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Transcript of Ancient Ghana
Shelby Watson Ancient Ghana
"Wagadou Empire" ~The ancient kingdom of Ghana was about 500 miles northwest of present day Ghana
~It flourished along the Niger River before the Sahara Desert reached Ghana
~Ancient Ghana was located in what is now Southeastern Mauritanin, Western Mali and Eastern Senegal
~The ancient kingdom occupied the area between Senegal and Niger River
~ The capital of Ancient Ghana was Kumbi Saleh. Geography ~Created/Began in 300 A.D. and ended in about 1100 A.D.
~Wagadagu was the original name of the tribe that ruled the land
~It is also believed that The Soninke people lived there.
~"Ghana" was the title of its emperor on which the empire became popular in Europe and the Middle East
~The emperor was considered as an incarnation of God and was highly revered and worshiped
~Islam was the primary religion in this empire
~The people of Ghana had many different festivals and rituals than us, different art/architecture, and different ways to learn.
~ The past Kings of Ancient Ghana were very smart, and by creating rules with their trading to other parts of Africa, they became rich.
~In 1054 AD when the Almoravid rulers came south to conquer the Kingdom of Ghana to convert people to Islam, it opened a way for the Kingdom of Mail to gain power. History: ~Religion
~Gods and Godesses
~Art/Architecture Religion ~Their Gods and Goddesses were very similar to Ancient Egypt's, but the names and appearances of the Gods and Goddesses were changed.
~ Learned about Christianity from traders that came through the city, and some converted
~They believed in a "Creator God", who put everything on the earth, but doesn't interfere with people.
~ They also believed in spirits that control nature, so they worshiped for good weather and harvest.
~Traders also brought the Islam faith with them
~The Islamic community at Kumbi Saleh (the capital of Ancient Ghana) remained a separate community
~As this converting to Islam went on in Ghana, the state of Tarkur to the west had already adopted Islam as its official religion. Griots Writers ~Griots were story tellers
~The children did not go to school as we know it
~The people gathered in the evening to hear the stories
~The griots were responsible for passing on stories and traditions from one generation to another.
~The all time "favorite" story was about Anansi The Spider
The moral of the story Anansi The Spider, to the left, is don't be too greedy. Daily Life: ~Most people were farmers, miners or artists
~They made amazing fabrics
~They used mud to make designs on dyed cloth which they set in the sun that made mud cloth.
~When the sun baked mud, it could create a design in the cloth
~They had the Niger River which provided water for farming, washing, bathing,fish and waterfowl to eat
~ People usually lived in villages. Villages had a population of about 50 people. Gold Rush: ~ The Ancient Ghanian Empire was one of the most powerful and prosperous empires during it's period
~Ancient Ghana had the richest and largest gold mines on Earth located at Bambuk
~Up until 1957, Ghana was called the Gold Coast
~Portugese, France and Great Britain invaded Ghana in their quest for gold Sacrifice: The wealth of Ghana is also explained through the story of Bida, the black snake. This snake demanded an annual sacrifice in return for guaranteeing prosperity in the kingdom. Every year a virgin was offered up, until one year, the fiance of the victim, (his name was Mamadou Sarolle) rescued her. Cheated of his sacrifice, Bida took revenge on this region. A terrible drought took hold of Ghana and gold mining fell into decline. Archaeologists have found evidence that confirms elements of the story, showing that until the 12th century, sheep, cows as well as goats were abundant in the region. But after that, only the tougher goats that could survive the drought were there. Culture http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/africa/featurs/storyofafrica/4chapter1.shtml
http://smithlifescience.com/8-2ssafricamiddlekingdoms.htm Bibliography: The Ghanians could withstand almost anything that challenged them
They rode horses and elephants into war
They were known as the "Great Horse Trainers"
Their warriors were the strongest on the planet at that time
The soldier wore a panther or lion skin pelt. They carried long bows up to six feet in length. At the tip, there were small pointed arrowheads. They also used clubs and javelins made of antelope horns.
A method that they used for bows and arrows was that they had stone rings on the end so while pulling back, their hands wouldn't get cut
Weapons commonly used were warrior arrows (very sharp stone points), iron tipped spears, and shields. Trade and the Trade Route ~They built their capital city, Kumbi Saleh, right on the edge of the Sahara and the city quickly became the most dynamic and important southern terminus of the Saharan trade routes. Kumbi Saleh became the focus of all trade, with a systematic form of taxation.~Each kingdom in West Africa at the time wanted something another kingdom had. This created a good trading system.
~The north had salt and the south had gold. Because Ghana was in the middle, it handled the trade.
~Ghana was able to get rich by expanding their control to include trade with foreigners. They traded spices, luxury goods, and salt.
~The route taken by traders of the Maghreb to Ghana would have started in North Africa in Tahert going down through Sijilimasa in Southwestern Morocco.
~From there, the trail went south and inland running parallel with the coast.
~Then, it curved to the south east region through Awadaghust
~It ended in Kumbi Saleh- a royal town of Ghana Decline Of the Empire: The King lost his trading monopoly.
At the same time, a drought was beginning to have a long term effect on the land and its ability to sustain cattle and cultivation.
The Empire of Ghana was also under pressure from outside forces
There was an Arab tradition that the Almoravid Muslims came down from the North and invaded Ghana
In the 11th and 12th century, new gold fields began to be mined at Bure (modern day Guinea)
Ghana became the target of attacks by the Sosso ruler Sumanguru. Out of this conflict, the Malinke emerged in 1235 under a dynamic ruler, Sundiata Keita. Soon Ghana was totally eclipsed by the Mali Empire of Sundiata. Godesses:
Amesemi- goddess of protection and wife of Apedemat
Bastet- Goddess associated with motherhood
Hator- goddess of love and beauty. She protected women during child birth
Isis- protector goddess of the dead. associated witht the hawk
Ma'at- goddess of harmony and balance
Selchmet- goddess of choas and anger
Taneret- protector goddess of women Military and Weapons Government The priests were more powerful than the kings
Kings were believed religious rulers and watched over priests' work
Priests maintained temples and made sure that the religious ceremonies were done correctly
They also taught the kings of the important matters of the state
The priests could order a king's death if they didn't think that the king was a good ruler
Kings were almost forced to commit suicide sometimes
One king, however,killed the priests who ordered his death instead of himself. This was King Arkmani-quo Rulers: One famous king was King Kashta
He left around 750 BC to conquer Egypt. His son took over when he left.
The dynasty lasted about 70 years
An example of the king and queen is King Natakamani and Queen Amanitore. They both looked up to each other so one wasn't more powerful than the other
Kings were worshiped like gods
Rulers had to protect there country from invaders
A common way was to show other countries that they were not worth invading. This strategy was very successful
The King of Ghana at the start of the trade created three things that he felt would protect his people:
1: He charged a tax on all people entering and leaving Ghana. This could be aid in salt, iron, peacock feathers, fine silk, spices, and other luxury good. This tax made Ghana rich.
2: The System of Silent Barter- Because the people of Ghana didn't always speak the language of the traders, gold would be left at a special place for the traders to take. If ample good were not left in exchange, all trade ceased.
3: A Second City- The King of Ghana did not want traders to enter his city on a routine basis. To protect the people, he built a second city for traders located 6 miles from the main capital. Gods
Amun- god of sun and creator of all things
Apedemat- Warrior god associated with the moon
Arensnuphis- god of life, air and wind
Bes- protector god of dancing and singing
Osiris- god associated with afterlife and dead rulers
Ptah- god of crafts people and artists
Thoth- god of moon assoiciated with language and wisdom Islamic traders first started using camels to transport goods in 750CE
Camels were ideal goods carriers because they can carry heavy loads, go a long time without water, and they can run fast
Camels were sometimes called "The Ships of the Desert"
The Trans-Sahara Trade Route was through the Sahara Desert
Prince Henry of Portugal had a hunch that you could get around Africa. When the people saw he was right, they started traveling by sea instead of camel
People then rarely used the Trans-Sahara Route
The Trans-Sahara route got the people from Kush to West Africa Why Anansi Has Eight Thin Legs Once upon a time, a long time ago, there lived a spider named Anansi. Anansi's wife was a very good cook. But always, Anansi loved to taste the food that others made for themselves and for their families. One day, he stopped by Rabbit's house. Rabbit was his good friend. "There are greens in your pot,'' cried Anansi excitedly. Anansi loved greens.
"They are not quite done,'' said Rabbit. "But they will be soon. Stay and eat with me."
"I would love to, Rabbit, but I have some things to do," Anansi said hurriedly. If he waited at Rabbit's house, Rabbit would certainly give him jobs to do. "I know,'' said Anansi. "i'll spin a web. I'll tie one end around my leg and one end to your pot. When the greens are done, tug on the web, and I'll come running!'' Rabbit thought that this was a great idea. And so it was done. "I smell beans," Anansi sniffed excitedly as he ambled along. "Delicious beans, cooking in a pot." "Come eat our beans with us," cried the monkeys. "They are almost done,"
"I would love to Father Monkey," said Anansi. And again, Anansi suggested he spin a web, with one tied around his leg, and one tied to the big bean pot. Father Monkey thought this was a great idea. All his children thought so, too. And so it was done.
"I smell sweet potatoes," Anansi sniffed happily as he ambled along. "Sweet potatoes and honey, I do believe!"
"Anansi," called his friend Hog. "My pot is full of sweet potatoes and honey! came share my food with me."
"I would love to," said Anansi. And again, Anansi suggested he spin a web, with one end tied around his leg, and one end tied to the sweet potato pot. His friend Hog thought that was a great idea. And so it was done.
By the time Anansi arrived at the river, he had one web tied to each of his legs.
"This was a wonderful idea," Anansi toldhjimself proudly. "I wonder whose pot will be ready first?"
Just then, Anansi felt a tug at his leg. "Ah," said Anansi. "That is the web string tied to Rabbit's greens." He felt another. And another. Anansi was pulled three ways at once.
"Oh dear," said Anansi as he felt the fourth web string pull.
Just then, he felt the fifth web string tug. And the sixth. And the seventh. And the eighth. Anansi was pulled this way and that way, as everyone pulled on the web strings at once. His legs were pulled thinner and thinner. Anansi rolled quickly into the river. When all the webs had washed away, Anansi pulled himself painfully up on shore.
"Oh my, oh my," sighed Anansi. "Perhaps that was not such a good idea after all.
To this day, Anansi the Spider has eight very thin legs. And he never got any food that day at all. Transportation with Trading Art/Architecture ~ The artwork was inspired by Egyptian arts.
~ They had a special type of painting called Releifs.
~ Releifs were carvings on the walls of a palace or pyramid. They were usually drawings of daily life (such as giraffes, antelopes, etc.)
~ Practiced pottery, made clay bowls or pots, then painted them
~ Rich and wealthy people owned pottery
~ Geometric shapes and plants were painted
~ Did NOT paint Gods or powerful rulers
~ They built buildings out of different materials, but most of the time, they were made out of mud/dirt.
~ They built temples to worship Gods. The People of Ancient Ghana The people of Ancient Ghana looked different than we do. They had dark skin, flat noses, and very long, tangled wooly hair. They had a sort of burnt appearance when they were born. Most of their beards and hair were very curly. Most people did not wear any clothes. Only the rich wore clothes. Only the kings wore sandals. Everyone else was barefoot. The women liked to dress up and be fancy, so they would paint their hair and nails. They wore lots of eye-shadow and jewelry. People's clothes were colorful and were made out of cotton. The ethnicity of most of the people was Ashanti and Akan.