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Kingdoms and Trading States of Africa

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Christopher Beckvold

on 8 February 2017

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Transcript of Kingdoms and Trading States of Africa

Kingdoms and Trading States of Africa
The Geography of Africa
-Africa is the second largest continent
-Covers 1/5 of the Earth's land surface
-Has distinct climate zones
Section 1: Early Civilizations of Africa
Climate Zones
Tropical rainforests cover less than 1/5 of Africa, which makes the land unsuitable for farming

The savanna, a grassy plain, is the largest & most populated climate zone (north & south)
Has good soil, but irregular rainfall

Cattle herding is a popular occupation

Home to world's largest desert, the Sahara

North & south are most farmable regions

The varied regions yield different mineral resources: salt, gold, iron, copper, oil, & diamonds
Geographic features act as barriers,
restricting movement
Africa has an enormous coastline, but
lacks quality harbors
The interior is a high plateau
Dangerous inland waterways are
impossible to travel
The easiest pathways to move through
are the Great Rift Valley, the Red Sea,
& the Indian Ocean, which link Africa
to Asian islands and the Middle East. The
Mediterranean Sea links Africa to Europe.
Migration of Peoples
The Changing Sahara
Paleolithic people developed skills as
hunters & gatherers.

By 5500 B.C., Neolithic farmers learned
how to cultivate the Nile Valley &
domesticate animals. Villages began to
appear. Water & forests were abundant.

2500 B.C.- Desertification, the process
of land becoming a desert, began as a
result of climate change.
Peoples migrated in order to survive.

Migration of Peoples
The Bantu Migrations
Migrations contributed to diversity of
peoples & cultures

500 A.D. - 1500 A.D.
West African farmers & herders migrated south & east
These peoples spoke various languages,
deriving from a common root language, Bantu.

As people migrated, they adapted to the climate and developed different livelihoods.
The Nile Kingdom of Nubia
Nubia, also called Kush, was located in present-day Sudan along the upper Nile River.

The Nubians frequently repelled Egyptian attempts to conquer them. However, over time, the Nubians developed a culture similar to the Egyptians.

750 B.C.- The Nubian king, Pianki, conquered Egypt. They ruled Egypt for a century before the Assyrians drove them out of Egypt.
The Furnaces of Meroë
500 B.C.- Nubian rulers moved their capital to Meroë, which controlled two routes from the Red Sea to the savanna and to North Africa.

The Nubians traded gold, ivory, animal skins, perfumes and slaves throughout the Mediterranean.

Meroë also produced iron because it was rich with iron ore.
Splendor & Decline
While Nubians copied much of Egyptian culture, they worshipped their own gods.
Ex: Apedemak, a lion-headed, warrior god

Nubian art reflected a greater sense of freedom than its Egyptian neighbor.

The Nubians also created an alphabet different from hieroglyphics.

1st Century A.D.- Nubia began to fall during the reign of King Natakamani & Queen Amanitere.

Circa 350 A.D.- The Kingdom of Axum, along the Red Sea, invaded Nubia.
North Africa
Carthage, founded by Phoenician traders, was the preeminent power in North Africa. It dominated trade in the Mediterranean.

800 - 146 B.C.
Carthage controlled from present-day Tunisia, Algeria, & Morocco to southern Spain & Sicily. There were also outposts, distant military stations, in England & France.

While trade continued in Carthage, it fell to the Romans after the Punic Wars.
Roman Rule
The Romans built roads, dams, aqueducts, & cities across North Africa. They also developed farmlands and imported fierce animals (i.e. lions) for gladiators to fight.

North Africa also supplied Rome with soldiers. One famous soldier from North Africa who became emperor was Septimius Severus.

Because of Rome, Christianity spread to North Africa. A famous Christian theologian from the region was Augustine, the bishop of Hippo (near Carthage).
Camels & Trade
By 200 A.D., camels (known as "ships of the desert") had been brought to North Africa from Asia. They:
Helped increase trade in the region.
Could carry up to 500 pounds and travel 20-30 miles per day without water.

Because of camels, new trade networks were created.
Spread of Islam
During the 600s, Arab armies carried Islam into North Africa.
Originally, the Arabs occupied North African cities and battled the Berbers.
Later, the Arabs & Berbers became allies in order to conquer Spain.

Resulted in:
Islam being the dominant religion in North Africa.
Arabic replacing Latin as the language of the region.

Cities in North Africa (i.e. Cairo, Fez, & Marrakesh) became known for their mosques & their trade. Muslim traders brought not only goods to other lands, but also Islam.
Section 2: Kingdoms of West Africa
Trading Gold and Salt
By 100 A.D., settled farming villages were expanding (i.e. Along the Senegal & Niger Rivers and Lake Chad).

Villagers traded any surplus, or excess, food they grew with the Mediterranean & Middle East.

The two dominant products were gold & salt. Gold was found in Ghana, Nigeria, & Senegal. Men dug it and the women cleaned it.

In exchange, West Africans received an equally important commodity, or valuable product, salt. It was important to their diets in order to prevent dehydration. Some homes in the central Sahara were built using salt blocks.
Gold Wealth of Ghana
By 800 A.D., the rulers of the Soninke people united farming villages to create the kingdom of Ghana (meaning "ruler"), located along the Niger & Senegal Rivers.

Because of its location, the king of Ghana controlled all gold & salt trade in the region. The king charged tolls to all those who entered Ghana and as they left the region.

Its nickname was "land of gold."
Capital and King
The capital of Ghana was Kumbi Saleh, two separate, walled towns that were about six miles apart.

In one section was the royal palace where the king of Ghana resided.
He was viewed as a semi-divine figure.
He dispensed justice & kept order.

In the other section were the merchants.
They lived in luxury and kept Kumbi Saleh a major center of trade.
Influence of Islam
Muslim merchants brought Islam to Ghana. Its spread was slow initially.

Over time, Muslims became counselors & officials to the king. Muslim military technology & government ideas also took root.
Other influences included: written language, coinage, business methods, & architectural styles.

Islam itself did not become a dominant religion in the area, even after the Almoravids attempted to bring Islam using military campaigns.

Traditional beliefs stood firmly. Eventually, the kingdom of Mali conquered Ghana.
The Kingdom of Mali
Mali means "where the king dwells" in Arabic. The mansas, or kings, expanded their influence over the gold-mining regions of the south & the salt supplies of Taghaza.

Mansa Musa- The greatest emperor of Mali who began his 25-year reign in 1312. He:
Expanded Mali's borders to the Atlantic Ocean and to the north.
Converted to Islam & based his system of justice on the Qur'an. However, he did not adopt the Muslim cultural practices of neighboring societies (i.e. the veil).
Forged diplomatic ties with Muslim states.

By the 1400s, Timbuktu became a leading center for learning.
A New Empire in Songhai
Capital: Gao
Two Great Leaders:
Existed along the Niger River in Niger & Burkina Faso.

Sonni Ali, a soldier-king, forged the largest West African kingdom, at that point in history, between 1464 and 1492.
He brought wealthy cities & profitable trade routes under his control.

Emperor Askia Muhammad set up a Muslim dynasty after Sonni Ali's death.
He expanded Songhai's territory and improved its government.
There were separate departments for farming, the army, & the treasury.

He built mosques & schools for studying the Qur'an.
Invaders from the North
Songhai prospered until 1586, when disputes over succession led to civil war. The ruler of Morocco sent his armies to seize West African gold mines. Afterward, he used gunpowder weapons to defeat Songhai.

The ruler of Morocco eventually lost control of Songhai and it splintered into smaller kingdoms.
Other Kingdoms of West Africa
500 - 1500: The fertile northern lands of Nigeria gave rise to the Hausa people. They specialized in farming and trading.

Walled City-States of the Hausa

1300s: The Hausa built clay-walled cities around their independent city-states. These city-states became important commercial centers, selling dyed & weaved cotton, leather, and unique products made by artisans. They conducted with Arab & Berber caravans.

The Hausa developed a written language based on Arabic.

Many Hausa rulers were women, such as Amina of Zaria who expanded the boundary of Zaria and helped the Hausa dominate trade in the area.

The Forest Kingdom of Benin
Benin was located south of the savanna in the rainforests of the Guinea coast.

Its villagers traded pepper, ivory, and slaves with neighbors in the savanna.

An organized Benin began during the 1300s.
An oba, or king, was a political and religious leader. Power was also spread among the queen mother and a council of hereditary chiefs.

Its capital was surrounded by walls and included broad avenues, homes, and a great palace.
The palace was filled with elaborate brass decorations. The Benin learned how to cast bronze and brass from the Ife.
Section 3: Trade Routes of East Africa
Axum & Its Successors
350 A.D.- King Ezana of Axum conquered and absorbed Nubia. Axum stretched from Ethiopia to the Red Sea. Its culture was a mix of African & Jewish religious traditions. The Axumites wrote & spoke in Geez.
A Trade Network

Two major cities were Axum, the capital, and the port of Adulis on the Red Sea.
Between 200 B.C. & 400 A.D., Axum had control over a triangular trade network that connected Africa to India.

The Axumites traded ivory, animal hides, rhinoceros horn, & gold from the interior.

From India, they received iron, spices, precious stones, & cotton.

The Mediterranean provided Axum with linen cloth, brass, copper, iron tools, wine, & olive oil.
The Spread of Christianity
Due to trade, Greek, Egyptian, Arab, & Jewish culture mixed in Axum.

During the 300s, King Ezana converted to Christianity. Because of his conversion, the people also converted and churches replaced older temples.

While Christianity unified Axum with Europe & other regions along the Mediterranean, Axum became isolated as more of its neighbors converted to Islam. Isolation spelled out doom for Axum's trade. Economic decline & civil war eventually led to the overall decline of Axum.
Ethiopia, a Christian Outpost
While Axum declined, rugged mountains protected its descendants, enabling them to maintain their independence.

The unifying power of the Coptic Christian faith gave Axum's descendants a unique identity, creating a culture distinct from its neighbors.

During King Lalibela's reign (1200s), monks built numerous churches. Ethiopians made pilgrimages to Jerusalem. Ethiopia, surrounded by its Muslim neighbors, became a true Christian outpost.

Ethiopian kings believed they were descended from the Israelite king, Solomon, and the Queen of Sheba. This belief was recorded in the book,
The Glory of Kings

The remainder of Ethiopians practiced Judaism. They became known as the Falasha and survived in the mountains of Ethiopia until a famine force them to leave.
East African City-States
Some famous, commercial cities included Kilwa, Mogadishu, Mombasa, & Sofala. Local African rulers protected Arab & Persian merchants, allowing Muslim communities to develop during the 600s. Bantu-speaking peoples migrated to the area and adopted Islam. Lamu & Zanzibar were ideal trading locations in East Africa.
Growth of Trade

Early traders took advantage of wind patterns to travel to India.
Many rulers encouraged trade since it promoted Africa's trade of ivory, leopard skins, iron, copper, pearls, & gold.
It brought cotton cloth, silk, spices, porcelain, glassware, & swords from India, Southeast Asia, & China.
The slave trade also developed.

Trade allowed rulers to build strong city-states & elaborate palaces.
A Blend of Cultures
Because of trade, Bantu-speaking Africans, Arabs, & other Middle Easterners mingled with people from Southeast Asia, India, & China.

Islam also spread. There were marriages between African women & non-African Muslim men.
Due to Africa's traditional property rights, non-African husband acquired their African wife's property, giving them land & opportunities in Africa.

International interaction gave rise to a new language, Swahili, which was a blend of Bantu & Arabic.
Great Zimbabwe
It translates to "great stone buildings."

This Bantu-speaking people settled it between 900 and 1500.

They brought improved farming skills, iron, & mining methods. Consequently, they produced enough food to support a growing population.
Economy & Government
Early settlers raised cattle & built stone walls to protect them.

Over time, they built larger walls & palace. By 1300, Great Zimbabwe's capital reached its zenith as a result of newly discovered gold resources.
They were famous for making jewelry and iron tools.
Great Zimbabwe controlled trade to the Indian Ocean.

The ruler was a god-king who shared power with a queen mother and nine queens.

Governors appointed by the king ruled the provinces.
Circa 1500, Zimbabwe was in decline. This was due to:

Over-farming exhausting the soil
Civil war
Dwindling trade
The Portuguese invasion while searching for gold
Section 4: Many Peoples, Many Traditions
People & the Environment
Over thousands of years, Bantu-speakers migrated across Africa, bringing with them farming and iron-working skills. Societies varied all over Africa.
Hunting & Food Gathering

Hunters & gatherers migrated to the fringes of Africa.
Ex: The Khoisan people adapted to the harsh Kalahari Desert by gathering roots & herbs and hunting small game.

Because food was scarce, these groups only had 20 to 30 members.

They had nature skills that were superior to their city-dwelling neighbors.
Herding & Fishing
In the savanna, people raised herds of cattle. Because grazing areas were limited, they were nomadic. These people had perfected their skills in warfare due to attacks by raiders.

Along coasts & rivers, fish was acquired in abundance using nets. This livelihood allowed communities to support large populations & enabled them to trade for products from the inland.
Forms of Village Government
Farmers lived in tightknit communities, helping each other often. Each person had an assigned responsibility. The size of each community determined the organization of the government.
Sharing Power

In pre-urban societies, power was shared among a number of people.

In some villages, a chief governed, while in others, elders made decisions.

In West Africa, women dominated the marketplace or acted as official peacemakers.
People with valuable opinions spoke and an agreement was reached. Elders' opinions held the greatest weight.

Villagers had to pay taxes & supply soldiers to the central government.
The Kingdom of Kongo
Flourished circa 1500 in central Africa
It consisted of villages grouped into districts and provinces and governed by officials appointed by the king.
Each village was ruled by a chief who was chosen according to his mother's family lineage.
Officials collected taxes for the king.
The king was chosen by a board of electors & had to adhere to traditional laws.
There was not a standing army.
Family Patterns
The family was the basic unit of society. In hunting-gathering groups, the nuclear family was typical, with parents & children living and working together. Other groups lived in joint families & shared the same complex of houses with several generations.
Lines of Descent

Patrilineal families:
Important kinship ties & inheritance were passed through the father's side.
A bride would move to her husband's village to become part of his family.

Matrilineal families:
Inheritance traced through the mother's side.
The husband would join his wife's family.

There were strong ties between brothers & sisters.
A brother protected his sister.
A sister lent her sons to help her brother.
Wider Ties

Each family belonged to a lineage, a group of households who claimed a common ancestor.
Several lineages formed a clan that traced its descent to an even more remote & often legendary ancestor.
Clans built a sense of community.

A person's place in society was also determined by a system of grades.
Ex: An age grade included boys & girls who were born during the same year.
Each grade was assigned particular responsibilities & privileges.
Religious Beliefs
Villagers worshiped many gods & goddesses.
They identified the forces of nature with divine spirits that they tried to influence via rituals & ceremonies.

Many Africans believed in one supreme god, the creator and ruler of the universe.

They also believed that the spirits of their ancestors could intercede on their behalf. As a result, many Africans prayed to their ancestors.
Artistic & Literary Traditions

Artists created works in ivory, wood, & bronze.

Artisans wove & dyed cloth, inscribed jugs & bowls, and made jewelry.
Art often served social & religious purposes.
Statues & other objects were used in ceremonies.
Masks were used to invoke spiritual forces.

A work of art was identified by clan or as a possession of royalty.
Societies preserved histories & values via oral & written literature.
Ex: Axum left written records behind.

Arabic provided a common written language where Islam was practiced.
Muslim scholars congregated in Timbuktu, Kilwa, & North Africa.
Provide information about law, religion, & history.

Oral traditions date back many centuries.
West Africa: Griots, professional poets, recited ancient stories.
Preserved histories & traditional folk tales.

Histories praised heroic deeds of famous ancestors & kings.

Folk tales taught important moral lessons.

All generated a sense of community & common values.
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