The Fula Macina of Mauritania
The Fula Macina, or Fulakunda, of Mauritania are a sub-group of the Fulani, who are one of the predominant people groups of West Africa. The Fula Macina speak a language called Fulakunda (or Fulfulde), which belongs to the West Atlantic branch of the Niger-Congo language family. Their culture and lifestyle are virtually identical to those of other Fulani peoples in West Africa.
Mauritania lies almost entirely in the Sahara Desert. The only exception is a narrow strip in the south along the Sénégal River. It is there that the Fula Macina are located. The majority of the population consists of Moors with a mixed Arab and Berber ancestry, many of whom live as nomads. About 30% of the people are black African farmers who live in the Sénégal Valley.
Islam, the state religion of Mauritania, is professed by more than 99% of the people. Arabic is the official language, and Pulaar, Wolof, and Soninke are recognized as national languages.
What are their lives like?
The Fula make a living primarily as farmers and herdsmen. The staple crops are millet, rice, and peanuts. Cattle are the main type of livestock kept, but sheep and goats are also raised.
Herding cattle is usually a male activity, although the women milk and help take care of the cattle. The women also tend to the small livestock and poultry, cultivate gardens, and carry containers of milk and cheese to the local markets for sale or trade.
Although Fula Macina villages are scattered, each village has a central court and a mosque. Together, these compose a miside, or community. Each miside has a headman who handles village affairs and answers to a chief.
Houses belonging to the settled Fula Macina are typically round with mud walls and thatched roofs. Each hut has an encircling veranda. The nomadic Fula Macina live in open, beehive-shaped huts with no walls or verandas. Each hut is surrounded by a cattle corral.
Daughters remain with their mothers until they marry. However, as soon as a son reaches puberty, he leaves the family compound and lives alone in a nearby compound, usually with some cattle. This new compound will become the home of the son and his future wife.
The first marriage of a man is usually arranged by the man's father. A bride-service of helping the girl's father with his livestock is performed by the man, who usually marries while he is in his early twenties. Polygyny (the practice of having more than one wife) is common, up to the Muslim limit of four wives. There is one chief wife, however, who has authority over the other wives.
Children belong to "age-sets" until they marry. An age-set occurs at three or four year intervals, with every child born in those years belonging to that set. The children in an age-set go to school together and often work together. When the time for marriage arrives, they may even help one another with the bride-service. Within each age-set are a leader, a deputy, and a judge.
What are their beliefs?
The Fula Macina in Mauritania are 99% Muslim of the Malikite branch. As Muslims, they follow the teachings of the Koran, Islam's holy book. They believe that Allah is the only god and that Mohammed is his prophet. To teach their children the Muslim faith, some of the Fula Macina villages have established Islamic schools.
What are their needs?
The Fula Macina of Mauritania have the New Testament, the Jesus film, and Christian broadcasts available in their own language. In addition, there is one missions agency currently targeting them. This large effort to evangelize these people, however, has resulted in only a very small number of Fula Macina believers (approximately 1%). Apparently, they are very devoted to Islam and view it as a fulfillment of their needs. To win these precious people to Christ, further prayer is needed so that their hearts and eyes will be opened to the Truth.
- Ask the Lord to send full-time missionaries to share the Gospel with the Fula Macina.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to grant wisdom and favor to the missions agency that is targeting the Fula Macina.
- Pray for many opportunities to show the Jesus film among the Fula Macina.
- Ask God to anoint the Christian radio broadcasts that are being aired in their region.
- Pray that God will use the Fula Macina believers to minister the love of Jesus to their families and friends.
- Take authority over the spiritual principalities and powers that are keeping the Fula Macina bound.
- Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the spiritual soil of Mauritania through worship and intercession.
- Ask the Lord to bring forth a triumphant Fula Macina church for the glory of His name!
Latest estimates from the World Evangelization Research Center.
- People name: Fula Macina
- Country: Mauritania
- Their language: Fulakunda
- Largest religion:
- Christians: 1%
- Church members: 1,140
- Scriptures in their own language: New Testament
- Jesus Film in their own language: Available
- Christian broadcasts in their own language: Available
- Mission agencies working among this people: 1
- Persons who have heard the Gospel: 43,200 (38%)
- Persons who have never heard the Gospel: 70,500 (62%)
- Country: Mauritania
- Major peoples in size order:
- Major religions:
© Copyright 1997
Bethany World Prayer Center
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