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Songhai: The Largest and Last of the Pre-Colonial Empires in West Africa

Project for my 7th Grade Social Studies Class. Enjoy!

Sanjana Malhotra

on 29 November 2013

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Transcript of Songhai: The Largest and Last of the Pre-Colonial Empires in West Africa

The Largest and Last of the Pre-Colonial Empires in West Africa

Greetings and welcome to this marvelous presentation on the largest and last empire in a line of West African Kingdoms, Songhai!

In this Prezi, I will be teaching you guys important aspects of Songhai's Kingdom.

But we have to remember the roots of the famous line of West African Kingdoms before we begin...
Trading Goods and Trading Slaves in the Last Kingdom
I can speak for the lot of us when I say that we know that Songhai didn't just pop up from the ground.

Before Songhai, two very important West African Kingdoms came to power. Each had their height of power when the kingdom was most successful.

Chronological Order of the West African Kingdoms Year of Height:

Ghana: 1000 C.E., 492 years before Columbus stumbled upon what is now America.

Mali: 1400 C.E., 92 years before Columbus stepped foot in America.

SONGHAI: 1500 C.E., 8 years after Columbus already walked on American Soil
Created By: Sanjana Malhotra
Created On: 10/29/13
For Mr.Verga's Social Studies Class

Location of the Songhai Empire
The Songhai Empire was located along the Niger River. It expanded all the way to the edge of Africa's west side of the continent. Songhai was a large empire! The cities of Timbuktu and Gao could be found in this empire's territory.
Since Mansa Musa conquered Songhai in the 1300's and because he was a Muslim, Songhai carried the Islamic faith.
Under the rule of the famous leader of Songhai, Askia the Great, the prayer temples of the Islam Religion, Mosques, were built so the people in Songhai could have a place of worship.
Traders who would leave Songhai would try to convert foreign traders they saw on traveling on trade routes to the Islam religion considering that at that time, it was a widely practiced religion.
The people who lived in Songhai would take a hajj once in their life to Mecca. A hajj is a pilgrimage or journey to the Mecca which every Muslim is required to make once in their lifetime.
According to data collected, the second largest religion in the world that is smaller than Christianity is the Islam Religion. There are 1,426,592,072 people who follow the Islam religion making that 21.01% of the entire world. Islam originates from Africa and was a widespread religion in Songhai when the empire was blooming.
Economic trade existed throughout the kingdom of Songhai. It was the main form of getting what you needed when you traded for something else.
One of the loads of things that were traded in Songhai was gold. Precious gold. Songhai had independent gold fields meaning that all the gold they dug up belonged to them giving them complete authority on what to do with the gold.
Salt or as a nutritionist may refer to it, sodium. Salt is essential in our diet and salt makes bland food very tasty. Salt was traded in Songhai because it is essential in food and it can was used as a form of currency. Salt was a tool to the people of Songhai in the 1500's.
Slavery didn't start in America. In fact, slavery was going on for decades and decades in Africa and other parts of the world. Slavery in Africa was composed of African slaveholders and African slaves considering that they only traded amongst themselves. In Songhai, slaves were traded to work in the gold fields since they had their own independent fields that belonged to them and them alone. People who were captured during village raids, in debt or a criminal would most likely be bought be slaveholders to do domestic work and labor.
Trading still continues in today's society. Kids trade playing cards and the most common of them all, Pokemon Cards. Kids trade Charzards for Torterra's and Dialga's for Palkia's (common Pokemon talk) almost everyday. I remember when I was younger, I traded Pokemon cards with my classmates and I still have those today. Even if now trading in society have become smaller and not as big as it used to be, trading is going on in our everyday lives.
American Slaves
Slavery began in America when African Americans were brought to America when colonies began to bloom. Slaves usually did domestic and field work that the slave masters didn't want to do. Just like slavery in Songhai, the slaves in America almost had similar duties to they did in the past.
Askia the Great
Askia the Great started out with the name Muhammad Ture. Later he became known as Askia the Great after taking on the name Askia from a military rank. Under the rule of Askia the Great, mosques, universities, schools and libraries were built in Timbuktu and Gao.
Songhai's Invasion
Songhai was invaded by the Moroccans after Askia the Great lost power. Morocco was north of Songhai at the time so if they were to invade, all they had to move was move towards the south. The Saharan Salt Mines could be found in Songhai and the Moroccans wanted control of that. Superior military power allowed the Moroccans to take over Timbuktu and Gao.
Gold in Different Time Periods
Like Songhai America was rich in gold at one point in American history. The California Gold Rush of 1948 triggered gold-seekers to come from all over America to find this precious metal. The gold seekers were called "The 49ers". In Songhai, many gold fields could be found and slaves were often sent there to work. Both America and Songhai were rich in gold at one point in history that bought economic opportunity to their land.
Education: Songhai to America
When Songhai was a blooming empire, universities and schools were founded. There grammar, math, medicine, science and law were studied. People from all over the Songhai empire came to the major cities of Timbuktu and Gao to learn and study there subjects. In the modern world, graduates would come from different countries to study in universities in America and get better jobs which will help them in their future.
Well, I hope that all of you viewers out there in the audience learned from this amazing and informational Prezi that I created. Not only did you learn about religion and trade, but you also took away world connections that came be made from Songhai to the modern world.

Songhai was the largest and last empire of the Pre-Colonial West African Kingdoms. Songhai left it's mark and history and should be recognized as a pioneering empire when it comes to well-known empires.

Thanks for viewing my Prezi and I hope you all learned something from my presentation!
The World's Largest Religions
Just as the Islamic prayer house is a Mosque, Christians worship at their prayer house, a church. People go to church to pray and Muslim people go practice their religion. Almost every religion has their own place of worship!
Songhai's Laws
Songhai's Laws were based off of the Islamic Principles. Since everyone there was of the Islamic religion, the laws would be easy to abide by since everyone knows the primary principles.
Songhai's Capital City
Songhai was first founded around the area of the city Gao. Soon, Gao became Songhai's capital city. In Gao, many universities, schools and libraries blossomed making the Songhai empire every successful.
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