The Fulani of Northern Niger Some General Notes

  • This a book I found online an account of the #fulani and #fulfulde as far back as #1945 a good read for those interested it also contains #language and grammar pointers for those who want to learn.

    The Fulani
    of Northern Nigeria
    Some General Notes by
    F. W. de St Croix
    Inspector of Livestock
    #Veterinary Dept., Nigeria

    1945 — (1437/45/550).


    The Fulani

    of Northern Nigeria
    Some General Notes
    F. W. de St #Croix
    Inspector of Livestock
    Veterinary Dept., Nigeria
    P age
    H istory ............................................................................................................ 5
    egendary Or i g i n .............................................................................................. 8
    h a r a c t e r ............................................................................................................ 9
    ode of L iving : M i g r a t i o n ................................................................ 10
    ecimation of H erds by D isease .................................................. 12
    omparison between #Nomadic and Settled Fulani .. 14
    ulture .. - ............................................................................................ 15
    iscipline and Leadership ................................................................ 17
    ontrol of Herds............................................................................................19
    ovement of Cattle ..............................................................................20
    attle Husbndry........................................................................................... 22
    conomic Products — Dairying . . .. .. .. 27
    easonal Grazing .. . . .. .. .. .. .. 30
    attle-t a x ..........................................................................................................34
    attle Markings and Enumeration ..................................................36
    arriage Customs and Inheritance ..................................................37
    ame of “ Soro ” ............................................................................................44
    ames and Festivals ..............................................................................46
    i e t ....................................................................................................................... 47
    uperstitious Beliefs, Rites and Practices .. . . 54
    ocabulary .. . . . . . . .. . . .. . . 68
    1945 — (1437/45/550)

    Some General Notes on the Fulani of
    Northern Nigeria
    THO anyone who has cared to follow up what little is known of
    the history of Fulani from early times, it appears evident that there
    were wide differences in status in their civilisation.
    Tradition is strong that Fulani originated somewhere “ to the East ” ;
    but historically it appears that early during the thirteenth century
    Fulani immigrated to the Hausa states and Bornu from the West —
    probably owing to some threat to their independence, demands for
    tribute, or the like.
    We are told of Fulani preachers of the doctrines of Islam in Bornu
    and in the Hausa states. Also of a nomadic class caring only for its
    herds and flocks ; holding itself strictly aloof from other races ; retaining
    to the full its racial characteristics and customs : herdsmen who cared
    little for religion and nothing for power ; but wholly for their livestock :
    they apparently paid some small tribute to the reigning chiefs.
    From the fifteenth century onwards members of the learned or
    ‘ aristocratic ’ class held high positions of office or rank as advisers,
    imams, judges, commanders of armies, and the like, in the states of the
    period, on account of their intellect. Besides this they formed states
    of their own. They became a ruling class : their independence of
    character appears at all times to have been acknowledged.
    At this period the nomadic tribes, in their mode of living, showed a
    like independent spirit; paying tribute or a grazing tax to those chiefs in
    whose lands they grazed their cattle ; but owing allegiance to none, and
    moving from territory to territory, at will, throughout the Western
    Sudan, from the upper reaches of the Senegal River to Lake Chad.
    In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries there were great numbers
    of Fulani in the Hausa states and western Bornu : each chief town had a
    Fulani quarter, the ruling class of Fulani having risen in position far
    above the herders of cattle and sheep ; intermarried with the families of
    the ruling negroid chiefs and, while retaining those Fulani characteristics
    of intellect and a capacity for administration, had lost, or were losing,
    their distinctive physical features and, in adopting many of the customs
    of the peoples with whom they merged themselves, were losing their
    own customs; the language of the country in most places replaced their
    own. This became more pronounced with the religious revival which
    commenced about 1804 when, in the Hausa states, the Fulani language
    (Fulfulde) of the ruling class was gradually replaced by Hausa, and a
    social amalgamation took place ; while, in Adamawa, intermarriage and
    concubinage ‘ corrupted ’ the Fulani blood, though there was no such
    merger as in the Hausa states, and the Fulani rulers did not abandon
    1 his religious revival followed upon the Fulani victory in what was,
    originally, a local fight for survival for all classes of the race against the
    Gobirawa ; following which the Fulani leaders — men of the ‘ aristocratic ’ class — went on to exploit their success, with those people of
    other races who would ally themselves to them and under their
    leadership ; and developed the religious revival into a conquest of the
    ‘ habe ’ rulers in order to obtain power over a great area. Apart from
    giving local, but yeoman, help in the initial fight for Fulani survival
    against the Gobirawa, it would appear that, in the subsequent movement
    to assume power and oust native rulers, the Nomadic Fulani took no
    further part.
    As will appear later, this mixing of the blood of the ruling classes
    made even greater the gulf between them and the nomadic classes.
    With both, independence and innate pride of race was, and still is,
    a chief characteristic. They consider all the negroid and negro races as
    inferior, ranking themselves as a red— or, as we should term it, white —
    race ; negroids and negroes as black. In this connection I would note
    that Europeans are referred to as ‘ wodebe ’ (singular, bodejo), the red
    (brown) men. But the nomadic classes had in those days - and still
    have — maintained their age-old exclusiveness, their customs and
    characteristics ; remain aloof, speaking their own language, uneducated,
    and retaining to a great extent the superstitious beliefs and fears which
    their forefathers held before the general spread of Islam. They
    describe themselves as being like birds— if one is touched, all the others
    fly away — an apt comparison. Their confidence's not easily gained ;
    but may be easily lost.
    During the unsettled times before the coming of the British, the
    Nomadic Fulani lived far from the towns in bush, usually in such large
    encampments that it would need a considerable force to make a
    successful raid on them : as skilled bowmen they were well able and, of
    course keen, to protect their cattle.
    Of the Settled Fulani, possessors in many cases of large numbers of
    cattle, the owners lived within the towns. The herd was penned near
    the town under the charge of a trusted slave, who had slave herdsmen
    to assist him if cattle were numerous. There also the owner would send
    his sons, in turn, to take part in the work until, after they had married,
    some would decide to dwell in the town, others to remain on the
    farmland and with' the flocks and herds. When the father died, the
    eldest son would take his place in the town, as head of the family.
    In the event of a cattle raid, one or more of the party were able to
    escape and run to the owner with the news, whereupon he would collect
    a body of men to overtake the raiding party and, where possible,
    recapture the cattle. By living in the town there was the added
    advantage that, although part of the family was surprised, there was
    always a stronger part left to retaliate.
    Then, as now, they farmed extensively, and practically all of them
    kept, as they still do, a number of sheep, goats and fowls. (It may be
    noted that Nomadic Fulani travel with their fowls and chickens.)
    At the present time many towns have a Fulani village adjacent to
    them, or Fulani camps are found grouped about at some little distance,
    in their own farmlands.
    As regards the relationship of the Nomadic Fulani with the rulers,
    it would appear that the majority of, if not all, such tribes had, from long
    ago, representatives of their own in the towns of the ruling chiefs.
    It is reasonable to agree with the Fulani assumption that this representation came about in such manner as that, as a young man, a member of a
    family of standing, perhaps the son of an ‘ ardo ’ (Fulani chief or
    leader), would decide to give up the nomadic life for that of scholarship
    and, having been given a wife, retire with her to a town. From time
    to time relatives would visit and stay with him, and exchange news :
    when a man of learning was required he would be called in by them.
    He would be given a voluntary ‘ fee ’ for his assistance, and presents
    would be given to him on various occasions. These dealings
    would not go on without the knowledge of the local ruler, who would
    receive his due portion from this man : moreover he would realise the
    value to him of one who knew of the movements of these Nomadic
    Fulani. On the other hand, it was safer for the Nomadic Fulani to
    have some connection with the rulers : for one thing, it would be known
    where there was any large body of cattle, and, without some such
    connection, the owners would be liable to attack from any quarter, so
    that, staunch fighters as they were, it would be advisable to be free at least
    from the cattle-raiding parties of the ruler in whose country they grazed
    their cattle, and an intermediary with the ear of the ruler would be an
    Thus the scholar would in many cases become the go-between in the
    ruler’s dealings with his nomadic relatives; and, in course of time, an
    intermediary between the ruler and the Nomadic Fulani frequenting the
    province. On entering the province for grazing, the leader of a tribe,
    or section of a tribe, would inform the ruler, through the intermediary,
    of his arrival and whereabouts. The nomads would escape the tax on
    industries and on farms, levied on the Settled Fulani; but seasonal
    presents of cattle would be made to the ruler, and his goodwill retained.
    It may be noted that, even now, the truth of an important resident
    Fulani chief’s estimate of the number of his own and his followers’
    cattle is accepted for tax purposes.
    Again, though chiefship among the Fulani is hereditary, it is liable to
    the choice of the members of the clan present, in that they may reject
    the eldest son of a deceased chief on account of his character, and elect a
    younger brother. On account of disputes, and lest trouble should arise
    later, the election of a chief might be done before the ruler, as witness,
    and as supporter of the chosen man should disagreement occur
    subsequently. (Election is confirmed by elder Fulani chiefs, who
    then give the new chief a few words of advice on leadership.)
    It became customary for the town-dwelling intermediary to follow the
    nomads, who had a connection with the ruler of a certain province in the
    manner described, into any other province to which they might have
    migrated, in order to collect from them the tribute ‘ chofal ’, paid in
    cattle. Such was the custom at the time of the British occupation,
    and it was continued for the next few years in the altered form of
    Cattle were given as ‘ zakat ’ (locally zakka) and, even now, some
    annually take out ‘ zakat ’ as a voluntary gift to the local Imam and to
    the ‘ modibbo ’ teacher of young disciples.
    The relationship between the chiefs of the nomads in bush and the
    important sedentary chiefs at the present day is remarked on later.
    Fulani legends regarding their origin, and the origin of their language
    and their cattle, vary considerably. As regards their origin, they
    always speak of it as having been from the E ast: an Arab connection is
    spoken of in these legends. As to the origin of their cattle, invariably
    in my experience, these originated “ from a river some speak of the
    Barebari — Kanuri — first having cattle, and of the Fulani acquiring
    cattle from them. The various legends are well known and some of
    them are in writing.
    One legend of the origin of the language is that a child was born who
    was not known to be a ‘ Fulani ’, since in those days there was no such
    language : later another child was born to the same mother. One day,
    not long after the younger child had been born, the mother went out to
    wash herself. The younger child started to cry during her absence,
    and while the mother was approaching the home on her return, she
    heard the elder child comforting the younger in words that she did not
    understand ; but which were understood by the younger child ; “ Jeda,
    inna ma wartai ” (“ Be quiet, your mother will come back ”). She
    called another, who also could make nothing of these words. Both
    children grew up speaking this — Fulani language; but they also
    understood the language of their mother. And this is the origin
    of the Fulani.
    As to the Fulani acquisition of cattle from the Barebari, the same
    narrator says that it was foretold that certa:'n riches would appear from
    out of the water : these riches were cattie : the S rati’en (Barebari) first
    obtained them : later two Fulani entered among them. These two
    withdrew to a place some distance away and lighted a fire and (the)
    cattle rose and went to where the fire was : this is how Fulani obtained
    A legend as to the origin of the Nomadic Fulani is that a woman of
    the Settled Fulani gave birth to a son. One day she quarrelled with
    her husband and left him in a temper, taking the child into bush.
    She put the child down, and after a while returned home, forgetting him.
    Later on he was missed and, though they went into bush and sought for
    him, he could not be found. The child grew up in the bush, and had
    become a youth, when one day a spirit appeared to him and informed
    him that, as he had lived all his life in the bush, so would he continue
    to live ; but that he would have riches : the spirit instructed him to go
    to the river and, when he saw a white cow come out of the water, he was
    to turn round and walk away from the river, and the cow would follow.
    The youth did as he was told : he saw the white cow come out of the
    water, turned round and walked away : he walked away for a long time,
    but at ast turned round to ook, unaware that, all this time, white cattle
    had been coming out of the river and following him, and that there was
    now a great number of them. Immediately he turned round they
    ceased to come out of the water. The last four were red cattle, and this
    exp ains why white cattle are far greater in numbers than red cattle.
    The youth continued to live in bush. He married an Arab g irl:
    they gave birth, and their sons and daughters, who were very lightskinned, married each other. Their cattle increased and increased in
    numbers. The descendants continued to marry between themselves :
    they have kept to the bush and do not go to the towns and marry.
    This version, given by a man of Jafun descent, appears to be
    appropriate to the Jafun tribes, which are divided, some being nomadic
    and others semi-nomadic, but of common origin.
    As to character, a Fulani or ‘Pullo* (pi. Fulbe) has an innate sense
    of what is decorous and proper ; is pohte and respectful in manner to his
    seniors : capable of great fortitude ; of bearing great pain or affliction
    without showing his feelings : reticent regarding his affairs and, as a rule,
    his wrongs, real or fancied. He has a deep sense of shame. Unjustly
    humiliated, he will never forget the wrong done to him — it is said that
    elders, in some such instances, pine away and literally die of shame.
    Justly punished for an offence he was wilfully committed, he is usually
    quick to “ forgive and forget ”. He is of a generally cheerful disposition.
    On the other hand, bad blood is engendered in “ affairs of the heart”,
    which may lead to woundings ; while there are some who will stoop to
    the meanest tricks in order to revenge themselves on another. Intrigue
    and jealousy occurs between office-seekers.
    As prevaricators and artists in subterfuge, Fulani (Fulbe) would I
    think, hold their own in any company. As a whole, Fulani are very
    quick tempered ; very sensitive ; easily take offence ; strongly resent an
    insult, which they do not take “ lying down after high words, however,
    the matter is usually considered over, especially where others intervene
    as pacifiers.
    In affrays in which staves, knives, swords, or other weapons are used,
    a Fulani will usually give a good account of himself: he is not liable to
    run away.
    Of the superior intelligence of the average Fulani there can be no
    doubt; but their character in general would appear to retard their
    advancement. Their suspicion of strangers, with attendant reticence
    and evasiveness making even friendly advances difficult; and their
    inherited feeling of superiority to those peoples among which they
    dwell; has maintained a barrier between themselves and all but
    a few outside their race.
    While the customs and characteristics of the various tribes of Nomadic
    hulani (or ‘Cow Fulani *, ‘Bush Fulani’, as they are often called) are
    varied to a considerable degree, one can generalise to some extent.
    Some customs are common also to the ‘Settled Fulani’, and certain
    remarks must apply to a greater or less extent to these.
    In considering Nomadic Fulani as a whole, the type ranges from those
    who never spend more than a few days in one place ; through those who
    have no centre to which they return for a season, but continue to wander
    with their whole family, making more or less prolonged seasonal camps
    in any locality which suits them ; to those who have a centre where the
    aged and some of the other members of the family remain, and which is
    visited from time to time by those members who graze the herds — such
    as some of the Kano country tribes which spend the rainy season about
    Bornu, Hadeiia and Katagum ; bring their cattle down to the proximity
    of their ‘ home town ’ ; leave some milking cattle and pick up dry
    cows and other stock, and proceed to the Nassarawa area of Benue
    Province for the dry season, returning North again with the advent of
    the rains.
    It will be found that the majority of these nomads have a more or less
    circumscribed circuit of seasonal grazing, unless and until something
    occurs to cause them to make up their minds to vary it and try their
    chances elsewhere.
    Many remain for several seasons about one area and then forsake it for
    another at greater or less distance ; possibly returning a few years later
    if they find the new area less suitable to their stock, or in their estimation
    in some other way unsuitable : such as some of the members of clans of
    Katsina — Kano origin, for many years moving about in the Southern
    areas of Sokoto Province, who went as far as the Bayaro area of Dahomey
    in the last four years, which excursion had not, I understand, been
    undertaken before ; but who are now returning.
    Major migrations take place over a series of years, a few members —
    the scouts — leading the way and sending back reports as to conditions,
    when, if favourable, others follow ; so that, gradually, some thousands
    of cattle belonging to many families are moved to a distance, the time
    elapsing before the movement is completed being numbered in years.
    Of this type is the movement off the Jos-Pankshin Plateau, commencing
    in 1932, and reaching the Chamba area of Southern Adamawa and Muri
    in 1933-35, whence many Fulani passed East to the Cameroon Highlands.
    This gradual movement — they may spend some seasons^ route— was
    still in progress when I visited Southern Adamawa in 1937 and met
    Fulani whom I had known about Pankshin in 1930.
    I am told, however, that the movement onward into French Territory
    to the East received a check when the authorities there prevented some
    of the Fulani, who wished to return, from bringing their cattle with
    them, so that those following did not go forward as they had intended.


    Mention of the Kano-Katsina Fulani above, as being in the Southern
    part of Sokoto Province, recalls to mind another big migration, of
    Fulani from Daura, the elders of which say came about on account
    of a desire for new grazing grounds. This movement was gradual,
    via Zungeru area, thence to Kontagora area, whence some pushed on
    to Yauri Emirate and the Southern part of Gwandu Emirate, and more
    to the hill areas of Rijau and Zuru, which they reached about 1907-1908.
    They are present in these areas in large numbers, with big herds of
    cattle, which they say have increased considerably in numbers during
    this period. Their important chiefs came with them and remained
    in central positions : their descendants now retain these chiefships.
    As in past times, the movements appear to be due to two main
    reasons : a search for new pastures and an unexpressed, but nevertheless
    keen, desire for independence and freedom from what they consider
    unwelcome interference and supervision by authority.
    Following the British occupation of Kano and Sokoto in 1901, there
    were considerable migrations of Nomadic Fulani, and many have never
    returned : these migrations appear to have included many Wodabe.
    The first great reason for these movements, the never-ending search
    for new pastures, includes a strong desire to keep their cattle away
    from those of the Settled Fulani, which they accuse of bringing and
    spreading cattle diseases wherever they go, and which, in these days,
    are for ever invading areas hitherto almost the preserve of the Nomadic
    Regardingthis distrust of the cattle of the Settled Fulani, the Nomadic
    tribes, wherever that may be, keep their cattle well apart from those of
    local Fulani. On each occasion on which I have visited the Chamba
    area of Southern Adamawa, I have been urgently requested by the
    nomads to supply a separate inoculation ground for them : they kept
    their cattle separate from those of the settled Adamawa Fulani, which
    were “ full of diseases” , and did not wish to mix with them at an
    inoculation camp. At our camp in Yauri Division of Sokoto they
    always have the greatest suspicion of the non-nomadic herds which
    come in, keeping their cattle well apart from those of the Settled Fulani,
    and virtually reserving one end of the inoculation ground. In both
    cases they keep the cattle apart during the period of quarantine and on
    the day of release. I was told recently that a considerable number
    of Siwalbe who had for some years been in Nassarawa area of Benue
    Province, to which they came from Kano and Bornu, had returned
    whence they came owing to the increasing prevalence of Settled Fulani
    Sections of various tribes or clans may be found over an area of
    thousands of square miles, in many instances sections being so far
    separated that they have no knowledge of each other, though they
    acknowledge being of the same tribe. In an area favoured by Nomadic
    Fulani it is usual to find families of a number of clans (of, for example,
    Kano Province origin) often lightly interconnected by tie of locality ;
    such families, or parties of families, keeping their camp, or camps,
    separate from those of the other clans, though freely mingling socially.

    1 1

    It is interesting to find, on making enquiry, that so many ascribe
    their origin to so few small places, notably the large numbers who
    claim origin from places in Katsina and Kano Provinces, for example,
    Bebeji; Shanono (which the majority of Siwalbe speak of as their
    place of origin); and the numbers of Jafun origin.
    In many cases the connections refer to the comparatively distant
    past, neither the informant nor his father having even visited the place
    of origin. It would appear that they often have reference to that time
    when some early ancestor, perhaps the clan founder — since genealogies
    are not traced as far back as the clan founder or common ancestor —
    found a favourable spot about which he grazed his cattle for some
    period. As the family group (or patrilinear clan) increased and the
    number of cattle multiplied, the group or clan would split up. Then,
    as now, the cattle would be divided, and the younger members seek
    more extensive pasture grounds, thus easing the local pastures and
    ensuring that they did not become cattle-fouled, and at the same time
    minimizing the risks of an outbreak of disease.
    While the elders might remain as a family centre to which the
    younger members returned at intervals, gradually the group would
    split up as those who married, and were given or inherited cattle,
    became independent and in their turn had offspring. Then, as now,
    members would from time to time visit their relatives until the death
    of those nearer related to them, or distance and, in the old days, the
    dangers of travel, severed the link and created a separate entity.
    Nevertheless, there is constant intercourse over vast distances;
    visitors are constantly coming and going, or emissaries being sent from
    place to place ; while those on a journey avidly exchange news and
    gossip with acquaintances they meet. The speed with which these
    Fulani transmit news is proverbial. The whereabouts of any head of
    a family of Nomadic Fulani, within an area considerably greater than,
    for instance, Sokoto Province, is usually ascertainable without having
    to ask more than one or two members of the Nomadic clans.
    In the period of misrule by the Fulani overlords during the latter
    part of the nineteenth century, Nomadic Fulani did not escape cattleraiding parties sent out by rulers into adjacent countries against which
    they were warring ; but they were less easy to discover than the Settled
    Fulani, and in many cases the wildness of their cattle militated against
    the success of the raiders in getting them all home.
    At the coming of the British it was found that there was a ‘ tax ’
    on nomadic cattle, apparently little more than a grazing fee or tribute,
    or as much as could be obtained in cattle from the owners, since no
    general rate was imposed and, doubtless, then as now, owners had
    little to learn in ways of evading payment.
    Of profound influence on the history of the cattle-owning Fulani
    are great losses of cattle through disease, chief of which has been
    Rinderpest. In the years 1887-1891 a great outbreak of Rinderpest
    decimated the herds of cattle-owners. Starting apparently about
    Darfur, the disease reached what is now the French Colonie du Tchad
    in 1886, spreading straight from East to West. In the greater part of
    present-day Nigeria the disease wiped out the great majority of cattle.
    This outbreak was commonly known in Hausa as ‘ Sannu ’, from the
    Hausa greeting used as an expression of sympathy. The older men
    tell one terrible stories of those days. Attempts were made, by some,
    to fly from the disease and preserve their cattle. Fulani, having lost
    all — or nearly all — their cattle, became demented: many are said to
    have done away with themselves. Some roamed the bush calling
    imaginary cattle: assaults on persons for imagined provocation or
    suspected derisive remarks as to loss of cattle were common. When
    the outbreak had spent itself and passed on, Fulani of the eastern areas
    of what is now Nigeria renewed their cattle from parts of Adamawa
    that had escaped, while those to the West obtained the almost
    humpless ‘ Keteji ’ type kept by the Borgu Fulani from time
    immemorial, hardly cattle of the bush and hills of Borgu, Kaiama and
    Nikki, which had apparently escaped the ravages of Rinderpest to
    a considerable extent. So great was the demand for cattle that, locally,
    it was common in many places to offer large prices for the unborn calf.
    In 1913-1914 was a further widespread outbreak causing tremendous
    losses, following a great drought and famine over a large area : this was
    known by some as ‘ Gamagari ’ (Hausa), from its being general over
    a wide area.
    Again, in 1919-1920, another widespread outbreak devastated
    Fulani herds ; “ So that even hyaena did not eat the bodies of the dead
    cattle.” It was known by some as ‘Docchal’, because of the
    few cattle it spared in a herd ; 4 docchal5 being Fulani for a remainder
    or remnant.
    The disease, of course, took its toll in the years between these great
    outbreaks, and continued to do so, to greater or less extent, until the
    introduction of preventive inoculation by the Veterinary Department,
    which quickly became popular, and within a few years this scourge
    of the Fulani was under control. The losses in cattle must have been
    enormous : even now many Fulani say that they have by no means the
    number of cattle which they used to possess before the latter outbreaks.
    While some were fortunate and able to keep going the strain of cattle
    they had inherited, many were reduced to such nonderscript herds as
    they could build up in the course of time, so long as they consisted
    of cattle of some so rt; perhaps establishing a type later, as the herd
    grew. A common explanation for possessing cattle of a type differing
    from those traditionally possessed by the tribe (for example, a Bodado,
    whom one would expect to have red cattle, possessing those of ‘ White
    Kano ’ type) is a laconic ; “ Soinde na’i ” — “ Lack of cattle.” Following
    repeated outbreaks, many of the Settled Fulani have never replaced
    their lost herds.
    Of the Nomadic Fulani, it may be said that cattle are his life ; they
    are “ in the blood ” : he has no other trade, and he may have no other
    possession — some do not even keep sheep as a side-line. Without
    cattle he is lost. Should he be deprived of all his cattle through disease
    or other misfortune, his one idea is to re-establish a herd. It is a
    characteristic that in many instances, if they have escaped his misfortune,
    his relatives and friends will help him with gifts of cattle. Otherwise
    he must make shift for himself. He will tend a herd for another, who
    lacks a son or other suitable herdsman, for his keep and for a gratuity
    of a heifer, preferably, or a young bull, at the end of the season.
    He will undertake a spell of labour, more frequently cultivating
    a farm for a season or two, moving to a village for the purpose : any
    shift which will mean cattle of his own eventually, and future independence. It is not uncommon to hear of a man restarting a herd literally
    “ ab ovo ” — purchasing a hen, setting the eggs, setting the eggs of the
    progeny ; selling some of the fowls and buying a goat or goats and,
    eventually, from their increase, being able to purchase a heifer. It is
    well known that a Fulani will practise great self-denial when the
    necessity arises.
    Some of the differences between Nomadic and Settled Fulani,
    as seen at the present day, are significant of the gulf that lies between
    .them in social outlook.
    The Settled Fulani scorn the Nomadic types for their laxity in their
    religious outlook, and undoubtedly adhere far more strictly to the
    tenets of Islam : whereas they keep their wives in seclusion — the
    modified purdah of the common people of these areas — the Nomadic
    tribes have no purdah. The Settled Fulani has his marriage legalised
    according to Muhammadan law. The nomads have a procedure which
    entirely dispenses with any legal form, and there is a system of informal
    divorce and remarriage with no period of ‘ iddat ’ before a woman may
    be remarried. (Frequently a married woman will meet by arrangement another Fulani who will take her to his home and, paying the
    bride price, marry her without further ceremony.)
    The Nomadic tribes say that the Settled Fulani marry without sound
    order or sense and without selection ; hold them in contempt for
    marrying non-Fulani, scorning them for tainting the blood.
    While the Settled Fulani look on the nomads as ‘ pagan ’, the nomads
    look on them as ‘degenerates*.
    They do not seek each other in marriage or, if so, such is still unusual,
    exceptions being such instances as when, for example, on account of
    not begetting progeny, a nomad is advised to marry a woman of a tribe
    of Settled Fulani.
    Again, the Settled Fulani may scoff at the Nomadic for living
    under hard conditions — “ too mean to part with a beast in order
    to live well ” — getting little out of life, exposed to all weathers
    and growing old quickly in looking after their livestock ; while the
    Nomadic say the Settled Fulani are poverty-stricken, and accuse
    them of selling their stock in order to satisfy their desires, luxuries
    in food, fine clothing and the like.
    Fulani whose main interest is in cattle-rearing often say that their
    chief reason for not building themselves better houses, such as claybuilt, thatched huts, in place of rough shelters constructed of leafage,
    grass, cornstalks, bamboo branches, and the like, where circumstances
    may well permit of such— for instance, where they have a permanent
    centre—is that this would tend to make them lazy and neglect their
    cattle, especially at night and early morning.
    The great majority of typical Nomadic Fulani do not farm except,
    as a rule, through poverty of cattle ; or prefer, if cash is available, to
    hire others to do the work. In saying; “ I have never used a hoe
    and, God willing, I never shall” , the speaker indicates that it would
    only be through misfortune and loss of his cattle that the necessity to
    farm would arise. Further, of course, to one not brought up to it,
    hoeing, never a light task, is heavy work.
    This would not refer to such as a number of the Jafun tribes who
    farm an area, usually near a ‘ habe * (i.e. non-Fulani) village, store
    their crops at the village, and then proceed with their cattle to the dry
    season grazing areas. One would more properly class these sections
    as semi-nomadic.
    It is common to find Nomadic Fulani living in contiguity with pagan
    tribes : it is convenient to the Fulani to live near pagans, and, in many
    areas, a pagan hamlet in cattle-grazing country will not be in existence
    for two years but a Fulani makes his encampment close to it.
    From the pagans the Fulani family will obtain food and other
    commodities at cheap rates : milk can be easily exchanged for corn
    et cetera, and the Fulani do not, therefore, have to sell a beast from
    time to time, as would probably be the case in ‘Hausa’ country, where
    it would be necessary to have cash available to supplement that realized
    by the sale of dairy produce, in order to buy foods.
    At harvest time is the advantage of stubble grazing on the pagans*
    farms. (In some cases, but relatively few, manuring is valuable to the
    pagans.) A more subtle reason is that often the guileless, good-natured
    pagan leads himself into being made useful, even to the extent of
    bringing together a band of workers to help his “ Fulani friend, who
    is badly off for man-power, to get some little farming done ” .
    They do not intermarry, neither side desiring the other in marriage.
    Literacy is practically non-existent among the Nomadic Fulani :
    there are few educated persons able to read and write Arabic, much less
    those learned in Muhammadan doctrine, among them ; nor do they put
    their sons to the schools. In one large area popular to these Fulani —
    numbering hundreds — I know of none who is literate among the
    tribes represented locally, though there are two members of the
    Ba’en tribe, neither of whom are in the area, who are learned scholars.
    The lack of learning among them is accounted for, by them, by their
    being fully occupied with their cattle — as is said ; “ A man of property
    has no time to spare.” It would be possible, having lost his cattle, or
    handed them over to the care of others, for a man to dwell in a town
    and within a short time become a ‘ modibbo ’ (man of letters), having
    no other work with which he must occupy himself, and thus applying
    himself wholeheartedly to scholarship. It is obvious and, indeed,
    agreed by all, that the nomads are quick learners and intelligent
    The Nomadic Fulani are undoubtedly, as a whole, lax in their
    attitude to religion. I have read, and heard the statement made, that
    they are pagans ; but personally I do not know of a camp in which the
    orthodox Muhammadan devotions are entirely disregarded, while it is
    usual to find that a number of persons of each camp are in possession
    of a rosary.
    They may be, and in many cases indubitably are, very wayward,
    frequently breaking the laws of ‘ haram ’ (utterly forbidden). Their
    marriage customs are commented on elsewhere. Moreover their
    superstitions, belief in omens, rites and practices proceeding from
    superstitious belief, are often marked to a degree.
    Many of the younger members appear especially lax, and some of the
    elder never abandon their lax ways ; though others, as they advance in
    years, pay more attention to religion. It is not uncommon to find, in a
    younger man at least, when required to take oath upon the Koran, that
    it is necessary to enquire further as to his knowledge of the set daily
    devotions for, though he says he does perform them, it is often found
    that his is only a very superficial knowledge, and he is not fit to take the
    oath in that manner.
    While the strictly orthodox may contemptuously dismiss them as
    ‘ pagans’, enquiry would reveal them to be ignorant Muhammadans ;
    at the lowest, nominal Muhammadans.
    There is a ‘ Fulani code’, ‘ Pulaku ’ (the word has other meanings),
    which is common to all Fulani, though variously interpreted according
    to public opinion of the various communities. Pulaku deals
    with morais and manners which regulate the conduct of a Fulani in his
    dealings with others of his race and people of other races ; the proper
    behaviour as between young people and elders ; customs and principles.
    While public opinion usually guides the enforcement of this moral code,
    hearings, decisions, and penalties for breaches, may rest in the hands of
    Out of respect for them, Fulani do not use the names of certain
    relatives when speaking of them. Most usually such include the name
    of one’s husband, the father of one’s wife or of one’s husband, and the
    mother of one’s wife or husband, sometimes of one’s father.
    A person with the same name as one’s father may be addressed as ;
    My father’s namesake”, in order to avoid mentioning the name.
    The Nomadic Fulani appear to carry the custom further than other
    types, and may include the seniors of the community ; the friends, being
    contemporaries, of their father ; the maternal uncle.
    Some do not speak the name of the local ruler (common also to the
    Hausa), nor of their own chief or ‘ ardo \
    A period of some forty years of peaceful conditions, following the
    establishment of British administration, has naturally had some effect on
    the Nomadic Fulani, with changed conditions everywhere about them.
    Prior to this era, few of them spent any time in the villages — it was
    not safe for them to do so, as they might be held to ransom to be paid in
    cattle by their relatives. Nowadays it is common to find that a
    considerable proportion of the elders, and others who do not graze the
    cattle, spend much of the time in nearby villages, returning to the camp
    at evening. There is today less necessity to guard flocks and herds
    There is also a tendency in some quarters to a breakdown of some of
    the old customs, such as the traditional custom of inheritance giving
    way to the distribution of the estate according to Muhammadan law ;
    marriage customs, and the like.
    It is regrettable to find, during this period, that at least one instance
    of the lack of the stricter morals of other days has, in some families,
    brought retribution. Women visiting the towns to sell dairy produce
    in past days would scorn to accept the advances of a townsman, whereas
    in these days some are not averse to acceding, with the result that a
    number of half-Fulani progeny are born into the families : considerable
    trouble is now often experienced by the older Fulani, where this has
    occurred, to get them to take an interest in the cattle : older men
    deplore the fact that they cannot get youths to remain at the camp ; the
    recalcitrant youths behave to their elders as no true-born Fulani son
    would to his parent.
    In pagan areas where brewing and fermenting of alcoholic drinks is
    not restricted, a deal of drinking is indulged in by a number of the men :
    this is true of some sections which have left the more strictly Muhammadan areas in comparatively recent times, and who used not to drink.
    Even so, a laxity in certain directions, and a tendency towards easier
    living, does not appear to be general, and has hardly affected the customs
    of large numbers of them : the old customs still hold : residence in, and
    migration to, the less thickly populated areas among unsophisticated
    peoples, and age-old traditions that have stood the test of time and
    varying conditions, would appear to be factors in ensuring their
    Fulani used to have their own method of dealing with criminal
    offenders among themselves, such matters being in the hands of a
    council of elders called together for the purpose. Except in the case of
    slaves, no imprisonment took place, since it is supposed in the case of
    Fulani that, if imprisoned, their fortune is dissipated for ever. Nor
    Would the offender be driven away, such being shameful to the particular
    community to which he belonged. The method was to take some of
    his livestock. A bull might be taken and slaughtered and the whole
    community partake of the m eat: or stock sold and the proceeds
    distributed among them. In the case of manslaughter, compensation
    for the relatives of the dead person (diyya), also, was exacted, and to
    double, or more than double, the amount of that imposed by a court.
    Perhaps, from a herd of 100 head of cattle, twenty or thirty head would
    be taken, some twenty or so for the relatives, and the remainder for the
    collected elders for their trouble, especially onerous in such cases, in
    persuading the injured parties to forgive, and avoiding what might
    well become a 4 blood-feud \
    It is thought that these Fulani ‘ courts ’ persisted up to some twenty
    years ago.
    Where a young man takes to extravagant ways, enjoying the pleasures
    of the towns, fine clothes and the like, to the extent that he makes
    inroads in the herd, cattle being sold to raise cash, he is not infrequently
    expelled from the home by his father or elders, or, otherwise, leaves
    home after having been reprimanded, preferring to wander abroad.
    As to leadership, naturally the Nomadic Fulani have their own
    leaders and spokesmen.
    Usually the more important chiefs remain about one place, generally
    in the vicinity of a town, for a number of years, with only a small
    following of near relations, and a few cattle : they do not move about
    with the larger numbers of cattle ; the members of the clan grazing the
    herds elsewhere, and not settling by their chief. If he possesses a
    number of cattle, beyond those kept nearby him, he may see them at
    the times at which the seasonal grazing brings them into the vicinity,
    or perhaps not for a few years. Frequently such a chief owns
    comparatively few cattle.
    It is usual to find that a man who has successfully kept together
    a large herd, and is considered to have good fortune, has a following ;
    having with him his sons and their families ; his younger brothers and
    his nephews, and their children. Such a man may assume or acquire
    a title, and a title is inherited by a son or brother.
    A chief (for example, 4 ardo ’, = leader) has little or no authority
    beyond his closer relatives. The clan will, of itself, collect round a
    good ‘ ardo ’— he has not the authority to collect it ; but will disperse
    from an unpopular one.
    A successful man, having collected a considerable following, would
    assume a title in an area other than that wherein the senior chief
    remains : should he visit the area in which the chief dwells, even
    though this chief should be poor in cattle, he would still acknowledge
    him as his superior in chiefship, and profess his own allegiance, and
    would, if in the vicinity, pay him a courtesy visit. If he had dealings
    with the local ruler, such would be done through the medium of, or
    in company with, this resident ‘ ardo ’ or chief. Thus, at a giver
    time in a certain area or emirate, some clans will be found to have nc
    chief, while some have more than one. Members of a section of ont
    tribe with no local leader or 'ard o ’, having become separated bj
    distance from any chief of their own, sometimes attach themselves
    to some other tribe or section of a tribe, with whom they are or have
    been in some way associated, such as tie of locality of origin, who have
    a leader or chief who is in contact with the ruler of the area in which
    they are grazing, or in an adjacent area.
    A typical ‘ Cow ’ Fulani knows his cattle individually : while he may
    not know exactly how many he has, he does know if one is missing,
    and which individual animal this is, and will avoid no exertions in
    searching for it until discovered. There are names for an almost
    infinite number of combinations of hair colours, and by these names
    the cattle are known : the individual animal is often spoken to by that
    name and, when a Fulani is moving his cattle, many of the cries, which
    appear to the uninitiated to be nothing more than vague noises made
    to the herd, are, in reality, calls to individual animals.
    Further, it is to be remarked that these Fulani are able to identify
    the animal of a neighbour’s herd, even though not of the same camp
    or clan, and, from its characteristics, to name the line on the female
    side, in that herd, from which it has been bred ; so that, if butchers
    are seen to be leading a beast to the town, the remark ; “ That is from
    so-and-so’s herd ” , is a commonplace.
    The ease with which the majority control their cattle — often none
    too tame — is often commented on, small boys being quite capable of
    controlling a considerable herd out to graze.
    Sometimes control is so good that, should the herdsman desire to
    keep the wherebouts of the cattle secret, one may pass close by a herd
    in bush without hearing a sound or knowing that there is a herd within
    miles, the cattle having remained quite still, being trained to follow the
    herdsman, and when he stops, as if to listen for pursuers, to remain
    together, silent, and also listening for any sound from that direction.
    I have watched cattle at a camp walk quietly, one by one, into bush
    when the owner, not wishing me to inspect them closely, spoke to them
    in undertones — in the intervals explaining to me how he could not
    keep the herd together. On another occasion, I have heard the light
    tapping of a staff on a tree send the cattle helter-skelter to the sleepingplace, at a distance, where they all faced about in the direction of our
    approach : here they could be inspected at will and remain perfectly
    quiet, whereas in bush they would have scattered ; some herds being
    so trained — a device dating from the old days, but still found very
    convenient on certain occasions.
    It is not uncommon to see a whole herd follow the leadership of the
    herdsman at a quick run. Swimming cattle over broad rivers, the
    cattle following the herdsman, is a specialised a r t: where cattle are not
    used to it, it is hard work getting them to enter the deep w ater; for
    several days the cattle may break back and have to be collected for
    the morrow’s attem pt: finally, on occasions, some other known crossing
    may have to be tried, all attempts having failed : extra precautions,
    with canoe-men in attendance, are commonly taken.
    These ‘ Cow * Fulani take a pride in their cattle, and take care of
    them : great is the scorn expressed when tick-ridden animals are seen
    in another’s herd — an obvious sign of lack of attention.
    Pack-oxen, whose early training is confined to carrying the picketingropes or other light bundles, are commonly used for transport, though
    donkeys may be used to carry young children and the aged. Some
    of the larger oxen are a fine sight, carrying the bamboo branches
    ‘ kewe ’ (which constitute the portable shelters of a number of nomads) ;
    the household and milking utensils, calabashes, corn-mortars and the
    like ; while it sometimes takes a second look to find some young children
    perched securely among these articles, almost as young birds in a nest.
    A number of — or at the least a few — sheep are more frequently
    kept than n o t: they can be disposed of when the smaller needs for ready
    cash arise, obviating the necessity to sell from the herd. Cattle may
    be sold at any time ; as needs for clothing arise ; on occasions
    of the arrival and entertainment of visitors; for celebrations
    and other expenses after childbirth, etc. ; to meet cattle-tax; or
    to buy food if this is short on account of the amount of dairy
    produce for disposal being small. The average Fulani does not
    trust himself to keep intact any considerable amount of money for any
    length of time.
    Before moving their herds from one area to another, or when on the
    move, nomads are careful to make extensive enquiries as to the state
    of the area into which they propose moving, gathering all the news
    they can, especially as regards cattle diseases or absence of disease,
    and sending members out well in advance for this purpose.
    The same holds good, in my experience, in the case of cattle inoculation
    camps, when a scout is sent on to enquire regarding all conditions :
    this scout is probably never known to the Veterinary staff; but even
    if he is known, it will not be any propaganda by the staff which will
    decide him whether to recommend his people to bring their cattle or
    n o t: they will go on his report of what he has gathered from Fulani
    and what he has seen with his own eyes. More than once, on noticing
    a stranger, I have told him to look round his friends’ inoculated cattle
    and see how they have fared ; receiving the reply ; “ I have already
    done that.”
    Although, with the freer movement of all types of cattle-owner
    since the British occupation, avoidance of contagious diseases is less
    easy (a disgruntled old Fulani once said to me ; “ I never saw all these
    different diseases until after the ‘ white men ’ came : my cattle were all
    right until everything was changed by them ”), these Fulani are successful, often over a long period of years, in keeping their herds free from
    them. Their calculations are sometimes upset by the presence of
    Rinderpest in wild ruminants and pig. I recollect a case of this a few
    years ago, when a member of the Bagananko’en, with his extensive
    family, brought a total of some 1,600 head of strong and very wild
    cattle to our Talata Mafara (Sokoto Province) camp. In conversation
    with one of the sons, aged about 24 or 25, I found that he had never
    previously seen Rinderpest in their herds : but that some cattle had
    recently become infected through contact with bush animals, and the
    whole party, which had been more or less together, had decided to come
    in for anti-Rinderpest inoculation at once : happily they lost very few
    cattle. I know, at the present time, of parties of families with large
    numbers of cattle — in two cases they number well over a thousand
    head — in a comparatively small, but somewhat isolated area, which
    have for many years not experienced Rinderpest, nor have they ever
    brought their cattle for inoculation. I (and they as well) know of other
    parties which have within recent years lost up to, and over, 90 per cent
    of cattle from a natural outbreak of Rinderpest; yet they appear to
    prefer to take their chance rather than risk some mortality following
    inoculation, and bringing their herds out of their isolation into close
    contact with the herds of other owners.
    Some of the older men have a surprising knowledge, extending over
    a vast area, of details of the reputation of grazing areas both good and
    bad : and take great care to avoid those where ‘ hendu ’ or ‘ ladde ’
    has been known to cause a mortality, even though it were twenty or
    more years ago : since ‘ hendu ’ would include such spore-forming
    diseases as Anthrax, their attitude would appear to be well-founded.
    It would seem that, following the death of such older men, knowledge
    of this kind is allowed, in some cases, to die with them, or cautions
    are ignored by their successors. As a case in point, some condition of,
    or at the time of, the ‘ black-waters ’ of the mid-December — mid-March
    Niger floods, is known to have seriously affected herds, and caused a
    great mortality in certain years, though not recently : the people who
    have grazed in these areas in the southern part of Sokoto Province for
    years, withdraw their cattle from about the river until these floods are
    passed : but some nomads who have recently arrived in the area are
    apparently unaware of this state of things (their elders having died,
    they moved away from an adjacent area where they had grazed for some
    years), or have not heeded warnings : locally there is much shaking of
    heads over their folly, for it is not doubted that a mortality will recur
    sooner or later.
    It sometimes occurs that young men — this applies more to nonnomads— sent off for the dry season grazing grounds, discover an
    area of good grass which others appear to have missed, although
    adjacent areas are full of cattle ; and only discover some time later,
    through the appearance of, for instance, Trypanosomiasis, that there
    was very good reason for the area being left ungrazed.
    The waters of various streams and pools are very generally considered
    responsible for a subsequent outbreak of 4 Sammore ’, which term
    includes Trypanosomiasis ; and are referred to, by some, as ‘ ndiyam
    kewe’, that is, the water by which the bamboo Oxytenanthera
    abyssinica abounds— where tsetse are probably present— which water
    is said by them to affect humans as well.
    Cattle are considered to be 4 salted * to Trypanosomiasis in the course
    of two years. However, heavy losses from this disease may occur in
    herds in certain years, notably following a hard dry season which has
    left cattle thin and weak. I have noticed that some owners spend a
    season away from a known tsetse-infected area before coming in for
    anti-Rinderpest inoculation ; return to their 4 fly ’ area for two or three
    seasons, and then repeat the procedure; which indicates that they
    realise that trypanosome infected cattle have little reserve of resistance
    against an added strain.
    In following a policy of isolation from contagious diseases, it has
    been the custom to break up herds and avoid having “ all one’s eggs
    in one basket ” by herding groups of cattle separately on different
    pasturages. For similar reasons it was, and is, not usual to bring all
    Rinderpest-susceptible cattle for inoculation at one time, though in
    some cases even the Nomadic Fulani now do this— apart from young
    calves ; but still with some trepidation lest some untoward happening
    Apart from this precaution, the various sections of Nomadic clans
    do not make encampments close to each other. They do not buy in
    cattle, except from a kinsman who may wish to realise for cash in order
    to buy clothing, salt, etc., and then only a beast which they know through
    having spent the season together with the owner. An exception is
    importation of bulls from owners of certain types of cattle renowned
    for their good qualities, as the 4 Jabtoji ’ type among the red longhorns ;
    or some similar particular circumstance ; but never from a stranger
    or in the m arket: the Settled Fulani often do buy thus, and perhaps
    purchase beasts which may have been hawked round several m arkets;
    in this way they frequently introduce disease into their herds.
    By this system, combined with that of obtaining news of outbreaks
    of disease, the nomads reckon they are well able to avoid those contagious
    diseases which are not endemic. In Nigeria, as a whole, their one
    great fear is an outbreak of Rinderpest, which they cannot, in the main,
    avoid, since they may inadvertently cross the trail of Rinderpest
    infected cattle or bush animals, or water their cattle at the same place.
    Calves are generally considered immune from (or at most suffer
    a very mild attack of) Rinderpest, if their dams have had the disease
    until the rain of the wet season following that in which they are born
    strikes them ; which means that they are immune until they are several
    months old, as to the majority, since most are dropped during the hot
    season just prior to the rains (the time of the early tornados), and
    during the early rains.
    According to some — the following was given by an elder of a
    Rahaji clan — the site of an outbreak of Rinderpest or Contagious
    Bovine Pleuro-pneumonia is considered clear after two months : the
    spot where a Pleuro-pneumonia death occurred must be burned over.
    If during the rains, Rinderpest and Pleuro-pneumonia infected land
    must not be grazed over for ten days, so that rain may clean it.
    Land infected with ‘ Hendu ’— which may include Blackquarter
    and Anthrax— may not be grazed for two years (though others may
    do so— some are said to have a charm or preventative against it).
    If cattle die at a wet season camp from ‘ Hendu,’ then cattle which
    are put o?T the site of that camp the following wet season will die ;
    but a hot season outbreak does not have this ill effect. No doubt
    ideas on the subject vary considerably.
    The majority of nomads, and some others, warn nearby cattle-owners
    of an infection in their cattle, so that these neighbours may have the
    opportunity of moving their herds away, and an arrangement as to
    separate pasturing and watering places is made. Non-nomads confirm
    this : it is agreed that non-nomads are as likely as not to hide the fact
    that their cattle are infected, and frequently camp close to, or let the
    carcass of a dead beast lie near, the camp of another, from sheer
    maliciousness, so that they shall not be the only losers. I have often
    heard of such instances. Should a ‘ stranger ’ bring cattle infected
    with disease into a ‘ preserve ’ of Nomadic Fulani, he will not, as a rule,
    be there long before he is set upon and driven out with the blows, of a
    number of angry cattlemen.
    Among antidotes for various conditions, those for 4 Hendu ’ or
    ‘Ladde’, or whatever term may be used locally for the diseases
    which suddenly strike down cattle (with Blackwater, etc.), may more
    properly be left to the section on superstitions. Cures for many
    minor disorders are made up, usually from concoctions of barks, herbs
    and the like. Some claim a remedy for Redwater. Many of the
    individual recipes are kept a secret to the individual or to the family.
    Of more practical use is the vaccination against Contagious Bovine
    Pleuro-pneumonia. A piece of infected lung is left in milk for two
    or three days until of a sufficient ‘sourness’. A small piece is inserted
    under the skin of the nose of each beast to be treated, a cut being made
    to receive it, and the piece pressed well in. Some days later the beasts
    are again caught and fired, an oval being described about the seat
    of vaccination on the nose. Other lines are made, one on either
    side of the face, later, in cases where extensive reaction threatens ;
    in order to encircle swellings which spread towards the neck, in an
    attempt to limit them.
    The method is frequently effective ; but is crude, and often leads to
    enormous swelling of the head ; extensive suppuration and sloughing ;
    and a number of deaths. Experts are not always available : it is not
    carried out by all and sundry ; some considerable areas possess nobody
    with the necessary knowledge and ability.
    An interesting experiment was carried out some ten years or so ago
    in Yauri Division : the idea being to obtain for cattle life-immunity
    against Rinderpest by exposing them to contact with cattle with an
    infection which had been noticed to be so mild as to cause no mortality
    in the herd in which it started. A number of Fulani took their cattle,
    and what appeared to be a satisfactory reaction ensued : however, some
    four years afterwards, the cattle were exposed to an outbreak of
    Rinderpest to which many succumbed. The experiment has not been
    repeated, to my knowledge, nor have I heard of its like elsewhere.
    Reduction of fractures is practised, the animal’s limb being set in
    splints and bound.
    Castration of bulls is performed usually when they are well grown
    and two to three years old, or older, by placing the spermatic cords
    over a pestle used for pounding grain, and beating them with a clothbeater’s mallet, the operation taking some considerable time, and the
    animal often taking long to recover fully from the effects of the subsequent swelling and possible other injury. With rams, the cord is
    beaten with the iron rod used for pressing out cotton-seeds. It is
    not all Fulani who practise castration of rams, but those who do so
    say that it is preferable to operate on them when young, by opening
    the scrotum and cutting the cords : to control subsequent bleeding,
    the scrotum is filled with a decoction of the soaked pods of ‘ gabdi ’
    (the tree Acacia arabica), recognized as a styptic.
    The powdered bark of the tree ‘ kahi ’ (Khaya senegalensis) is
    used on sores and wounds, and is said to be a remedy against maggots.
    I have watched with interest the treatment of a punctured wound
    in the belly of a heifer which had been badly torn by horning, the
    muscular belly-wall having been perforated, and the gut extruded
    but not pierced. A rag was allowed to smoulder while the beast was
    carefully thrown, the exposed gut was returned to place, the prepared
    rag placed over the gash in the belly-wall and then smeared with
    hot butter to prevent pus forming : it was explained that if raw butter
    were used, or if none were available, a handful of grains of corn would
    be poured in to have the same effect. The flaps of skin were secured
    by making holes with an awl near the edges, and the flaps sewn together
    with fibre.
    The heifer made a quick recovery. It was obvious that this was not
    the first case which the operator had dealt with.
    Bulls are not infrequently introduced from herds of certain clans
    which are celebrated for the good quality and purity of type of their
    cattle ; as, for example, the fine red ‘ Jabtoji ’ type with pure white horn.
    If an owner’s cattle number twenty or over, he should possess his own
    stock-bull. The service of a bull is allowed free and in neighbourly
    goodwill to a small owner, except to a man who has as many cattle as
    warrant the possession of a stock-bull of his own, or has as many cattle
    as his neighbours, and has refused to acquire one.
    In a large herd, however many bulls there be, the younger ones will
    not be able to serve cows and heifers, for fear of the ‘ master ’ bull,
    except in stolen cases ; all the adult cattle being herded together.
    If thought necessary to rest the stock-bull from overserving, etc., this
    ‘ master ’ bull is tied up, and the next in size and strength takes his
    place. Commencing to serve as a three-year-old, a bull is dispensed
    with at seven years old, having sired three years’ crops of calves ; so that
    he may not mate with his own progeny, the first of which are now
    coming to service.
    Under reasonably good grazing conditions, heifers will take the bull
    at three years old, and so calve before the age of four : instances of earlier
    calving, under favourable conditions, are not rare ; but under hard
    conditions, heifers will not calve until considerably later.
    Cows of certain strains in the herd, mainly in cattle of Settled Fulani,
    under good grazing conditions, will calve regularly each year ; under
    hard conditions, cows not infrequently go up to two years between
    calvings, especially among the red longhorn type, which requires
    extensive range if the cattle are to do well.
    Among cattle kept alongside the large rivers and on their islands
    (for example, the Niger), and in marshes where there is a good supply
    of lush grass for the greater part of the year, early maturity is obtained :
    but the cows soon go off, and are finished with when still relatively
    young, as a rule ; liver-flukes and other parasites taking their toll.
    Such cattle may spend much of their grazing time standing in water.
    Cattle of certain types kept in arid areas, which are frequently watered
    from wells only, once daily, at about midday, if introduced temporarily
    into river areas, are still kept to the uplands grazing of dry grasses, but
    are taken down to water twice daily, at about 11 a.m. and mid-afternoon
    (zura), the usual times for watering cattle where water is plentiful.
    Endeavours are made to adapt cattle to a new environment by crossbreeding. As an example, some Fulani who arrived on the Niger in
    Yauri Emirate, some thirty years ago, with the upland White Kano (or
    Yakanaji) type, decided to spend the greater part of the year grazing the
    marshes, and purchased red bulls of the local breed of the marshland :
    they have obtained quick maturity, and cattle multiply at a quick rate ;
    but are, however, of a nondescript type, mainly of broken colours, to
    which the name 4 Gambaraji ’ has been given, and are poor milkers.
    Other Fulani who arrived with them, and have retained the ‘ Yakanaji ’
    type fairly pure, spend less time in the marshes, withdrawing at the
    early rains, and have the better type of cattle, and better milkers ; but
    do not get the quick increase.
    Another small party which I noticed a few years ago were ‘ adapting ’
    their cattle to conditions on the Niger, West of Nigeria, in Dahomey ;
    purchasing red bulls for mating with their ‘ Yakanaji ’ cows : at the same
    time they were trying to introduce a characteristic of the red longhorn
    type— that of following the herdsman when on trek, whereas their own
    cattle have to be urged on from behind. Since most of them are now
    back within the western borders of Nigeria, they do not appear to have
    had much success in attaining the former object. I have not been able
    to observe as to the latter.
    Salt-licks, for which certain areas are noted, are valued ; while
    prepared native salts are extensively used for cattle, chiefly the white
    natron (kamva ndaneha). Some types, salts such as ‘ mangul ’ (manda
    baleha) — given as a lick or in water where no ‘ kanwa ’ is available ; and
    ‘ Foga ’ (included in the red type, manda mbodeha); are given very
    sparingly, as they are known to be harmful otherwise. Also used is the
    s‘\ t ^alma ’ (of the red type, manda mbodeha), if there is no ‘ kanwa
    ndtaneha ’ available. Common togged salt of European make has been
    Used to a considerable extent. The natrons and salts are used most
    extensively from before the middle of the rains until harvest time, and,
    nowadays, after anti-Rinderpest inoculation.
    Marking of cattle, when they are calves, is done by making a slit in
    *he ear> ^ cutting a section out, or by cutting a hole through it with a
    nue ( jelgol): branding with a hot-iron is used by some (jelgol chumal).
    firing, or marking the skin with a hot-iron, is used extensively ;
    in circles to limit sites of inflammation, swellings, etc., or in lines or
    patterns as a remedy against various conditions, such as Streptothricosis
    Apart from the major cattle diseases, a large number of minor
    sicknesses are recognised, and remedies applied : the names of these
    sicknesses vary somewhat according to district or tribe.
    De-ticking is recognized as a very necessary measure : a precaution
    against tick-borne diseases.

    Where a herdsman is employed, he is provided with clothing and
    sandals, mod and drink : having completed twelve months grazing, he
    is entitled to a one-year-old bull for grazing up to thirty head (an owner
    who is well pleased might give a two-year-old) : a one-year-old heifer for
    heraing rrom thirty to sixty head : if he is able to look after up to 100
    head without their proving too much for him, a three-year-old heifer
    Grazing of the cattle may be undertaken in rotation, over a period of
    seven days, by Settled Fulani, when herds of, say, three small owners
    may be united and grazed by one herdsman, enabling the others to
    engage in other work, such as cultivation.
    Calves do not go out with the herd ; but spend the day in the vicinity
    of the camp. By the bigger owners they are not considered as part of
    the herd until old enough to go out grazing with the older cattle, since
    they are, as yet, too young to be reckoned as being of any practical value.
    The cattle resting-place is situated West of the shelters or huts, the
    doorways to which normally face West. But if a farm is to be manured
    lound about the camp or dwelling-place, the cattle are moved round at
    intervals to accomplish this.
    Cattle-fouled areas are avoided when selecting a site for a camp,
    except that land under cultivation may carry cattle year after year for a
    period sufficient to manure it, when subsequent cultivation again
    freshens the area for cattle.
    A smudge-fire is lighted for the returning cattle, in the evening, at
    their resting-place — the ‘ hoggo ’ or ‘walde’, the twigs of the shrub
    Guiera senegalensis (geloki) being used as a rule for this purpose,
    mainly to drive off and keep away flies, which otherwise torment the
    cattle (though it is said that certain other twigs have other virtues when
    burned). A fire is very usually kept up all night, partly as a protection
    against wild beasts, for which a watch is kept — at least with half an eye.
    At morning and evening, each calf is allowed to suck a little from its
    dam, after which the calf is tied to the tethering rope and the dam
    milked : having ‘ let down ’ her milk for the calf, the milking is now
    easier, but if she is a ‘ difficult milker ’ the calf may be tied close to her,
    or to her foreleg. After milking, the calf is allowed to suck again, thus
    obtaining the richest milk, until the dam is milked out.
    Nomadic Fulani, particularly, like to see a calf in good condition and
    getting sufficient milk ; but it is said that a good state of health in the
    dam is of more importance than the obtaining of a great quantity of
    milk by the progeny, in the rearing of a good calf.
    To stop calves sucking the dams when they get opportunity during
    the day, which may happen in some herds, urine or dung is sometimes
    rubbed onto the cows’ teats, but is washed off before milking time. A
    muzzle with projecting long thorns is put on a calf to prevent the dam
    allowing it to suck her when the calf has reached the weaning stage and
    the cow has not dried off: naturally many calves are weaned through
    the cow drying off. Sometimes a calf is allowed to continue to suck
    until it is so large as to have to kneel in order to do so.
    When a young calf dies, bran is given to the dam, as an inducement,
    so that she may continue to be hand-milked : if she is intractable, some
    Fulani flay the dead calf and dry the skin, which is put near the cow — so
    that she may smell it — when it is desired to milk her.
    Among the Nomadic Fulani, the women do the milking ; but among
    many sections of the Settled Fulani, the men do all the milking — for
    example, in ‘ Barno Nguddiri ’ (Hadejia, Katagum, Misau and Jama’ari).
    The dairy work is in the hands of the women : they sour the milk,
    prepare milk and butter for market, and take these products to the town
    or village, sometimes from a considerable distance.
    After milking, the milk is set aside for souring, which occurs naturally
    in hot weather, but in cool weather is assisted by first swilling the
    calabashes used for the souring process with a little of the previous day’s
    sour butter-milk (njonkadam or pendidam) put by for the purpose
    (often then called njuggam). This sours it quickly — otherwise, except
    in hot weather, milk may not sour satisfactorily until after twenty-four
    hours. Certain plants may be used to sour milk, for example, ‘ dalli ’
    (Phoenix Reclinata ?).
    When curdled, the milk is known as ‘ danidam ’ or ‘nyallunde’.
    This ‘ danidam,’ the cream not having been removed, may be used for
    whisking and mixing with other foods (it is then known as mburwadam
    — from the verb wurwa, to whisk), or it may be kept to churn ; a
    specially prepared large gourd, with a small calabash cap or cover, being
    the usual churn, which is rocked to and fro on the ground.
    It is a common practice, where undiscerning buyers of milk may be
    imposed upon, to remove cream (for butter production) before the milk
    is fully curdled ; after which another layer of cream will form, which is
    left on the milk, giving it the appearance of whole-cream milk, and which
    he undiscriminating purchaser may think composes the normal
    consistency of whole sour milk ; the Fulani thus getting the benefit of
    t e extra cream for butter production by selling the milk with hardly
    any cream in it. J
    Butter may be made by churning the whole of the sour milk (danidam),
    as above, or by churning cream removed from the ‘danidam’.
    from Kano, Katsina, Zaria and to the eastward, the whole milk
    (aanidam) is churned. When churning is completed, the butter is
    taken out, leaving sour butter-milk — known as ‘ njonkadam’, which is
    turned out into a calabash : some then add a quantity of water before
    taking it to market, in order to make more of it.
    I he butter is formed into balls and put into some of this milk, in
    which it floats, to keep it from softening or melting, and taken for sale.
    In Sokoto Province, down to the Niger River, people will not buy
    tms sour butter-milk (njonkadam) as they mistrust that water has been added to it before sale.
    A form of fraud practised when butter is made in the above manner
    (that is, frorn whole sour milk) is to continue to churn, after the butter
    has broken ’ or formed, until the grains of butter collect into loosely
    knit clusters or lumps, which are then made up into loose balls — the
    lumps do not coalesce — and immersed in the butter-milk, some of which
    the balls take up and, when they have remained for some time in the
    milk, they have the appearance of being solid butter, but actually
    contain a quantity of butter-milk. This, known as ‘belbel’, is a white butter.
    Such fraud appears to be fairly successful when selling to those who
    do not know on sight what good butter should be; but the seller’s
    reputation is likely to become known and, if the market is full of butter,
    she will have but a slow sale until the supply of good butter is exhausted!
    An excuse made is th a t; “ The youngsters overchurned it.”
    In Sokoto Province where, as has been mentioned, there is no sale for
    sour butter-milk, it is the custom to make butter from cream taken off
    the soured milk ‘ danidam ’, which cream may then be churned or
    shaken in a bottle-gourd, or beaten up with a whisk in a calabash, either
    daily or, where there are few milking-cows, every second or third day,
    when the product of two or three days’ milk is mixed.
    The skimmed sour milk (gulutche) is whisked and drunk with foods
    (being somewhat like the sour butter-milk ‘njonkadam’ which it has
    been noted the people of the area will not buy for fear it has been
    Unknown to the many, a form of fraud is practised on them by adding
    water to this ‘gulutche’. A little of the ‘gulutche’ is taken and
    whisked, and a considerable quantity of water added to it, when it is
    again whisked to an even consistency. The remainder of the good
    gulutche ’ is divided into two portions, one part being put in the
    bottom of the marketing calabash, the treated (watered) portion
    following, and then the other part of the good ‘ gulutche ’ put on top.
    Before arrival at the market, it has become well mixed and, should a
    purchaser remark on the fact that it has become thin or watery, the
    Fulani explains that it is owing to the distance she has had to walk.
    A fraud practised with the butter made in the above manner is, after
    churning and taking out the good butter produced, to take enough to
    form a pat or ball, flatten it out and place some sour milk ‘ danidam 5
    in the centre, and fold it so that the sour milk forms a core to the ball
    (which may then be put in milk contained in a spoon or small calabash,
    in which it is rolled with a rotary movement to remove any excessive
    marks of tampering): and so on until all the pats are filled. This is a
    butter of a good yellow appearance which, after washing and clarifying
    by the purchaser, become very reduced in quantity.
    Butter made from cream alone is not taken to market in the buttermilk ; but, in hot weather only, in order to keep it firm, is placed in a
    calabash floated in a larger one containing milk for sale or water.
    Butter made from cream collected over a period of two or three days,
    where butter production is on a small scale ; or that made daily and
    brought in only on a market-day, owing to distance ; may have a sour
    or rancid taste, or smell, depending on the amount of milk remaining
    in i t ; but since it is clarified by the purchaser as a rule, it is readily
    Good fresh butter of a rich yellow colour may be bought, and needs
    only washing, and salting to taste, to be very palatable for the table of
    It appears to be an exception for the Nomadic Fulani to adulterate
    Other forms of adulteration of sour butter-milk (njonkadam or
    pendidam) include such as increasing the viscosity and acidity, and thus
    allowing of the addition of water, by the use of the pulp from the fruits
    of the baobab (njulandi) or the root of Vitis pallida (gubuwol).
    The former method is used where milk is scarce in an area and the
    people have no choice but to buy what is on offer, and if accusation of
    such adulteration is made, it is admitted by the sellers ; “ So as to make
    the milk go further. ” The latter method is used in order to give the
    sour butter-milk the appearance and consistency of whole-cream sour
    milk (mburwadam), with full intent to deceive purchasers: it will go bad
    overnight. There are other modes of adulterating butter.
    It used to be the general custom to wash butter as part of its preparation for m arket: nowadays, while some wash it before making it up into
    pats or balls, a great many more do not.
    While the majority of Fulani make butter from well soured milk,
    many of the Nomadic Fulani make it from milk which has not completely
    soured ; the churning of such milk producing a large proportion of
    butter of good quality, though rather lacking in flavour ; but yielding a
    high percentage of butter-fat when melted and all water has beep
    When on the move, and there is no time for further preparation,
    nomads put the fresh milk into stoppered bottle-gourds and place these
    among the loads of the pack-oxen where, being shaken by the movements
    of the animals, on arrival at their destination the butter will have
    ‘ broken ’ ; but the butter-milk, only half soured, is not palatable.
    Where cash is obtained for the dairy products, it belongs to the
    woman; the cattle-owner has no title to it. Cash from the sales is
    expended in buying food for the household, chiefly corn (as noted,
    dairy products are often bartered for farm produce): in the purchase of
    clothes for the woman herself: in clothing for the young children
    including some of the younger herding boys. If the woman sees her
    way to so doing, she may also clothe some of the older herding boys.
    Other expenditure is incurred on festive occasions or social gatherings.
    It is rarely used to help the cattle-owner out in cattle-tax payment,
    though this might be done as an act of grace by a wife who has had
    (several) children by her husband. Otherwise, on a later occasion of a
    tiff, a woman may make it a cause of scornful reproach that her husband
    could not of himself pay the tax in full.
    More probably, the husband will have to pay the tax on any cattle
    which may be owned by his wife. The husband does not know the
    amount of money obtained by his wife, the amounts expended, or the
    amount she may put by. When dairy produce is short, he may have to
    sell from the herd in order to tide over the period.
    By custom, a husband informs his wife when he intends to sell or
    buy stock, obtaining her views. To be morally valid, such sale or
    purchase should have her approval.
    Most Settled Fulani women and girls are able to, and do, spin and
    prepare the cotton thread for weaving, to the benefit of their household
    It used to be a general custom, still largely followed in ‘East Hausa’,
    though I have not seen it in the Western Emirates, of non-Fulani
    (habe) women to have stalls in the villages from which they retailed
    the milk ‘ danidam ’ (but not the butter-milk ‘ njonkadam ’ or the
    1 his ‘ danidam ’ was brought in by Fulani girls and young women ;
    when the produce had been sold, the cash and the calabash of each
    individual was handed back to her to take home. At the end of a week,
    the older women would come in and give the milk-dealer a present for
    her services.
    Otherwise the Fulani women and girls retail the produce themselves.
    When cattle were on the move at about harvest time in the more or
    less trackless areas of bush, it was usual to break off branches at intervals
    and leave them lying in the track, or knot together the heads of taller
    grasses, to indicate the line of trek taken by the cattle, so that those who
    had been in the town might easily follow to the new camping ground.
    Soon after the commencement of the rains, the Fulani leave the dry
    season grazing grounds and, following the spring of new grass, move
    towards their wet season quarters, away from the marshlands to the
    uplands — usually in a northerly direction. They will endeavour to
    reach the selected area before the advent of cattle-tax on July 1st,
    though many will not have settled down by that time.
    At the wet season camp (dumirde), a zareba or kraal of tree branches,
    within which the cattle spend the night, is constructed, with an extension
    at one — the East — end where the herdsmen or owners and families
    shelter, with a bar-way between it and the cattle enlcosure ; and a
    further bar-way at the far end of the zareba through which the cattle
    pass to and from grazing. It is not usual for the Nomadic Fulani to
    make zarebas at other seasons of the year. Some Settled Fulani put
    the cattle in a zareba throughout the hot season. Some types such as
    the ‘ Wodabe 9shelter at all seasons under the protection of trees, their
    coverings for themselves and loads being skins ; shelters of other types
    being dispensed with. While the menfolk construct the wet season
    camps, the women usually set up the temporary shelters used at other
    Some hobble their cattle two and two at night all the year round :
    some do not hobble their cattle. The hobbles are sometimes shown as
    representing the number of adult cattle for tax counting.
    The calves are secured to the calf-tethering line after having had their
    allowance of milk from the dam.
    The wet season camp is not broken until the harvest season after the
    end of the rains — though this does not mean that bodies of cattle are
    not moved about for various purposes during the rains. Cattle then
    go at once into the guinea-corn farms, as soon as the crop is harvested,
    for the ‘ stubble-grazing ’ (nyaile), the dry leafage and smaller shoots
    of the corn being highly prized by the Fulani : in fact, with each Fulani
    trying to get in before the other, the farmer has, at times, difficulty in
    keeping cattle off until the crop is safe.
    The cattle are now at the commencement of their move towards the
    dry season grazing grounds : at this period the movement takes place by
    slow stages, the object being to take advantage of as much guinea-corn
    ‘ stubble-grazing ’ as possible before passing on. Many Fulani make
    for areas of extensive farming with this object in view.
    The grasses of the upland areas will by now be ripening and drying
    off, or quite dry, and in many areas will consist to a large extent of tall
    stems, of great value for many purposes, but of little use to the cattleowners.
    In many areas, grass burning by iiunters and others has now
    commenced. The ‘ C ow ’ Fulani do little in the way of burning
    grasses : should a man arrive in an area of dense grasses more than head
    high, among which cattle have not previously made tracks and trodden
    down, he will burn in order that the herd shall not divide up and the
    cattle get lost. It is not unusual, when spending some time in one place,
    to burn an area close to the camp in order that the calves — which do
    not go out grazing with the herd — may have the benefit of nibbling at
    the resultant light crop of fresh young grass that springs up.
    By the time that the hot season of the year has arrived, most owners —
    this does not include those nomads who are continually on the move —
    will have chosen their grazing area for that period and will probably
    remain there until after the first rains — chiefly about lakes, streams and
    rivers, where grass will be most abundant. The dry season camp
    (sedirde) is often made, where such a site is available, on a sandbank in
    or by a river, clean and reasonably free from flies.
    At the hottest period, just before the rains commence, grass and water
    are often very short and, especially if the dry season be very hard and
    prolonged, some cattle may die, and more may be lost after heavy rain
    has fallen but the spring of young grass still remains scanty. Many herds
    are in very lean condition, although, under favoured circumstances,
    a number of owners appear to be remarkably successful in keeping up
    the condition of their cattle. The types of grasses found on the heavy
    lands which are flooded in the wet season yield an early, but rather
    scanty growth of green herbage in this hottest season, especially where
    the old grasses have been fired. The practice of some (Settled Fulani)
    to burn the dry grasses of such areas is attributed by others to muddled
    thinking, since, as nature’s time for it has not yet arrived, though the
    young grasses do come through, they will not continue to grow, and may
    even be withered up, and so set back, on account of being brought on
    before their time : such grass burning originated among those who
    graze their cattle in river valleys and flats of heavy lands, who burn the
    areas round about them to obtain this scanty growth.
    At the early rains, when flies become a greater nuisance, grass round
    -about the camp, or where the cattle are grazing, is often fired so that it
    continues to smoulder, being damp or partly green, and give off a
    smoke which keeps the flies away : at this period, too, cattle have to be
    moved away from certain marsh areas on account of the prevalence of
    When the rains have set in, there is a surplus of grass, and the cattle
    are considered to be soft in condition, although replete.
    In general, the shorter grasses are preferred, most especially the short
    grasses of hard clay soils and marsh areas.
    Following the early rains, cattle feed on the plentiful spring of young
    grasses (daye) until, when the bulrush-millet is nearly ripe and the
    ground is full of w^ater, they have gradually gone onto the grass ‘ garlabal ’
    (Fulani), ‘ karairayau ’, ‘ karan kabau etc. (Hausa), Andropogon
    (Arthrolepis), which has been growing fast during this tim e; and continue
    on this until the time of guniea-corn harvest. Cattle prefer this grass to
    the others, which they eat only if ‘ garlabal ’ is not available. It is not
    dried off by weather conditions until the coming of the dry, parching, hot
    wind at that short inter-seasonal period (sollungo) when the guineacorn is ripe, just before the approach of the cold dry season. The
    cattle then go onto the farm stubbles, eating the dry leaves (mbafu) of
    the guinea-corn, the remains of bean haulm and the like, with wdiat
    *morsollo ’ (F), ‘ harkiya ’ (H), Digitaria debilis ; ‘ saraji ’ (F), * burbuw a ’ or ‘ furei ’ (H.), Eragrotis tremula ; ‘ bulude ’ (F), ‘ kamsuwa *
    (H.), Pennisetum pedicellatum and P. setosum, remain on the farms.
    Later, when the abundance of farm stubble is reduced, the smaller
    stalks and the softer parts of the larger guinea-corn stalks themselves
    will be eaten. The peiod spent on the farms is prolonged as long as it
    is useful, when cattle then go into bush and eat any type of the dried
    grass which is palatable to them : the now dry but soft ‘ garlabal ’, and
    ‘ chelbi ’ (F.), ‘ datsi ’ (H.), Aristida Sieberiana ; ‘ bulude ’ from under
    bushes : until, at the hot season or ‘ tornado season ’ just preceding the
    rains, half their food may consist of the leaves of trees and shrubs.
    After some six weeks of this dry grazing, the hot season will have
    brought forth a light covering of young fresh grass (daye) in flats and
    hollows, when cattle will cease to eat the dry grasses, and eat only green
    leafage in addition to the succulent ‘ daye \
    In pans of heavy soil where rainwater first lies, when situated about
    ponds and lakes, a good growth of short grasses comes on before the
    grass ‘ chelbi ’ does : in similar pans in uplands and hill country,
    ‘ chelbi ’ only is found.
    During the period of the hot season, cattle are also grazed at night
    where grazing is very short. In certain parts, for example, in Sokoto
    country, it is the custom of many, from the time of harvest until the
    early rains, to take the cattle out early in the morning to graze, and
    return with them to the camp at about 9 to 10 a.m., where they remain
    for a time, and then go out again until night : others practise this only
    if grazing is very scanty.
    In the rains, the cattle are not let out to graze until the dew has dried
    off; neglect of this precaution leading to losses in cattle at the time of
    harvest. After a night of rain, when no dew can have risen, the herd is
    allowed to graze in the early morning ; but if there has been no rain,
    when there will be dew, the cattle will be kept in the kraal until the dew
    goes off (the cows being milked meanwhile).
    A number of deaths during the early rains are said to be due to the fact
    that, when rains have fallen, the cattle will not eat dried-up grasses, but
    follow the spikes of new grass, with which, the spikes being short, they
    take in a considerable quantity of earth.
    Some say that feeding cattle on the leafage of lopped branches
    towards the end of the dry season, though then putting the cattle into
    good condition, leads to the occurrence of deaths among them in the
    height of the wet season, and that it is preferable to seek the best
    grazing available and let the cattle make the most of the dry grasses then
    obtainable, even though this does entail some loss in condition.
    Actually the grass Digitaria debilis is considered the best grass for all
    types of livestock ; but it is chiefly to be found on farms. Next in value
    are Pennisetum pedicellatum and Pennisetum setosum; Eragrostis
    tremula ; then Thelepogon elegans, known by many of the Fulani by
    its Kanuri name of ‘ kagarakagumji ’ (Hausa, datanniya).
    ‘ Burugu ’ (H.), (Panicum stagninum) is found as a river-grass by such
    rivers as the Niger, about swamps, and in swampy streams ; but is not
    general : it provides good fodder over a great part of the year for those
    cattle which are grazed about such areas.
    While the above-mentioned grasses are general to many parts, there
    are, naturally, other areas to which, owing to variation in the flora, the
    remarks cannot apply.
    Very tall grasses are of no use to the cattle-man ; the tops of the
    shorter, sweeter grasses, and the seeds in the heads — recognised by
    the Fulani as good nourishment — being greatly preferred by the cattle.
    When grazing is so scanty that leaves of trees are considered necessary
    to supplement the feed, branches of certain trees are cut off for the
    cattle to browse.
    These include ‘ leggel bali ’, which ruminants will readily eat at any
    time of the year, and is considered the best. Smaller specimens are
    continually eaten down by wild, as well as domestic, ruminants.
    Others include 4 kawohi ’ (F.), ‘ kawo ’ (H.), Afzelia africana ; ‘ ibbi
    Ficus gnaphalocarpa ; ‘ shannehi ’, Ficus kawuri; the less general
    ‘ shanganehi \ Ficus iteophylla ; 4 golombi ’, Stereospermum Kunthianum — varying with the trees, useful for this purpose, found in the
    In places, the pods of ‘ barkehi ’ (the Hausa kalgo), (Bauhinia
    reticulata) are pounded and given — sometimes with bran and a little
    powdered natron — to some of the older catle to tide them over a period
    of shortage, lest they get so weak as to be unable to get up, or stand,
    through lack of food.
    The fact that little grass burning is done by Fulani has been mentioned.
    Grass burning is started soon after the end of the rains by bowmen
    seeking game, then by hunters with dogs driving game : large areas are
    burnt in this manner. Later, farmers, in setting fire to scrub in order
    to get ahead with breaking up more land, may lose control, and then
    fire get out of hand, as may also happen in the case of honey seekers
    when smoking the bees for wild honey in the hollow of a tree, or when
    the dry wood is left smouldering and the tree finally falls among the
    Especially where authorities have given instructions that grass
    burning is an offence, it is a favourite trick of irresponsible persons
    to throw a piece of smouldering dung among dry grasses some distance
    off a path, so that by the time surrounding grasses have caught alight,
    following the fire being blown into a flame by any breeze there may
    happen to be, he may be perhaps three miles away from the scene.
    A more elaborate plan is to take an old, hollow nut of the dum palm,
    stuffed with dung pressed in through the opening and plugged with
    a piece of rag. To this a light is applied, and the nut placed among
    dry grasses : the dung, ignited by the rag, gives off a great heat while
    smouldering and the nut, glowing as a tinder for a considerable period,
    acts as a good delayed-action fuse, often used where regulations against
    grass burning are rigorously pressed.