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Ancient African Kingdoms

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Carson Powell

on 11 January 2013

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Transcript of Ancient African Kingdoms

Ancient Ghana Ancient African Kingdoms The Ghana empire was powerful and wealthy that got its money through the gold trade and became wealthier when camels were brought to Africa. This empire lasted from before 830 to 1235. The capital of Ghana was Koumbi Saleh. There were two different languages used in Ghana like Mande and Soninke. Ancient Mali Mali became renowned for its wealthy rulers. Mali had a lot of influences on neighboring places, so its laws, customs, and languages were wide-spread. Mali spanned over a large area including many vassal kingdoms. Kongo At its greatest extent Kongo reached from the Atlantic Ocean to the Kwango River, and from the Congo River to the Kwanza River. The kingdom consisted of many core provinces ruled by kings. Songhai Songhai was one of the largest islamic empires. Its capital is Gao, where a Songhai state was since the 11th century. Zimbabwe Most people don’t know about Zimbabwe is that it was one of the most powerful nations in ancient Africa and was a major trader. They built a giant stone temple that was destroyed many years later. Zimbabwe became very powerful because of the countries wealth in gold Luba Luba was a pre-colonial Central African State. Luba arose in marshlands in what is now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ghana Government Ghana's government was a monarchy. First they were ruled by Majan Dyabe Cisse. Majan was said to be the nephew of Ghana. The second ruler was Ghana Bassi. Bassi made high taxes and this was the begining of the end of Ghana. The final ruler was Soumba Cisse. Ghana's Trade Ghana was a wealthy empire because of its gold and salt. Traders had to pay one gold dinar in tax on imports of salt and two on imports of gold. The main center of trade was the capital, Koumbi Saleh. The king was the only one who got gold nuggets and everyone else just got gold dust. When the camel came to Ghana goods were traded more efficiently across the Sahara desert. Ghana and Islam Islam came to Ghana through traders. The islamic part of Koumbi Saleh was away from the kings palace. This part of the capital had its own mosques and schools. The king drew on the book- keeping and literary skills. He still kept his own traditional religion. Mansa Musa's Pilgrimage There were many emperors of mali but the most famous was Mansa Musa. Mansa Musa was a devout muslim so he had to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca. During his pilgrimage he had 80 camels, 12,000 slaves, and 60,000 men. The camels carried 50 to 300lb bags of gold dust each and each of the slaves carried a 4lb gold bar. Each poor person he met he would give gold to and built a mosque every friday. Geography of Mali The northern part of Mali was dry and arid. Central Mali has the Niger river flowing through it and has its annual floods. The southern part of Mali is a savannah or grassland. Mali's economy Mali had a stable economy with a very high level of trading. There were three important goods which were gold, salt, and copper. Mali had three main gold mines and by the 14th century Mali had already exported half of the old world's gold. The empire grew rich by taxing gold and salt that came into its borders. There were many plants that they grew like beans, rice, guards, cotton and peanuts. Art and Architecture Mali's architecture was exquisite and had a lot of advancements like their mosques. Their art was shown through wood carving, jewelery making, story telling, and music. Government The upper classes converted to islam while the lower classes kept their traditional religion. Timbuktu was the education capital. Askia Muhammad appointed governors and mayors to certain provinces. Tax was imposed onto peripheral provinces to ensure dominance of Songhai. Askia Muhammad made it so Songhai had great centralization and he encouraged learning in Timbuktu. Economy Economic trade happened throughout Songhai. Merchants and ports were protected by the state. Songhai had a clan based society. Depending on what clan you were in that clan decides what your occupation will be. Culture When Songhai was at its peak Timbuktu was a cultural and commercial center. Many merchants gathered to trade in Timbuktu. A rise of islamic scholarship took place at the Timbuktu University. By the 1500's Songhai took over 1.4 million square kilometers. Government The currency in Kongo was shell money. For big amounts of shells there was standard units. Governors paid part of the tax. Crown revenues supported churches, paid by revenue assignments. Agriculture The people of Kongo planted beans, bananas, peanuts, and many others. The cash crops are coffee, palm oil, and bananas. Fishing and hunting were still taken up but most people worked in the city. Great Zimbabwe Great Zimbabwe was the capital of Zimbabwe. At its peak it could of housed 18,000 people. Great Zimbabwe was a palace for the monarch and would have seated political power. Trade The people in Zimbabwe traded gold, ivory, furs, and slaves. In return they would get porcelain, glass, and textiles. There own domestic economy was based on the number of cattle as a measure of wealth. Government Luba's government is based on the twin principles of sacred kingship and rule by council. This style of government worked so well that the Lunda kingdom adopted the same idea. Economy The local economy lead to the developments of small kingdoms. Trade routes that came through Luba are connected to larger networks of trade routes. Luba was tribute based economy so nobles sent hunting and mining supplies and lower classes sent salt, copper, and iron-ore.
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