Fulani Milk Maids: 8 Things Every Nigerian Should Know
1. They are found in more than twenty nations in Africa
Fulani milkmaids can be seen in more than twenty countries in Africa. These countries range from Nigeria to Ghana, Senegal to Niger, Gambia to Burkina Faso, Kenya to Mali and a host of others.
2. They are entitled to receive cows from their husbands
Fulani Men must give their wives enough cows to milk from or they suffer risking their marriages because it’s always part of the marriage rites.
3. They control local dairy production in Nigeria
Although they own a few of the cattle, the extraction, production and selling of milk are the most important economic preoccupations of the Fulani milkmaids.
4. Milking cows depends on seasons
The Fulani women milk the cows at least twice a day in the wet season, collecting about 1.5 liters of milk per cow. In the dry season, milking is sometimes suspended or reduced to just once a day.
5. Proceeds from Dairy sales Are For Them Alone
The women keep the proceeds from dairy sales, which they use in buying grains, seasonings, flavorings, beverages, food utensils and other household goods. Moreover, the purchase of such items for the family is voluntary. The Fulani men do not count on the Fulani women’s contribution in family upkeep for fear of being seen as failing household providers.
6. Fulani milkmaids Are Semi-nomads
They do not move about as much as the men, some are even sedentary, they stay within their communities. The basic settlement of the Fulani people is known as “wuru”.
7. No Special value is placed on virginity
The Fulani expect young women to bring sexual experience to marriage and even the women do not shy from boasting about their previous sexual experiences.
8. They are sometimes Absent At Their Marriages
This happens due to shame avoidance taboos, the significance of the cattle ceremony (koowgal) is also a major feature of the wedding. In that ceremony, the bride’s father transfers one of his herd to the groom, legalizing the marriage. They may also follow a more typical Islamic ceremony referred to as “kabbal”.