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The Role of Sundiata in the Sudanic Kingdoms
Transcript of The Role of Sundiata in the Sudanic Kingdoms
The Sudanic empires of Western Africa were a group of powerful states that developed south of the Sahara Desert between the A.D.700s and 1500s. The most prominent of these states were Ghana, Mali, and Songhai.
The Sudanic empires developed vast commercial networks, trading grains and gold from the SAHEL and sub-Saharan Africa for salt from the Sahara.
Religion in Sudanic Kingdoms
The Sudanic rulers were the first people in their kingdoms to convert to Islam.
They thought Muslims represented a higher, more prosperous civilization
Islam was seen as a powerful religion.
Chiefs and kings adopted Muslim names, learned how to pray, and celebrated Muslim festivals.
They asked Muslim religious leaders for blessings and gave them official roles in state ceremonies.
Most rulers did not abandon their traditional beliefs.
Most common people continued to follow their ancestral beliefs while adopting some aspects of Islam.
Merchants often converted to Islam more readily because their life of constant travel separated them from the traditional culture at home.
While some Sudanic rulers attempted to incorporate Islamic practices in their states, others did little to encourage the spread of Islam.
Economy in Sudanic Kingdoms
Agriculture, fishing, and cattle raising were very important to the economy.
These produced a variety of products that stimulated trade
Women dominated local trade and men generally controlled the long-distance Saharan routes.
Merchants used relatives and slaves to help conduct their businesses.
Trade strengthened the power of the Sudanic rulers by bringing them wealth, connections with foreign merchants, and a near monopoly over important products, such as metals and horses.
As the empires grew, the trade routes became more well-established.
Ghana, the first great Sudanic trading empire, was founded by Soninke peoples.
By about 800 Ghana was a wealthy kingdom, and it reached its peak in the mid-1000s.
Soon afterward the empire began to decline as the Almoravids, a Muslim group from North Africa, gained control of the Saharan trade routes and parts of the Sudan.
Although Ghana survived until the 1200s, it never regained its former power.
In the mid-1200s by Sundiata Keita, the king of the Malinke, conquered a group of southern Soninke peoples known as the Susu.
Sundiata took over the remnants of Ghana and founded the empire of Mali.
At its height in the 1300s, Mali stretched from the Atlantic coast in the west into the Sahara in the northeast.
In 1325, during a pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Arabia, Mansa Musa passed through Egypt, where the people of Cairo marveled at his wealth and generosity.
Who was Sundiata Keita?
*Birthplace:Kangaba State (in present-day Mali)West Africa
*Sundiata was a sickly boy.
*Sundiata Keita was the founder of the Mali empire in West Africa.
Role of Sundiata in the Sudanic Kingdoms
By the late 1300s Mali had lost its political influence over the Sahara.
The Tuareg people of the desert took advantage of the empire's weakness and captured the trading city of Timbuktu.
In the 1400s Songhai, the last of the great Sudanic empires, rose in power.
SUNNI ALI, a Songhai ruler, chased the Tuareg from Timbuktu and gradually gained control of a large area around the middle Niger River.
Songhai enjoyed its greatest power in the 1500s under the members of the Askiya dynasty, who formed alliances with the Tuareg and extended the empire over large portions of the western Sudan.
In 1591 MOROCCO conquered Songhai, bringing the 800-year history of the Sudanic empires to an end.
Samanguru was a tyrant who ruled the small state of Kaniaga, but he managed to conquer a great deal of West Africa. Samanguru was hostile to the Mandinka people who lived in that area. His taxes were high,and he failed to maintain law and order along the trade routes that once prospered in West Africa.
Sundiata was one of twelve sons of a Mandinka warrior. Samanguru killed Sundiata’s brothers, but spared Sundiata, because he believed the boy sickly and Samanguru believed Sundiata would soon die anyway.
Sundiata went into exile and about 1230 Sundiata put together a rabble force in the far north and slowly advanced to the south, increasing his troop strength with successive victories over Susu provinces. By 1234 he was ready to take on the main Susu army.
Sundiata’s forces killed Samanguru and destroyed his forces in the Battle of Kirina in 1235.
Sundiata then became mansa, or king, of a new empire that we know today as Mali.
Most merchants and traders in West Africa at that time practiced Islam. Sundiata converted to Islam, but only as a gesture of goodwill to the merchants and traders. To his own people, Sundiata presented himself as a champion of traditional West African religion.
Sundiata ruled for about 25 years