Who are the Mbororo

There are a number of different theories about the origin and identity of the Mbororo-Fulani.  They are the largest nomadic group in the world and play a crucial economic role – ‘Their herds of cattle and sheep are the major source of meat for hundreds of villagers, town and cities from.. the shore of lake Chad to the Atlantic coast of Senegal’.

The Mbororo-Fulani arrived in Cameroon in the early eighteenth century, where they migrated and settled in eight of Cameroon’s ten provinces.

The Mbororo share characteristics with other pastoralist Fulani tribal groups including the Fulfulde language, Haematic ‘racial’ origin, Islamic faith and a cultural code known as ‘Pulaaku’.  However their critical difference to other tribes is their pastoral livelihood.

The Mbororo-Fulani can be divided into three major ethnic groups identified by the colour of their cattle, style of decoration of their bowls and migratory movements.

In Cameroon Mbororo are found all over the national territory under four Lamidats (the highest authority amongst the traditional institutions) under these are found community leaders called Ardos.

Historically the number of cattle that a man owned was an index of his wealth and importance. The women were responsible for milking and they carried the milk, with pats of butter floating in it, in large shallow gourds to local markets, where it was exchanged for food grown by cultivators.  There biggest expense was on the annual cattle tax paid to the local councils.

Historically the culture of the Mbororo people has not been understood leading to conflict with other groups and a lack of security of land tenure and technical skills has meant that they have not been able to settle and invest in their environment.  MBoscuda are working with other community groups, NGOs, local and national government to improve the relationships with the wider community and to improve their rights.

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