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West African Kingdoms

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West African Kingdoms

  1. 1. West African Empires
  2. 2. The Empire of Ghana 750-1076 <ul><li>Political: </li></ul><ul><li>Founded by Soninke people (750 CE) </li></ul><ul><li>Led by powerful King who ruled over a splendid court - chose princes and officials to govern – Worshipped as Divine </li></ul><ul><li>Ghana means “War Chief” </li></ul><ul><li>Capital city was Kumbi Saleh </li></ul><ul><li>Had a large army of foot soldiers and cavalry (200,000) – helped to expand kingdom </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Empire of Ghana 750-1076 The silent barter system was a system started by Ghana, which did not involve any communication between the two trading kingdoms. Instead of meeting and arguing a price, gold would be left at a special place, and the traders would simply come and take it from that secret place. If the desired goods were not left in the same place, in return, then the trade would immediately be stopped. The trading kingdoms often could not speak the same language; therefore the “silent barter system”, was a very effective and useful way of trading. Most traders were afraid to leave too little in return of the gold Ghana provided them with, for they knew that if they did, Ghana would stop the trade. Afraid that the trade between Ghana and their kingdom would stop, many rulers would always leave a bit more than required, in return!
  4. 4. It’s been a long journey but I’m almost there! I can’t wait to get Gold from Ghana!
  5. 5. Just place the goods here! We will go back to the town and return tomorrow to see if our goods are what they want!
  6. 6. Well, They have some much needed salt, some peacock feathers… very nice! Oh yes, they also have an excellent array of spices! So, What did they leave? How much gold should we leave? A fair amount, but not too much! They will give more to ensure that we continue to trade with them!
  7. 7. Well, it’s not as much as we would like, but if we haggle, they may never trade with us again! I’ll hit the drum to let them know we have a deal!
  8. 8. The Empire of Ghana <ul><li>Economic System </li></ul><ul><li>Commercially based empire. Gold-Salt Trade – led by camel caravans </li></ul><ul><li>Controlled and secured trade routes with Muslim Berbers. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Also traded in ivory, slaves, horses, cloth, salt. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Silent Trade” – dumb barter to protect source of gold </li></ul><ul><li>Koumbi – major trading city </li></ul><ul><li>Conversion by emperors to Islam improved diplomatic and economic relations between West Africa and the Islamic World. </li></ul>The king charged a tax on all the people entering and leaving Ghana. The tax was paid in salt, iron, peacock feathers, fine silks, spices etc. The trade routes were protected from raiders by the Ghana warriors in return.
  9. 9. The Empire of Ghana
  10. 10. The Empire of Ghana <ul><li>Achievements </li></ul><ul><li>Influenced by Muslims: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Military technology – iron tipped spears </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sculptures, gold and silver jewels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Arabic writing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Architecture </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Royal tombs </li></ul><ul><li>Large armies </li></ul><ul><li>Women had a high status and active role in market place </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Mali Empire 1100-1400
  12. 12. Mali Empire <ul><li>Political: </li></ul><ul><li>Sundiata – founder of Mali in 1230 CE </li></ul><ul><li>Ruled by powerful kings called Mansas - Converted to Islam </li></ul><ul><li>Professional army </li></ul><ul><li>Expanded territory and appointed governors to rule areas and collect taxes – strong local government, somewhat decentralized </li></ul><ul><li>Women could hold government positions </li></ul><ul><li>Laws based on Muslim system of justice (The Quran) </li></ul><ul><li>Mansa Musa : Most powerful leader, converted to Islam and made pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj) </li></ul>
  13. 14. Mali Empire <ul><li>Economic: </li></ul><ul><li>Controlled Gold Salt Trade – seized gold producing areas </li></ul><ul><li>Its wide variety of environments produced a wide variety of goods. – Fixed exchange rates </li></ul><ul><li>The rule of the Mansa (king) created peace and security for merchants to travel and trade freely. </li></ul><ul><li>Niani, Timbuktu, Gao – major trading cities </li></ul><ul><li>As a result, merchants began to establish family firms, with different individuals settling in far-flung parts of the Mali empire to carry on trade. </li></ul><ul><li>Common items of exchange were kola nuts, butter, textiles and metal goods. </li></ul>
  14. 15. Mali Empire <ul><li>Achievements: </li></ul><ul><li>Developed the city of Timbuktu which became a great trading city and center of Muslim learning. Invited Muslim Scholars to Mali </li></ul><ul><li>Conversion to Islam and Mansa Musa’s pilgrimage to Mecca brought world wide attention to West Africa </li></ul><ul><li>Made the need of a large population and a large army a permanent necessity for states in West Africa. </li></ul>
  15. 17. Songhai Empire <ul><li>Political: </li></ul><ul><li>Sunni Ali- 1464 gained power and restored order </li></ul><ul><li>Powerful army used war and force to control region </li></ul><ul><li>Askia Muhammad- great leader who made pilgrimage to Mecca </li></ul><ul><li>Organized provinces and created a bureaucracy </li></ul><ul><li>Developed a code of laws based on Islam </li></ul>
  16. 18. Songhai Empire <ul><li>Economic: </li></ul><ul><li>Controlled Gold Salt trade </li></ul><ul><li>Industrious farmers and skilled craftsmen in iron and copper </li></ul><ul><li>Slave trade developed </li></ul><ul><li>Merchants became very wealthy and influential </li></ul><ul><li>Timbuktu remained a major economic and cultural city </li></ul>Djenne Mosque
  17. 19. Songhai Empire <ul><li>Achievements: </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraged Muslim Scholars to settle in Timbuktu </li></ul><ul><li>Timbuktu became a cultural and learning center </li></ul><ul><li>University of Sankore - study of medicine, grammar, literature </li></ul><ul><li>Expanded empire with the use of force </li></ul>