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African Civilizations and th

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Ellen L

on 28 February 2014

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Transcript of African Civilizations and th

Mansa Musa: made the hajj in 1324 with his caravan
caravan symbolized the wealthy potential of Africa
Sub-Sahara not completely isolated but contacts ere dficult & intermittent
800-1500 C.E: contacts with outside world increased
Followers of Muhammad ->social, religious, & technological changes
civilizations changed but still retained individuality
linked Muslim Africa to outside world
Mali & Songhay: depended more on military power over cultural unity
Strong merchant communities
Portuguese (15th century) brought Africa in to world economy
societies weren't built on earlier civilizations
• Islam spread through caravan routes
• 3 main coasts of contact
• Sahel an important exchange point
• Cities began to form along coasts
• Ghana rose to power in 3rd
- Reached height of power during 10th
- Used gold and salt taxes
- Huge army
- Survived Almoravid invasion, but began to decline after century
African Societies: Diversity and Similarities
Political and Social Life in the Sudanic States
"The Great Oral Tradition and the Epic of Sundiata"
• Griots were masters of oral tradition
• Held in place in courts
• One significant job was remembering kings
• Example in document- Sundiata and his preparation for a battle
Common Elements in
African Societies
• Common language spread by Bantu speaking people
• Animistic Religions
• Culture survived introduction of Christianity and Islam
• North African economy different from Sub-Saharan
• Agriculture and Ironwork in Sub-Saharan Africa
• Large cities with large amount of merchants
• 30-60 million people in Africa
The Christian Kingdoms: Nubia and Ethiopia
Stateless Societies
• Organized around kinship
• Main power was council/community
• Had less authority
• Affected fewer people
• Other forms of government- secret societies that maintained societies
• Internal issues more easily resolved than external
The Arrival of Islam in North Africa
North Africa conquered and used by Phoenicians, greeks, Romans, & Vandals
640-700 C.E.- Muslim followers spread across North Africa
Muslims ruled Ifriqiya
Almoravids (11th century)- puritanical reformist movement
Jihad- holy war to spread faith
Almohadis followed same patterns
Attraction of Islam
All Muslims are equal withing community
united religion with politics
African Civilizations
Kingdom of the Grasslands
The Empire of Mali and Sundiata, the "Lion Prince"
Mali- created in 13th century by the Malinke people
Rulers of Mali encouraged Islam
Economic Basis = Agriculture
Sundiata (Sunjata) was a brilliant leader
Griots wrote epics about Sundiata, the "Lion Prince"
Mansa Kankan Musa (c. 1312-1337)
made legendary pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324
Sudanic States
• Several States during time of Ghana Empire
• Population of same ethnic background
• Conquests of neighboring states create subordinate communities of the captured
• Early states ruled by Elders then royal rulers
• Fusion of Islamic and African culture
Document Analysis
City Dwellers & Villagers
cosmopolitan styled life
Timbuktu had a large and intelligent populous
small farms specialized by location
Polygamy accepted as normal
Political & social life in Sudanic states-
Ruling families functioned similarly to the feudal system in medieval Europe
Fusion of traditions in Muslim states
Muslims used slavery as a sort of conversion process, but does not always lead to freedom.
• Formed 7th Century with decline of Mali Empire
• Tradition of Farmers and Fishers in Niger river valley
• Capital of Gao
• Flourished with discovery of gold in West African forests
• Gao center of trade
• Reached empire status with conquests of Sunni Ali
• Crumbled with defeat against Muslim army from Morocco
• Split into many states
• Never formed Muslim state
The Songhay Kingdom
Great Mosque of Kairouan
Founded in 670 CE
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