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Transcript of Ancient Africa
The king ruled the military and religion. He appointed governors and other officials to help run his kingdom. The army kept the borders secure, controlled revolts and kept peace and order. Every man was required to have military training in case of war. WEALTH
Ghana became wealthy and powerful because they controlled the trans-saharan trade. Traders were taxed everytime they brought goods into Ghana and again when they took them out. GOLD AND SALT TRADE DECLINE OF GHANA
Ghana was weakened because muslim warriors began attacking them and captured the capital city of Kumbi. As the population grew natural resources became scarce forcing people to leave. The kingdom ended in 1203. The most valuable items traded were gold from the forest regions in the south and salt from the Sahara Desert. Wangara was a secret place that gold was mined. Even today nobody knows exactly where it was. Taghaza was a village built from salt. No crops or vegitation grew there. The only purpose was to mine and sell salt. As the muslim population grew Islam spread to the Mande, south of Ghana. The kindom of Mali began around 1240 when the Mande conquered Kumbi and got control of the trade routes to north Africa. By the late 1300's Mali was the richest and most powerful kingdom in Africa. King Mansa Musa began ruling in 1312. He was the first west African ruler to practice Islam faithfully. Mansa Musa went on a pilgrimage to Makkah. It took him eight months to travel about 3.000 miles. Five hundred slaves followed him, each carrying 6 pound staffs of gold. Two hundred camels followed carrying 30,000 lbs of gold. Because of his display of great wealth, Mali was accepted as an important kingdom and put on the map. Songhai was a village in the Mali Empire. When Sunni Ali became the ruler of Songhai, he formed a powerful army and was able to break away from Mali. After Monsa Musa died in 1332, the Mali kings that followed were weak and in 1464 Songhai took control of Mali. It became larger and richer than Mali. In the 1490's, Askia Muhammud, who was a devout muslim, became king. He made sure Islam was practiced and led wars to convert non-muslims to Islam. Religious practices changed. African Muslims learned the 5 Pillers of Faith, prayed in Arabic, worshiped in mosques, gave alms, went on pilgrimages and fasted. GOVERNMENT
The line of succession changed from matrilineal to patrilineal. Kings began to have more control over local rulers and used new titles such as sulton. Customary law was replaced with shari'ah (Islamic law). Cases were ruled in courts with judges and witnesses. Muslims valued education and built many schools. Timbuktu was a trading city on the Niger River that became a famouse center for learning and scholars. The University of Sankore became one of the worlds' best universities. LANGUAGE
Arabic became the language for religion, commerce, government and learning. West Africans continued to use their own language for everyday speach. ORAL AND WRITTEN TRADITION
Griots are poet-musicians who tell stories of historical events, geneologies, and ancestors, with music, dancing or acting. They still exist today.
Folktales are stories that are passed down from ancestors that teach morals and values.
Proverbs are saying that express ideas or give advice.
Many books written in Arabic are preserved in mosques. MUSIC
Call and response is when a leader sings a short phrase, then a group of people respond by answering with a short phrase. The patteren is repeated many times.
Musical Instruments were made out of wood, trees, hides, and fishing line. A balafon is like an xylophone. A ngoni is a stringed instrument.
A kora is like a harp with 21 strings on a gourd. VISUAL ARTS
Sculpture was used to honor leaders and to call upon spirits. They were made out of terra cotta. Later bronze or copper were used. Masks were made of wood and used in ceremoies and sacred rites. Textiles were stamped with dye with pictures or proverbs . Applique was used to tell stories. NUTAPA EMPIRE:
THE GREAT ZIMBABWE The Great Zimbabwe was a kingdom within the Nutapa Empire. It was located between the Limpopo and Zimbezi Rivers, east of the Kalahari Desert in south Africa. It existed between the 12th and 15th centuries. The word zimbabwe means "stone dwelling" in the Shona language. The Great Zimbabwe was built out of granite and had granite walls surrounding the houses and buildings. By 1500 The Great Zimbabwe was abandoned. It is believed that cattle herdiing and agriculture damaged the enviroment and forced people to leave. Drought may have caused famine. Another theory is that the people had to leave to find more gold to continue with gold trade. The Great Zimbabwe was a center for gold and ivory trade. They traded as far away as China, Syria and Persia. KONGO EMPIRE The Kongo Kingdom was one of the most powerful kingdoms in central Africa. It consisted of several small iron age communities ruled by the Manikongo. One of the world's largest and longest rivers, the Congo River, runs through the nortern part. Mbanza Kongo was located 200 km south west of the River Congo. It was surrounded by the rainforest, and the ocean. It had firtile soil for farming. It became the capital of the Kongo Kingdom and was a very successful trade center with pottery, salt, copper, iron, ivory, and raffia cloth. Shells were used as money. o Portuguese explorer Diogo Cao was the first European to discover the Kongo Kingdom. Two years later, in 1491, he returned with Catholic Priests and baptised King Nzinga a Nkuwu and his nobles. Kongo became the major source of slave trade with the portugese. KINGDOM OF KANEM The Kanem Kingdom began around 700 AD, when a group of nomadic people called the Zighawa's, settled near Lake Chad. The area was at the southern end of the trans-saharan trade route. The height of power was between 1210 and 1248 when ruled by Mai Dunama Dibalami. They became wealthy because of trade of ostrich feathers, ivory and slaves. They are believed to be the first to use iron technology and to use horses. They got horses and firearms from trade with the north. After many attacks from neighbors the capital moved west of Lake Chad and the kingdom became known as Kanem-Borno. Kanem converted to Islam under the rule of Hu or Hawwa between 1067 and 1071.