded that someone had carried him off to sell him.

“Some months afterwards the mother went into the forest to look for leaves for medicine, and she came to the place where the child had been murdered. The body of the boy had already decayed, and from his bones had sprung up an olu [an edible fungus]. The olu was very fine and large, and when the mother saw it she cried, Oh! what a fine olu.’ She was stooping down to pick it, when the olu began singing~–

‘Do not pluck me, mother,

Do not pluck me, mother,

Do not pluck me, mother,

I’m a lowly plant on the ground.

I went to the village frolic,

I went to the village frolic,

I’m a lowly plant on the ground.

I was given a thousand cowries,

I’m a lowly plant on the ground.

‘Do not pluck me, mother,

Do not pluck me, mother,

Do not pluck me, mother,

I’m a lowly plant on the ground.

‘My brother received a thousand cowries,

My brother received a thousand cowries,

I’m a lowly plant on the ground.

But he slew me here for my cowries,

I’m a lowly plant on the ground.’

“When the mother heard the olu sing this she ran home, called her husband, and the two returned to the forest. When the man saw the fine olu, he stretched out his hand to gather it, and the olu sang again-

‘Do not pluck me, father.’

(etc., etc., as before.)

The father went to the king of the country, and told him all that had happened. The king himself came to see the olu. He stooped to pick the olu, and the olu, sang-

‘Do not pluck me, oba.'[king]

(etc., etc., as before.)

Then the king sent and ordered the elder brother to be brought before him. And when the boy beard what the olu had sung he confessed. The king said, ‘As you took your brother and slew him, so will we now take you and slay you. Then shall the child come back to life.’

“So the elder brother was killed and the younger came back to life, as the king had said.”

What if this happened again or before in another age? What if in this account Ajaka was their father but had not yet become a king? What if in both accounts the murderer had begotten offspring before dying?

Thus far, it is very likely that the Fulani are the descendants of an ancestor who used to be the grandson of Oduduwa but was expelled. And it is therefore possible that after Cain was murdered by Abel he then resurrected while Abel was rejected. Covetousness is the motive for the murders in both accounts quoted above and is probably the reason for Abel’s murder of Cain. But it is difficult to see how “trespasser” could have been his original name. Perhaps it was a nickname, or perhaps it was actually his original name but with a different yet related translation. The associated -b-r- consonants are also seen in the names iber (Hebrew) and Apiru of the Jews and the Satan-worshipping Asiatics who invaded ancient Egypt respectively, and they both mean “pass through” which is to trespass, and suggest that the Jews openly admit that they are trespassers just like the Apiru. It is thus possible that the Fulani who willingly trespass had an eponymous ancestor who was known since birth for taking shortcuts.

Bibliography

Adesanya, AO. History of Ijebu Igbo. Lagos: The University of Lagos Library Press, 1981.

Ellis, Alfred Burton. The Yoruba-Speaking Peoples of the Slave Coast of West. London: Chapman and Hall, 1894.

IEP. 2015 Global Terrorism Index. Sydney, New York and Mexico City: Institute for Economics and Peace, 2015, 107.

Imhotep, Asar. “Who are the Hebrews?” The MOCHA-Versity Institute of Philosophy and Research, November 13, 2010.

Jackson, James Grey. An Account Of Timbuctoo And Housa, Territories In The Interior Of Africa. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, 1820.

Jeffreys, MDW. “Speculative Origins of the Fulani Language.” Africa 17, no. 1 (1947): 47-54.

Johnson, Samuel. The history of the Yorubas : from the earliest times to the beginning of the British Protectorate. Edited by Obadiah Johnson. Lagos: C.M.S. (Nigeria) Bookshops Lagos, 1921.

Johnston, HAJ. The Fulani empire of Sokoto. London: Oxford University Press, 1967.

Lange, Dierk. “Origin of the Yoruba and “The Lost Tribes of Israel”.” Anthropos, no. 106 (2011): 579-595.

Lange, Dierk. “Preservation of the Canaanite Creation Culture in Ife.” In Between Resistance and Expansion: Dimensions of Local Vitality in Africa, by Peter Probst and Gerd Spittler, 127-157. Münster: Beiträge zur Afrikaforschung n° 18, 2004.

Lange, Dierk. “The Bayajidda Legend and Hausa History.” In African Zion: Studies in Black Judaism, by Edith Bruder and Tudor Parfitt, 138-174. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, 2012.

Ogumefu, MI. Yoruba Legends. London: Library of Alexandria, 1929.

van Beek, WEA. “the Fulani jihad and its empire.” In The Quest for Purity: Dynamics of Puritan Movements, by WEA van Beek, 149-182. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter & Co, 1988.

Williams, Lizzie, and Mark Shenley. Nigeria. Bucks: Bradt Travel Guides, 2012.

 

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