TRADITIONS OF THE FULBE

The Fulbe, also known as Fula, Fulani, Pulaar, and Tukolor, are spread from Senegal to the northern Cameroon and even into the Sudan. This dispersal is the result of migrations out of Senegal, accomplished largely within the last six hundred years (the Tarikh es-Sudan speaks of the arrival of the Fulbe in Massina in the time of Sonni Ali Ber, ca. 1480). The Fulbe consider themselves originally to be cattle-herders, and some have claimed connections with the Saharan rock paintings of previous millenia and current Fulbe initiation symbolism. But the Fulbe have also established sedentary populations across this region, and these are not necessarily cattle-herders, although cattle remain an important part of their identity.

Beginning in the 18th century, or earlier in some parts, Islam became a dominant component of Fulbe identity as well, and the 19th century has been marked across the Sahel by wars of Muslim Fulbe expansion: Uthman Dan Fodio established the Sokoto Caliphate in northern Nigeria, which led to wars of conquest south and east; Cheikou Amadou Barry defeated the Bamana of Segou in Massina in 1818; al-Hajj Umar Tal led a Tukolor army through the Kaarta and Segou, before being killed, and his sons continued his rule; the almami of Timbo invaded Kaabu in the Gambia and destroyed the power of the nyanchos around 1867. As a result, the Fulbe became an aristocratic class in some areas.

Not all areas of Fulbe settlement offer epic traditions, and the relations among the traditions seem complex; it seems quite possible to me, on the basis of plot-lines and distribution, that the Fulbe adopted epic-singing in Massina and that the practice then spread to certain other areas of their diaspora. This is a question that I think needs further research, which will of course be complicated by the way in the modern era recordings of epics travel to and fro with some freedom.

This listing is divided into two parts: epics from the Futa Tooro, the area along the Senegal River, and epics from Massina and the eastern part of the Fulbe range.

FUTA TORO

Performer Title

Bibliographic Reference

Languages Date
Ceerno Daahiru Aan The Tooroobbe

Kane & Robinson, 17-23

Pulaar

bilingual

1968
Abdel Kader son of Fama Mademba Samba Gueladio

Equilbecq 1974, pp. 92-96

French 1914
Anonymous Origin of the Fulbe

Arnaud 1912 pp. 152-154

Soninke?

French

ca. 1905
The Denyanke dynasty

Arnaud 1912 pp. 176

Soninke?

French

ca. 1905
Samba Gueladio

Raffenel 1956, vol. 2/Equilbecq 1974

Fulbe

French

1846-1850
Ballade de Samba Foul

Berenger-Feraud Recueil pp. 39-49

French

French

1885
Samba Gueladio

Steff in Equilbecq 1974, pp. 97-100

French summary pre-1910
Koly Satigny

Berenger-Feraud Recueil pp. 211-218

French 1885
La naissance de Samba

Samba Ndaw Sar 1980, pp. 94-98

Pulaar

bilingual

pre-1980
Samba Gueladio

Gaden, le Poular, pp. 104-113

Pulaar

bilingual

pre-1913
Samba Gueladio

Frobenius, Atlantis VI pp. 233-246

Fulfulde

German

pre-1910
Samba Gueladio

Abel Sy memoire 1979-1980

Pulaar

bilingual

ca. 1975
Samba Gueladjie

Zeltner pp. 151-157

Fulfulde?

French

pre-1913
Histoire de Koli

Zeltner 63-72

Khassonke?

French

pre-1913
Demba Mallal Ba Ama Sam Poolel et Hammel Tyam

Meyer pp. 13-29

Pulaar

French

1976-1979
Kalidou Ba Jeunesse d'el-Hajj Oumar

Meyer 99-118

Pulaar

French

1976
Aali Gay Cam Njaak Moktar, His Life and Death

Kane and Robinson 1984, pp. 99-105

Pulaar

bilingual

1968
Aali Gay Cam [Caam] The Maadiyanke Movement

Kane and Robinson 1984, pp. 147-157

Pulaar

bilingual

1969
Sammba Jaadana

Kane and Robinson 1984, pp. 159-167

Pulaar

bilingual

1969
Guelaye Fall Segou Bali

Abel Sy 1978, pp. 16-39

Pulaar

Bilingual

ca. 1975
Balla Dierel

Abel Sy 1978, pp. 42-57

Pulaar

Bilingual

ca. 1975
Kaliidu Mammadu Gaajo Almaami Abdul, Aali Siidi and Aali Dunndu

Kane and Robinson 1984, pp. 53-63

Pulaar

bilingual

1969
Baani Giise Umar and the Jinns

Kane and Robinson 1984, pp. 123-127

Pulaar

bilingual

1968
Amadou Kamara Samba Gueladio

Correra 1992

Pulaar

bilingual

1975-80 ?
Ceerno Maajakite Siisee Kan The Almamate

Kane and Robinson 1984, pp. 75-81

Pulaar

bilingual

1968
Ceerno Baraahiima

Kane and Robinson 1984, pp. 139-145

Pulaar

bilingual

1969
Ceerno Saydu Kan The Raid on Mbummba

Kane and Robinson 1984, pp. 131-137

Pulaar

bilingual

1969
Elimaan Kaana Umar Kan The Alkaati of Mboolo

Kane and Robinson 1984, pp. 43-49

Pulaar

bilingual

1969
Oumar Kane Samba Gelajo-Jegi

Kane B.IFAN 32 (1970), 911-926

French prose 1970
Mamadou Kante Malik Sy et leBondou

Meyer 87-95

Pulaar

French

1976-79
Makan Sunjata et Simangourou

Meyer 141-146

Pulaar

French

1976-79
Adama Koume Guelel et Goumallo

Meyer 64-83

Pulaar

French

1976-1979
Ama Sam Poolel and Goumallo

Meyer pp. 30-63

Pulaar

French

ca. 1977
Yero Boubou Koume Gueladio

Meyer 181-190

Pulaar

French

ca. 1977
Gueladio et Fatimel Sire Bii Dane

Meyer 191-213

Pulaar

French

ca. 1977
Yero Maama et Saa

Meyer 228-239

Pulaar

French

ca. 1977
Boubakar Mamadou Samba Gueladio (I)

Equilbecq, Contes vol 2, pp. 3-40

French ca. 1910
Samba Gueladio (II)

Equilbecq 1974, pp. 64-85

Pigeon French ca. 1910
Farba Amayel Mbay Raid on Jaawut / Founding of Daabiya

Kane and Robinson 1984, pp. 83-80

Pulaar

bilingual

1968
Mammadu Njaari Mbeng The Toorobbe and the Deeniyankoobe

Kane and Robinson 1984 pp. 25-33

Pulaar

bilingual

1969
Sidi Mbothiel Goumalel Samba Diam Diallo

Ngaide 1981 pp. 35-87

Pulaar

bilingual

1973
Amadou Sam Polel et Hamme Thiamel

Ngaide 1981, pp. 91-161

Pulaar

Bilingual

1973
Silamaka et Poulori

Meyer 149-172

Pulaar

French

ca. 1977
Seykou Oumar and Tamba Boukari

Meyer 119-137

Pulaar

French

ca. 1977
Seegaa Ñang Sileymaani Baal and Abdul Kaader

Kane and Robinson 1984, pp. 35-41

Pulaar

bilingual

1968
The Death of Almaami Abdul

Kane and Robinson 1984, pp. 65-71

Pulaar

bilingual

1969
The Death of Abdul Bookar

Kane and Robinson 1984, pp. 169-179

Pulaar

bilingual

1969
Aamadu Weendu Noodi Njay Umar, Faidherbe, and the Holy War

Kane and Robinson, 1984 pp. 107-113

Pulaar

bilingual

1968
Hammadi Saayande Njay The Trial of Ceerno Faalil

Kane and Robinson 1984, pp. 115-121

Pulaar

bilingual

1968
Mamadou Pahel Naissance de Samba Galadiegui

Ndiaye 1980 pp. 99-113.

Pulaar

French

ca. 1975
Samba Gueladiegui

Amadou Ly, memoire 1987; 1991

Pulaar

Bilingual

1974
Sire Abbas Soh Chroniques du Fouta Senegalais

Soh, 1913.

Arabic ca. 1910?
Various Chroniques et récits du Fouta Djallon

Sow 1968

Fulfulde
Shaykh Banndel Wan The Wan

Kane and Robinson 1984, pp. 91-95

Pulaar

bilingual

1969


REFERENCES


Robert Arnaud. La singulière légendes des soninkés: traditions orales sur le royaume de Koumbi. In L'Islam et la politique musulmane en Afrique occidentale française. Paris, Comité de l'Afrique française, 1912.

L.B. Bérenger-Féraud. Recueil de contes populaires de la Sénégambie. Paris: E. Leroux, 1885. Nendeln: Kraus Reprint, 1970.

Maurice Delafosse. Traditions historiques et légendaires du Soudan Occidental. Publication du Comité de l'Afrique française. Paris. 1913.

François-Victor Equilbecq. Essai sur la littérature merveilleuse des noirs, suivi de Contes indigènes de l'ouest africain. 3 vols. Paris: Maisonneuve et Larose, 1913-1916.

---. La légende de Samba Guélâdio Digui Prince du Foûta. Dakar-Abidjan: Nouvelles Editions Africaines, 1974.

Leo Frobenius, Spielmannsgeschichten der Sahel. Atlantis VI. Iena, Eugen Diederichs, 1921. Reprint Martin Sändig.

Leo Frobenius and Douglas C. Fox (ed. and trans.). African Genesis. Berkeley, Turtle Island Foundation, 1983.

Henri Gaden. Le Poular: Dialecte peul du Fouta sénégalais. Paris: E. Leroux, 1913.

Moustapha Kane and David Robinson. The Islamic Regime of Fuuta Tooro. East Lansing, African Studies Center, Michigan State University. 1984.

Issaga Korera. Samba Guéladio: Épopée peule du Fuuta Tooro. Dakar: IFAN 1992, Initiations et études africaines 36.

Amadou Ly. trans. L'épopée de Samba Gueladiegui. Dakar: IFAN/UNESCO. Editions Nouvelles du Sud. 1991.

Gerard Meyer, ed. and trans. Récits épiques toucouleurs: la vache, le livre, la lance. Paris: Karthala/ACCT 1991.

Mamadou Lamine Ngaïde. Le vent de la razzia. Dakar: IFAN, 1981.

Samba Ndaw Sar. ed. "Les circonstances de la naissance de Samba." Demb ak Tey. 6 (1980). 94-98.

---. "Prédestination, héros et gumbala: l'exemple de Samba Gelaajo Jeegi" Demb ak Tey. 6 (1980). 12-23.

Siré Abbas Soh. Chroniques du Fouta Senegalais. ed. and trans. Maurice Delafosse and Henri Gaden. Paris: Leroux, 1913.

Alfa Ibrahim Sow. Chroniques et récits du Fouta Djallon. Paris: Librairie Klincksieck, 1968.

Amadou Abel Sy. Seul contre tous. Dakar-Abidjan. Nouvelles editions africaines. 1978.

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