Nous sommes très belles

Growing up in the Cameroons, I adored the Fulani - we all did.  We still do.  There are over 27 million of them in Africa, but they're a minority wherever they go because most of them are nomadic and, while they are indeed a beautiful people, they don't all look alike.

As a child, I liked a milk delicacy they make (and only they make).  It was so popular that whenever one casually strolled by (they're an extremely laidback people), our parents would send us out to flag him/her down.  They'd pour it from a gourd and we'd run home, bouncy and hyped like lottery winners.

As an adult, I tend to adore the Fulani fashion sense.  A predominantly Muslim people, there's a trade-off.  The women will willingly cover their hair, etc...but if a Fulani woman sees something she likes at the market, her husband can't play that "honey, it's too expensive" ish.

The lil sis and I have Hausa family members on our mother's side (I mean, really, who doesn't?).  There are over 35 million of them in Africa, and like the Fulani, they're all over.  Their language is actually one of the most widely spoken in Africa.

Like the Fulani, the Hausa don't all look alike, but their women do maintain an impeccable fashion sense.  In addition to also being predominantly Muslim, they share so many similarities with the Fulani that members of the two groups are often confused for each other.

The resplendent and mighty Zulu trace their ancestry all the way back to the pharoahs.  Some say they migrated south as the deserts expanded.

Much of what people know (or think they know) about the Zulu is usually about their men.  But I think we should pay a bit more attention to the women.  Faces like these are perfectly worthy of being immortalized in statues and busts.  Their fashion style is not as in-depth as the Hausa or the Fulani's, but like many of their African siblings, the Zulu incorporate strong color and ornate beading into their looks.

Let this be testament to the vanity of women.  Some of these Maasai women live out in the middle of nowhere, but you best believe they'll be pimpin' regardless.

As with the Zulu, the focus on the Maasai usually falls on the men.  Mais pourquoi?  This lovely woman has such a pure, angelic demeanor.  I find her picture mesmerizing.  Her choice of colors flatters her skintone exquisitely.  I don't usually see silver in African apparel; the women often go with either gold or colors, or both.  But the nighttime purple on her, coupled with the silver, is absolutely heavenly.  They even go with the red dusting on her face, which I never guessed would match.

*sigh* Black women, got to get your heads on straight.  Look at us.  Look at all of us.  We are so beautiful!  Nous sommes très, très, très belles!!!


  1. If God asked me what i wanted to be (and excluded Igbo) i would totally chose Fulani. lol..actually i would love to be many different types of african women because we are so dang BEAUTIFUL, every tribe and ethnic group.

    seriously though, thx for SHOWING this, knowledge is power!!!

  2. But like me, you more likely have Hausa in your family somewhere. I mean, seriously, who doesn't?

  3. Zulu women have seriously beautiful skin. I LOVE talking about how AWESOME, beautiful, great African women are.. seriously we are like perfect, and sooooo unappreciated.

    My personal style has been(for awhile now) very boho, laid-back, unique, not really feminine in anyway look. About a month ago, i decided that umm, im done with that. My past style happened out of not wanting to call attention to myself, comfort and serious laziness.
    This Igbo gal, with all my igbo features just woke up and is about to introduce my fellow Americans to beauty they know nothing about.

  4.'s very possible, that one of the reason i really need to make time to trace African history for myself.

  5. One thing I'm amazed at.. is how clear their skin is.
    I think a lot of people adore the Fulani.

    Oh, it's interesting in a way for me because the Maasai women are the ones who are noted most -in Nairobi, Kenya.
    I guess from other countries, people focus on the Maasai guys? maybe it was just in my circle of friends/family.

    I remember my friends and I use to gush over the beads.
    Such beautiful beads ^^

  6. This is even MORE of a reminder that I eventually have to make the effort to trace my family history back further than we did for our family reunion. I know of my Native American roots, but it's been nagging at me lately that I don't know what tribe we originated from...and if it's ANY of these tribes of beautiful African women, I will literally LEAP for joy!

  7. Thank you for starting this series. The images and descriptions of these elegant African women are just so rich and beautiful. I agree with the previous poster. Knowledge is power and infinitely satisfying. Definitely looking forward to your next post.

  8. So far all I know about my ancestry is that my paternal grandmother's great great grandmother was a Yoruba slave that was brought to Trinidad, and that's where she and her family ended up staying. Wish I knew more but that's a gem in itself.

  9. This is a informative and beautiful series!

  10. LOL - "Nous Sommes Tres Belles" isn't actually a series, ladies...I just wanted to make a quick point. I just wanted to remind you all of how beautiful you are.

  11. Wow! beautiful pictures! I agree, the Maasai woman is entrancing. And yes, we have got to remember just how beautiful we are!

    Thank you,


  12. Ahhh, truly beautiful. All those women deserve to have more air time. I feel like I'm repeating myself on every single post i comment, but whatever : thank you!
    I'd like to show that post to the people that say that all blacks look the same, and that there is such thing as a unified "African culture".

  13. I'd like to show that post to the people that say that all blacks look the same, and that there is such thing as a unified "African culture".

    Indeed, we don't all look alike. And we're the most multilingual continent on the planet (over a thousand languages). There's so much going on in Africa, and I wish more black women here knew about it.

    I think it would be very beneficial - psychologically - for more black women to just peruse pictures of African women and the various fashions, and let themselves feel inspired to do something different with their own bodies.

  14. I left a comment on Abagond's blog because I saw this post up there first. I'll still say it here though, I love this post.

    Plus I just had a crazy idea, we can share beauty tips from Hausa women here! One thing I missed about Nigeria while I was away were the Fulani milk delicacy and traditional Hausa 'spas'.

  15. One thing I missed about Nigeria while I was away were the Fulani milk delicacy and traditional Hausa 'spas'.

    Oh, you too? Have the Fulani shared the recipe yet? Or are they still being stingy with it?

  16. Wow, those women are so gorgeous. Are they mixed? Because you know, it seems like they have some like, European features- like small noses and nice attitudes.


    But seriously though, I love these pictures. Those women really are beautiful : ) I especially like the red beading on the girl in the middle.
    I also googled the Princess of Swaziland and she seems like a bad ass.

  17. @ Pajamas

    LOL you scared me for a minute! Yeah, Ank, that Swazi Princess was so beautiful!

  18. Those women really are beautiful : ) I especially like the red beading on the girl in the middle.

    I'm mad that chick's eyebrows are PERFECT.

  19. in the photo with the 3 women, the lady on the left looks just like my friend's sister

  20. @Ankh

    They are still being very stingy. Till today, I don't know what exactly is inside the drink. I don't care much either way because it tastes so good.

  21. *sigh* Maybe we're just not meant to know.

  22. I spoke with some Southern Africans about their clear skin. They said that the key to their clear skin is ALOT of fruits and veggies and very little fried dishes.

  23. @ Chizzy D

    Sounds about right. For me, it's drinking lots of water and avoiding meat whenever possible.


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