Chad Table of Contents
Fulani speakers are not very numerous in Chad. Part of the West Atlantic subfamily of the Congo-Kordofanian family of languages, Fulani (called Peul by the French) first appeared in the Senegal River Valley in West Africa. Population growth and the vagaries of climate encouraged the eastward drift of Fulani-speaking herders through the Sahel. Some Fulani speakers adopted Islam and became very important actors in the spread of the religion and the rise of Muslim states west of Chad. Many of these people settled, taking up village or urban life and abandoning nomadism. Other Fulani speakers, however, remained loyal to their pre-Islamic faith and their nomadic life-style.
Fulani speakers arrived in Chad only in the past two centuries. In the mid-1960s, about 32,000 Fulani lived in Kanem, southern Batha, and northern Chari-Baguirmi prefectures, where they raised mainly cattle and sheep. Many of the Fulani are fervent Muslims, and some are teachers of the Quran.
Related to the Fulani ethnically and linguistically--but refusing contact--are the nomadic Bororo of western Chad. In the dry season, the Bororo pasture their animals around wells and pools in northern Mayo-Kebbi Prefecture near Bongor. After the first major rains, they leave for Kanem Prefecture, north of Lake Chad.
Data as of December 1988