Concept of Pulaaku

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The word “Pulaaku” serves as a unwritten code of conduct for the Fulani people. It is a word that cannot be translated into English simplistically and hold a deep value in the hearts of all traditional Fulani people. It represents the key principles of how they act and treat others. Pulaaku is an abstract noun that comes from a combination of the words Pullo (another term for Fulani) , Fulfulde ( the language), and pulaade (which means to act like a Fulani). In its entirety there are up to 15 different components of the word Pulaaku that each show a different aspect or interpretation of being a true Fulani.

a quote that describes the essence of pulaaku:

“It portrays the ideal Fulani as one who has stoic sobriety, reserve, and strong emotional ties to cattle. At the same time, the model Fulani is gentle in demeanor. His carriage conveys a proud reserve, almost a disdain toward non-Fulani. It is said that no one knows what a Fulani is thinking. The true Fulani is physically as well as psychologically distant from other people, especially non-Fulani. Moreover, he is enjoined from displays of strong emotions. His demeanor is taciturn, loathing the boisterousness of others. Wealth is not to be vulgarly displayed but carefully and quietly tended.”

one proverb that is used to show this would be:

“neaaaaku aum nebbam to rufi coftataako”                                                                       

“dignity is like oil, once split it cannot be redeemed”

Of the many components that make up Pulaaku the five main ones include:

  1. Shamefulness (Semteende)
  2. Patience/Tolerance/Perseverance (Munyal)
  3. Kindness and Affection (Enaam)
  4. Manliness and Bravery (Ngorgu)
  5. Dignity and Self Respect (Neaaaaku)

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