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Social Classes in Ancient Africa

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Malachi Tran

on 6 March 2015

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Transcript of Social Classes in Ancient Africa

Social Classes in Ancient Africa
Presentation by Riley Smith and Malachi Tran
Social Classes in Ancient Egypt
Pharaohs
Pharaohs were treated like gods. They were said to be gods in the form of a human.
Pharaoh Khufu built The Great Pyramid of Giza. He was an authoritative figure who set up a strong government.
Government Officials
The Ancient African Societies
The Ancient societies of Africa are far and broad, so as a summation of their lineage, I am going to write primarily with influences including Tin Hinan, the Tale and history of Mansa Musa, and the Tuareg People, as they epitomized much of what Africans were, and are the most direct descents to Ancient Africa that we can most directly associate with history. The majority of the time, the people in power were tribe leaders who were fabled with power, following the civilians and finally, war-slaves.
Tin Hinan: Mother of the Tribe
Of many of the rulers in Ancient African history, the two known rulers are Tin Hinan and Mansa Musa. Tin Hunan is a North-Western African ruler and queen of Hoggar, as referred to in African History. She was used in the viewpoint of a caretaker for the city, the tribe and its' people, and was not a poor ruler. Upon her discovery in 1925 by the French Army. She was wearing seven bracelets of siver and gold on either wrist, not account for necklaces adorned with pearls or the ring she wore on her fingers. From the documents that I have read she was primarily a very kind and strong leader, both for the government system and the Tuareg Army.
Mansa Musa: Wealth and History
Mansa Musa is probably the most famed of all the African Kings and Queens of Ancient Africa, although it is admitted that not much is known about the man. We are aware of the fact that he was once a king, during the span of time from circa 1280 CE to some point in the 14th Century, which is the point at which Mansa Musa died. Mansa Musa could also be considered an emprorer, and lead the Mali Empire during the time of his reign. One of the interesting facts about Mansa Musa is that, firstly, he is the tenth emporer in the Malian empire, and is not blood related to the founder. As Mansa is merely a title meaning emporer, we know his name Musa Keita. Mansa Musa was very wealthy and very generous. He was also not afraid to expand. He was not a vicious fighter, but a good and wealthy leader. He acquired several cities on his way to Mecca. It is not known how nor when he died, but one fable lists him going missing in the ocean in a search across the Atlantic.
Mansa Musa Keita: Religion and Achievements
Mansa Musa Keita, commonly known as Mansa Musa, was one of the most impressive of all the leaders in history to me for one simple fact: He had a strong Empire of which he improved upon and didn't cause major harm to. Mansa Musa was highly faithful to the Islamic religion, and when he made his trip to Mecca, he was far from frugal. It is fabled that he brought 60,000 men and 12,000 slaves with gold bars, along with horses and camels, which all camels carried packs of gold dust, some weighing 300 pounds. He believed that the journey to Mecca was a command from Allah. During his Hajj to Mecca, he gained the respect and had several cities join him. On every Friday of his Hajj, he built a Mosque. Due to his giving out gold dust to the poor, he caused major inflation for the area, and then with his own wealth fixed the problem. He is the only man in recorded history that has been able to control the entire economy for a large section of countries. Mansa Musa is also very impressive for the fact that he promoted knowledge, building one of the most famous Universities in the world, the University of Sankore. He is also the richest man ever.
Tuareg People: Life and Religion
I did not mention much of the Tuareg people in the other slides, simply because there are not many ties between the Tuareg with Mansa Musa except religion, due to the fact that they had adapted in an area farther than that of which he had conquered or gained through his wealth. But, as I did not mention earlier, a portion of Tuareg people were in Mali. Tin Hinan is important because she was actually a queen for the Tuareg people, and during her reign between the fourth and fifth century, they had acquired a fair amost of land. They had expanded southward, some through military tactics, and some through wealth. The reason why she is so revered by the Tuareg people is because they believe that she is the person who united all of them, creating a new culture and a strong society.
Tuareg People: Culture and Society
the Tuareg were a very diverse culture with many different things that made the culture special and inately different from most other cultures. As in most cultures and societies the elders were revered, but from the data I have acquired, it points towards the idea that the women were equally revered as men were, which is most likely a effect from the ruling of Tin Hinan. They had as many forms and diversities as cultures today have, as they had their own form of clothing, music, art, games, and astronomy that is recognized. An interesting thing that I discovered on one of my first days of doing research, there was an article explaining that due to the blue dyes in their clothes, their skin absorbs some of the color, giving off a bluish tint to their skin. They are also a highly religious society, following Islam. Their shared religion only helped strengthen the people together.
Three types of government officials:

Vizier
: Second in Command. Chief Judge.

General of Armies
: Those in high position in the army also helped the Pharaoh. They advised the Pharaoh of the protection of his people and how to analyze war.


Priests
Priests were also respected because their job was to perform religious ceremonies and rituals to their gods.

Religion was a big part of ancient Egypt and to supervise and work for the temple was a big deal.

Scribes
Scribes were said to be the recorders of ancient Egypt.

Back then, knowing how to read and write was a big deal and so scribes were put into the social pyramids higher than illiterate people.

Artisans
Just below scribes were people who could create things by hand; craftsmen.

Carpenters, stone carvers, painters, and jewelers were people labeled artisans.
Peasants
Peasants were at the lowest of the social pyramid.

Egyptians relied on them because they farmed and harvested most of the food.



Chief Treasurer
: Handled pecuniary issues. In return, the chief treasurer obtained goods from the people.
No matter how talented these artisans were, their social status was not very great.
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