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Transcript of Post-Classical Africa
Mali and Malindi: West and East Sudanic West Africa: Mali 1200s-1600s
Early on, Mali kings converted to Islam. However, conversions generally only occurred in the elite classes. Generally, the commoners continued to practice native religions.
Islam came to West Africa by way of merchants from the North
Merchants would often marry local women and have children Islam in Mali Islam in Mali was always much more accepting of local traditions and customs.
Women of West Africa continued to have much more freedom than did women of other Muslim lands
Evidence of this can be seen in the writings of Ibn Battuta Some of Battuta's descriptions of Mali "The women are of exceptional beauty and are more highly respected than the men."
"The women servants, slave-girls, and young girls go about in front of everyone naked, without a stitch of clothing on them. Women go into the sultan's presence naked and without coverings, and his daughters also go about naked. Then there is their custom of putting dust and ashes on their heads, as a mark of respect, and the grotesque ceremonies we have described when the poets recite their verses" Mali's Economy Located at an important crossroad between the Trans-Sahara and Sub-Sahara trade routes
Very wealthy because of an abundance of salt and gold
Collected trade tolls from traveling merchants Mansa Musa Most well-known leader of Mali
Pilgrimage to Mecca harmed Egypt's economy because of the vast amounts of gold that he spent
Led to inflation Description of Mansa Musa's pilgrimage According to Nawal Bell, African Historian, 1972
Musa made his pilgrimage in 1324, his procession reported to include 60,000 men, 12,000 slaves who all carried 4-lb. gold bars, heralds dressed in silks who bore gold staffs, organized horses and handled bags. Musa provided all necessities for the procession, feeding the entire company of men and animals. Also in the train were 80 camels, which varying reports claim carried between 50 and 300 pounds of gold dust each. He gave away the gold to the poor he met along his route. Musa not only gave to the cities he passed on the way to Mecca, including Cairo and Medina, but also traded gold for souvenirs. Furthermore, it has been recorded that he built a mosque each and every Friday. Swahili City-States Originally settled by Bantu people, East Africa between Kenya and Mozambique (west of Madagascar) had a large number of Muslim merchants moving in by the 1200s.
New language developed when the native Bantu language merged with the Muslims' Arab language: Swahili
Swahili architecture was a mixture of Arab and Bantu architecture Ruins of Gedi, Kenya
Early Swahili settlement Malindi: A Swahili City-State Founded by Arabs in the 1200s
Trade city connected to the vibrant Indian Ocean trade network
Traded slaves and ivory
Diplomatic connection to Ming China
Ming Admiral Zheng He visited with his fleet and took a large gift from Malindi back to the emperor: a Giraffe