The Fulani bride is a work of art. Everything about her is distinct; from her usually easy-to-recognise physical features – high cheekbones, flawless complexion – to the actual art that adorns her body.
The Fulani people are estimated to number forty-five million across a whopping thirty countries. They can be found mostly in West Africa, but are also spread across Central Africa and almost as far in North Africa as the desert.
Some of the Fulani have settled within communities they migrated to, while others are wholly nomadic. The nomadic types still largely practice core Fulani wedding practices and tradition. The bride wears a white cotton 2-piece attire with brightly-coloured accents; and lovely, colourful, beaded bangles, earrings, and headbands around her neatly-braided hair. She may even wear very large, gold jewellery and artsy headpieces.
For those who settled amongst the Hausa and Kanuri, there is now some culture overlap in the brides’ dressing, as the fulanis are quite warm, and welcoming of cultures where they settle. They and other Northern brides sometimes even choose to incorporate aspects of other far-off cultures, such as the Yoruba bridal attire.
In any case, one constant is the beautiful lalle or henna design that intricately decorates her arms and legs; an ode to her heritage.
Photos of Beautiful Brides, Next Page