Fulani Earrings

Girl wearing Fulani earrings
Fulani Earrings

Fulani Earrings - Introduction

The Fulani tribe of Africa is well known for their traditional jewelry, especially their extra large gold earrings which can be up to five inches long. Fulani women adorn themselves with all kinds of jewelry including earrings (also called kwottone kanye), rings, bangles, and necklaces usually made out of gold or silver. The women also wear beautiful glass and amber beads in their hair. As is true with most tribal African jewelry the tribe regards jewelry as a symbol of wealth and status. A Fulani woman acquires jewelry in many ways including as a dowry from her husband and upon the death of her mother. Traditionally the Fulani, who are a nomadic tribe, wear their wealth in the form of jewelry so that they can carry it with them where ever they go. It was often used to buy goods from other tribes they would encounter.

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The Fulani People

The Fulani people (also called Fulbe or Fula) are by tradition a nomadic tribe. They are mainly found in West Africa, and to a lesser degree in Central Africa and North Africa. The countries they are found in include Mali, Nigeria, Niger, Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Chad, Liberia, Togo, and the Central African Republic. They are a minority in all the countries they live in. Most of the Fulani people are Muslim.

The Fulani people are often referred to along with the Hausa people as Hausa-Fulani. This is because the two peoples histories has been largely intertwined since the Fulani defeated the Hausas in the Fulani War which ended in 1810.

Being a nomadic tribe their artwork is in the form of objects and items that can be easily transported such as jewelry and clothing. They do not create artwork that cannot be moved easily, such as large sculptures.