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Kaart van die Mali -ryk, c. 1337 nC

Kaart van die Mali -ryk, c. 1337 nC


Kaart van die Mali -ryk, c. 1337 CE - Geskiedenis

Die Ghana-ryk was geleë in die suidoostelike deel van Mauritanië, in die weste van Mali en in die ooste van Senegal, en het sy mag verkry uit die beheer van trans-Sahara-handel, veral goudhandel.

Leerdoelwitte

Beskryf die Ghana -ryk en die bron van sy rykdom

Belangrike wegneemetes

Kern punte

  • Die Ghana -ryk, wat deur sy heersers die Wagadou (of Wagadu) -ryk genoem word, was geleë in die huidige suidoostelike Mauritanië, westelike Mali en die ooste van Senegal. Daar is geen konsensus oor wanneer dit presies ontstaan ​​het nie. Verskillende tradisies identifiseer die begin daarvan so vroeg as 100 CE en die 9de eeu, met die meeste geleerdes wat die 8ste of 9de eeu aanvaar het.
  • Die ekonomiese ontwikkeling en uiteindelike rykdom van Ghana was gekoppel aan die groei van gereelde en verskerpte trans-Sahara-handel in goud, sout en ivoor, wat die ontwikkeling van groter stedelike sentra moontlik gemaak het en territoriale uitbreiding aangemoedig het om beheer oor verskillende handelsroetes te verkry.
  • Daar word vermoed dat die hoofstad van die ryk by Koumbi Saleh aan die rand van die Sahara -woestyn was. Volgens die beskrywing van die stad wat Al-Bakri in 1067/1068 agtergelaat het, was die hoofstad eintlik twee stede, maar tussen hierdie twee dorpe is deurlopende woonplekke, sodat hulle moontlik in een kon saamsmelt.
  • Die Ghana-ryk lê in die Sahel-gebied noord van die Wes-Afrikaanse goudvelde en kon wins maak deur die trans-Sahara-goudhandel te beheer, wat Ghana in 'n ryk van legendariese rykdom verander het.
  • Ghana het blykbaar 'n sentrale kerngebied gehad en was omring deur vasaalstate. Een van die vroegste bronne merk op dat 'n aantal konings onder die gesag van die koning 'n aantal konings is. kafu in Mandinka.
  • Alhoewel geleerdes debatteer oor hoe en wanneer Ghana afgeneem en in duie gestort het, is dit duidelik dat dit omstreeks 1240 by die Mali -ryk ingelyf is.

Sleutel terme

  • die Almoravids: 'N Berberse keiserlike dinastie van Marokko wat in die 11de eeu 'n ryk gevorm het wat oor die westelike Magreb en Al-Andalus gestrek het. Hulle hoofstad, gestig deur Abdallah ibn Yasin, was Marrakesh, 'n stad wat hulle in 1062 gestig het. Die dinastie het sy oorsprong onder die Lamtuna en die Gudala, nomadiese Berberstamme van die Sahara, wat die gebied tussen die Draa, die Niger en die Senegalriviere deurkruis het.
  • die Soninke -mense: 'N Mandé -volk wat afstam van die Bafour en nou verwant is aan die Imraguen van Mauritanië. Hulle was die stigters van die antieke ryk van Ghana c. 750–1240 nC. Ondergroepe sluit die Maraka en Wangara in.
  • Koumbi Saleh: Die plek van 'n verwoeste middeleeuse stad in die suidooste van Mauritanië, wat moontlik die hoofstad van die Ghana -ryk was.

Betwiste oorsprong van die Ghana -ryk

Die Ghana -ryk, wat deur sy heersers die Wagadou (of Wagadu) -ryk genoem word, was geleë in die huidige suidoostelike Mauritanië, westelike Mali en die ooste van Senegal. Daar is geen konsensus oor wanneer dit presies ontstaan ​​het nie, maar die ontwikkeling daarvan hou verband met die handelsveranderinge wat deur die eeue na die bekendstelling van die kameel in die Wes -Sahara (3de eeu) ontstaan ​​het. Teen die tyd van die Moslem -verowering van Noord -Afrika in die 7de eeu, het die kameel die vroeëre, meer onreëlmatige handelsroetes verander in 'n handelsnetwerk wat van Marokko na die Nigerrivier loop. Hierdie gereelde en verskerpte trans-Sahara-handel in goud, sout en ivoor het die ontwikkeling van groter stedelike sentrums moontlik gemaak en gebiedsuitbreiding aangemoedig om beheer oor verskillende handelsroetes te verkry.

Die Ghana -regerende dinastie is die eerste keer in 830 in geskrewe rekords genoem, en daarom word die 9de eeu soms geïdentifiseer as die begin van die ryk.
In die Middeleeuse Arabiese bronne kan die woord “Ghana ” verwys na 'n koninklike titel, die naam van 'n hoofstad of 'n koninkryk. Die vroegste verwysing na Ghana as 'n stad is deur al-Khuwarizmi, wat omstreeks 846 gesterf het. Navorsing op die terrein van Koumbi Saleh (of Kumbi Saleh), 'n verwoeste middeleeuse stad in die suidooste van Mauritanië wat moontlik die hoofstad van die Ghana-ryk was, stel vroeër begin voor. Die eerste skrywer wat Ghana genoem het, is die Persiese sterrekundige Ibrahim al-Fazari, wat aan die einde van die agtste eeu geskryf het, verwys na die gebied van Ghana, die land van goud. noem die Ghana-ryk in verband met die trans-goudhandel in die Sahara. Al-Bakri, wat in die 11de eeu geskryf het, beskryf die hoofstad van Ghana as bestaande uit twee dorpe ses myl van mekaar af, een bewoon deur Moslem-handelaars en die ander deur die koning van Ghana. Volgens die tradisie van die Soninke -mense migreer hulle in die 1ste eeu na die suidooste van Mauritanië, en skep reeds omstreeks 100 nC 'n nedersetting wat uiteindelik tot die Ghana -ryk sou ontwikkel. Ander bronne identifiseer die begin van die ryk tussen die 4de eeu en die middel van die 8ste eeu.

Die Ghana -ryk in sy grootste omvang

Toe die Goudkus in 1957 die eerste land in Afrika suid van die Sahara geword het wat sy onafhanklikheid van die koloniale bewind herwin het, is dit hernoem ter ere van die ryk wat lankal verdwyn het, waaruit die voorvaders van die Akan-mense in die hedendaagse Ghana gedink het. gemigreer het.

Die hoofstad: Koumbi Saleh

Daar word vermoed dat die hoofstad van die ryk by Koumbi Saleh aan die rand van die Sahara -woestyn was. Volgens die beskrywing van die stad wat Al-Bakri in 1067/1068 agtergelaat het, was die hoofstad eintlik twee stede, maar tussen hierdie twee dorpe is deurlopende woonplekke, sodat hulle moontlik in een kon saamsmelt. Volgens al-Bakri heet die grootste deel van die stad El-Ghaba, en was dit die woning van die koning. Dit is beskerm deur 'n klipmuur en het as die koninklike en geestelike hoofstad van die ryk gedien. Dit bevat 'n heilige bos bome wat gebruik word vir Soninke -godsdienstige rites waarin priesters gewoon het. Dit bevat ook die paleis van die koning, die grootste gebou in die stad. Daar was ook een moskee vir besoekende Moslem -amptenare. Die naam van die ander deel van die stad word nie aangeteken nie. Dit was omring deur putte met vars water, waar groente verbou is. Dit het twaalf moskees, waarvan een bedoel is vir Vrydaggebede, en het 'n volledige groep geleerdes, skrifgeleerdes en Islamitiese juriste. Omdat die meerderheid van hierdie Moslems handelaars was, was hierdie deel van die stad waarskynlik die belangrikste sakegebied.

Ekonomie en regering

Die meeste van ons inligting oor die ekonomie van Ghana kom van al-Bakri. Hy het opgemerk dat handelaars 'n belasting van een goud op die invoer van sout en twee op die uitvoer van sout moes betaal. Al-Bakri noem ook koper en ander goedere. Invoer bevat waarskynlik produkte soos tekstiele en ornamente. Baie van die handgemaakte leerprodukte wat in die ou Marokko gevind is, het ook hul oorsprong in die Ghana-ryk. Huldeblyk is ook ontvang uit verskillende sytrekstate en hoofde in die ryke van die ryk. Die Ghana-ryk lê in die Sahel-gebied noord van die Wes-Afrikaanse goudvelde en kon voordeel trek uit die beheer van die trans-Sahara-goudhandel. Die vroeë geskiedenis van Ghana is onbekend, maar daar is bewyse dat Noord -Afrika begin het met die invoer van goud uit Wes -Afrika voor die Arabiese verowering in die middel van die 7de eeu.

Baie getuienis oor antieke Ghana kom uit die aangetekende besoeke van buitelandse reisigers, wat per definisie slegs 'n fragmentariese prentjie kon gee. Islamitiese skrywers lewer gereeld kommentaar op die sosiaal-politieke stabiliteit van die Ryk op grond van die oënskynlik regverdige optrede en grootsheid van die koning. Al-Bakri het handelaars ondervra wat die ryk in die 11de eeu besoek het en geskryf het dat die koning griewe teen amptenare verhoor en omring is deur groot rykdom. Ghana het blykbaar 'n sentrale kerngebied gehad en was omring deur vasaalstate. Een van die vroegste bronne, al-Ya ’qubi, wat in 889/890 (276 AH) geskryf is, het opgemerk dat die koning se gesag 'n aantal konings is. heersers van die territoriale eenhede wat gereeld genoem word kafu in Mandinka. In die tyd van al-Bakri het die heersers van Ghana begin om meer Moslems in die regering op te neem, waaronder die tesourier, sy tolk en die meerderheid van sy amptenare. ”

Weier

Gegewe skaars Arabiese bronne en die dubbelsinnigheid van die bestaande argeologiese rekord, is dit moeilik om te bepaal wanneer en hoe Ghana afgeneem en geval het. Volgens die Arabiese tradisie het Ghana geval toe dit in 1076–1077 deur die Almoravid -beweging afgedank is, maar hierdie interpretasie is bevraagteken. Conrad en Fisher (1982) het aangevoer dat die idee van enige Almoravid militêre verowering bloot volgehoue ​​folklore is, afgelei van 'n verkeerde interpretasie van of beperkte vertroue op Arabiese bronne. Dierke Lange was dit eens met die oorspronklike teorie oor militêre inval, maar het aangevoer dat dit nie politieke agitasie van Almoravid belet nie en beweer dat Ghana se afsterwe laasgenoemde baie te danke het. Sheryl L. Burkhalter
het aangevoer dat hoewel die idee van die verowering onduidelik was, die invloed en sukses van die Almoravid -beweging om goud in Wes -Afrika te verseker en dit te versprei, 'n hoë mate van politieke beheer nodig was. Boonop toon die argeologie van antieke Ghana geen tekens van die vinnige verandering en vernietiging wat gepaard gaan met militêre verowerings uit die Almoravid-era nie.

Daar word aangeneem dat die daaropvolgende oorlog Ghana oor die grens gedruk het en die posisie van die koninkryk as 'n kommersiële en militêre mag teen 1100 beëindig het. Ryk. Ondanks dubbelsinnige bewyse is dit duidelik dat Ghana omstreeks 1240 by die Mali -ryk ingelyf is.

Die Mali -ryk was 'n ryk in Wes -Afrika wat van 1230 tot 1600 geduur het en die kultuur van die streek ingrypend beïnvloed het deur die verspreiding van sy taal, wette en gebruike langs lande langs die Nigerrivier, asook ander gebiede wat uit talle bestaan vasale koninkryke en provinsies.

Leerdoelwitte

Evalueer elke periode in die geskiedenis van die Mali -ryk

Belangrike wegneemetes

Kern punte

  • Die Mali -ryk, wat ook histories die Manden Kurufaba genoem word, was 'n ryk in Wes -Afrika wat van ca. 1230 tot 1600. Dit was die grootste ryk in Wes -Afrika en het 'n groot invloed op die kultuur van die streek gehad deur die verspreiding van sy taal, wette en gebruike langs lande langs die Nigerrivier, asook ander gebiede wat uit talle vasalkoninkryke en provinsies.
  • Moderne mondelinge tradisies toon aan dat die Mandinka -koninkryke Mali of Manden reeds 'n paar eeue voor eenwording bestaan ​​het. Hierdie gebied bestaan ​​uit berge, savanne en bos wat ideale beskerming en hulpbronne bied vir die bevolking van jagters. Diegene wat nie in die berge woon nie, het klein stadstate gevorm.
  • Die gesamentlike magte van die noordelike en suidelike Manden het die Sosso -leër in die Slag van Kirina in ongeveer 1235 verslaan. Hierdie oorwinning het gelei tot die val van die Kaniaga -koninkryk en die opkoms van die Mali -ryk.
  • Die Mali -ryk het 'n groter gebied gedek vir 'n langer tydperk as enige ander Wes -Afrikaanse staat voor of sedertdien. Wat dit moontlik gemaak het, was die gedesentraliseerde aard van administrasie in die hele staat. Die krag daarvan kom veral uit die handel.
  • Die Mali -ryk het sy grootste omvang bereik en floreer as 'n handels- en intellektuele sentrum onder die Laye Keita mansas (1312–1389). Die
    Die totale oppervlakte van die ryk het byna die hele gebied tussen die Sahara -woestyn en die kuswoude ingesluit.
  • Die slag by Djenné in 1599 was die effektiewe einde van die groot Mali -ryk en het die weg gebaan vir 'n magdom kleiner Wes -Afrikaanse state.

Sleutel terme

  • mansa: 'N Mandinka -woord wat beteken “sultan ” (king) of “emperor. ” Dit word veral geassosieer met die Keita -dinastie van die Mali -ryk, wat Wes -Afrika van die 13de eeu tot die 15de eeu oorheers het.
  • muezzin: Die persoon wat by 'n moskee aangestel is om die oproep tot gebed te lei en voor te sê vir elke gebeurtenis van gebed en aanbidding. Die post van muezzin is belangrik, en die gemeenskap is afhanklik van hom vir 'n akkurate gebedsrooster.

Inleiding

Die Mali -ryk, wat ook histories die Manden Kurufaba genoem word, was 'n ryk in Wes -Afrika wat van ongeveer h. 1230 tot 1600. Die ryk is gestig deur Sundiata Keita en het bekend geword vir die rykdom van sy heersers. Dit was die grootste ryk in Wes -Afrika en het 'n diepgaande invloed op die kultuur van die streek gehad deur die verspreiding van sy taal, wette en gebruike langs lande langs die Nigerrivier, asook ander gebiede wat uit talle vasale koninkryke en provinsies bestaan.

Voor-keiserlike Mali

Moderne mondelinge tradisies toon aan dat die Mandinka -koninkryke Mali of Manden reeds 'n paar eeue bestaan ​​het voor die eenwording deur Sundiata, 'n Maliaanse mansa, ook bekend as Mari Djata I, as 'n klein staat suid van die Soninké -ryk van Wagadou (die Ghana -ryk) ). Hierdie gebied bestaan ​​uit berge, savanne en bos wat ideale beskerming en hulpbronne bied vir die bevolking van jagters. Diegene wat nie in die berge woon nie, het klein stadstate gevorm, soos Toron, Ka-Ba en Niani.

In ongeveer 1140 het die Sosso -koninkryk Kaniaga, 'n voormalige vasaal van Wagadou, die land van sy ou meesters begin verower. Teen 1180 het dit selfs Wagadou onderwerp, wat die Soninké gedwing het om hulde te bring. In 1203 het die Sosso -koning Soumaoro van die Kanté -stam aan bewind gekom en na berig word 'n groot deel van Manden geterroriseer en vroue en goedere van beide Dodougou en Kri gesteel.

Na baie jare in ballingskap, eers by die hof van Wagadou en daarna in Mema, Sundiata,
'n Prins wat uiteindelik die stigter van die Mali -ryk geword het, is deur 'n Niani -afvaardiging gesoek en gesmeek om die Sosso te bestry en die koninkryke van Manden te bevry. Om terug te keer met die gesamentlike leërs van Mema, Wagadou en al die opstandige Mandinka-stadstate, Maghan Sundiata, of Sumanguru, het omstreeks 1234 'n opstand teen die Kaniaga-koninkryk gelei. Die gesamentlike magte van die noordelike en suidelike Manden het die Sosso-leër in die Slag verslaan. van Kirina (destyds bekend as Krina) in ongeveer 1235. Hierdie oorwinning het gelei tot die val van die Kaniaga -koninkryk en die opkoms van die Mali -ryk. Na die oorwinning het koning Soumaoro verdwyn en die Mandinka het die laaste van die Sosso -stede bestorm. Maghan Sundiata is uitgeroep tot 'faama van faamas' en het die titel “mansa, ” ontvang, wat ongeveer beteken as keiser. Op agtienjarige ouderdom verkry hy gesag oor al die twaalf koninkryke in 'n alliansie bekend as die Manden Kurufaba. Hy is onder die troonnaam Sunidata Keita gekroon en word die eerste Mandinka -keiser. En so word die naam Keita 'n stam/familie en begin sy bewind.

Imperial Mali (1250–1559)

Die Mali -ryk het 'n groter gebied gedek vir 'n langer tydperk as enige ander Wes -Afrikaanse staat voor of sedertdien. Wat dit moontlik gemaak het, was die gedesentraliseerde aard van administrasie in die hele staat, maar die mansa het daarin geslaag om belastinggeld en nominale beheer oor die gebied te behou sonder om sy onderdane in opstand te bring. Amptenare op die dorps-, stad-, stad- en provinsiale vlak is plaaslik verkies, en slegs op staats- of provinsiale vlak was daar tasbare inmenging van die sentrale owerheid in Niani. Provinsies het hul eie goewerneurs gekies volgens hul eie gebruik (verkiesing, erfenis, ens.), Maar goewerneurs moes deur die mansa goedgekeur word en was onder sy toesig.

Die Mali -ryk floreer as gevolg van handel bo alles. Dit bevat drie ontsaglike goudmyne binne sy grense, en die ryk belas elke greintjie goud of sout wat sy grense binnekom. Teen die begin van die 14de eeu was Mali die bron van byna die helfte van die goud uit die ou wêreld, uitgevoer uit myne in Bambuk, Boure en Galam. Daar was geen standaard geldeenheid in die hele koninkryk nie, maar verskillende vorms was prominent per streek. Die Saheliese en Sahara-dorpe van die Mali-ryk was georganiseer as beide poste in die karavaanhandel- en handelsentrums vir die verskillende Wes-Afrikaanse produkte (bv. Sout, koper). Ibn Battuta,
'n Middeleeuse Marokkaanse Moslemreisiger en geleerde, het die diens van slawe -arbeid waargeneem. Gedurende die grootste deel van sy reis het Ibn Battuta gereis met 'n gevolg wat slawe insluit, waarvan die meeste goedere vir handel gedra het, maar ook self verhandel sou word. By die terugkeer van Takedda na Marokko het sy woonwa 600 vrouenslawe vervoer, wat daarop dui dat slawerny 'n wesenlike deel van die kommersiële aktiwiteit van die ryk was.

Die aantal en frekwensie van verowerings aan die einde van die 13de eeu en gedurende die 14de eeu dui aan dat die Kolonkan mansas (wat destyds geheers het) 'n bekwame weermag geërf en/of ontwikkel het. Dit het egter radikale veranderinge ondergaan voordat dit die legendariese afmetings bereik het wat deur sy onderdane verkondig is. Danksy die bestendige belastinginkomste en 'n stabiele regering wat in die laaste kwartaal van die 13de eeu begin het, kon die Mali -ryk sy mag in sy eie uitgebreide domein en daarbuite projekteer. Die ryk het 'n semi-professionele voltydse weermag onderhou om sy grense te verdedig. Die hele nasie is gemobiliseer, en elke stam was verplig om 'n kwota manne op die ouderdom te bied. Geskiedkundiges wat tydens die hoogte en agteruitgang van die Mali -ryk geleef het, het sy leër konsekwent op 100 000 aangeteken, waarvan 10 000 uit kavalerie bestaan.

Die Mali -ryk het sy grootste omvang bereik onder die Laye Keita mansas (1312–1389). Die totale gebied van die ryk het byna die hele gebied tussen die Sahara -woestyn en die kuswoude ingesluit. Dit strek oor die hedendaagse Senegal, Suid-Mauritanië, Mali, Noord-Burkina Faso, Wes-Niger, Gambië, Guinee-Bissau, Guinee, Ivoorkus en Noord-Ghana.
Die eerste heerser uit die Laye -afkoms was Kankan Musa Keita (of Moussa), ook bekend as Mansa Musa. Hy het 'n groot bouprogram begin met die oprig van moskees en madrasas in Timboektoe en Gao.
Hy het ook Sankore van 'n informele madrasah verander in 'n Islamitiese universiteit.
Teen die einde van Mansa Musa se heerskappy was die Sankoré -universiteit omskep in 'n volledig bemande universiteit met die grootste versamelings boeke in Afrika sedert die biblioteek van Alexandrië. Gedurende hierdie tydperk was daar 'n gevorderde vlak van stedelike lewe in die belangrikste sentrums van die Mali. Sergio Domian, 'n Italiaanse geleerde in kuns en argitektuur, het die volgende oor hierdie tydperk geskryf: So is die grondslag gelê vir 'n stedelike beskawing. Op sy hoogtepunt het Mali ten minste 400 stede gehad, en die binnekant van die Niger -delta was baie dig bevolk. ”

Omvang van die Mali -ryk (ongeveer 1350): Die Mali -ryk was die grootste in Wes -Afrika en het 'n groot invloed op die kultuur van die streek gehad deur die verspreiding van sy taal, wette en gebruike langs lande langs die Nigerrivier, sowel as ander gebiede wat uit talle vasaalkoninkryke en provinsies bestaan.

Inval

Volgens die Tarikh al-Soedan was Mansa Mahmud Keita IV die laaste keiser van Manden. Hy het in 1599 'n aanval op die stad Djenné geloods met Fulani -bondgenote, in die hoop om voordeel te trek uit die nederlaag van Songhai ’s. Uiteindelik het die leër in Djenné ingegryp en Mansa Mahmud Keita IV en sy leër genoop om na Kangaba terug te trek. Die geveg was die effektiewe einde van die groot Mali -ryk en het die weg gebaan vir 'n magdom kleiner Wes -Afrikaanse state. Omstreeks 1610 sterf Mahmud Keita IV. Volgens mondelinge oorlewering het hy drie seuns gehad wat baklei het oor die oorblyfsels van Manden. Geen enkele Keita regeer ooit Manden na die dood van Mahmud Keita IV nie, dus die einde van die Mali -ryk.

Die ou kern van die ryk was verdeel in drie invloedsfere. Kangaba, die de facto -hoofstad van Manden sedert die tyd van die laaste keiser, het die hoofstad van die noordelike sfeer geword. Die Joma -gebied, regeer vanuit Siguiri, beheer die sentrale streek, wat Niani omvat. Hamana (of Amana), suidwes van Joma, het die suidelike sfeer geword, met sy hoofstad by Kouroussa in die moderne Guinee. Elke heerser het die titel mansa gebruik, maar hul gesag het net tot hul eie invloedsfeer gestrek. Ondanks hierdie onenigheid in die koninkryk, het die koninkryk tot in die middel van die 17de eeu onder Mandinka-beheer gebly. Die drie state het teen mekaar gestry, indien nie meer as teen buitestanders nie, maar wedywerings het oor die algemeen opgehou wanneer hulle deur 'n inval gekonfronteer word. Hierdie neiging sou voortduur tot in die koloniale tyd teen Tukulor -vyande uit die weste.

Timboektoe -manuskripte, c. 14de eeu: Timboektoe het vroeg in die 12de eeu 'n permanente nedersetting geword. Na 'n verskuiwing in handelsroetes, het Timboektoe gegroei uit die handel in sout, goud, ivoor en slawe. Dit het vroeg in die 14de eeu deel geword van die Mali -ryk. In sy Goue Eeu het die stad se talle Islamitiese geleerdes en 'n uitgebreide handelsnetwerk 'n belangrike boekhandel moontlik gemaak. Saam met die kampusse van die Sankore Madrasah, 'n Islamitiese universiteit, het dit Timboektoe as 'n wetenskaplike sentrum in Afrika gevestig.


2: Handel suid van die Sahara. Oorsprong, organisasie en effekte in die ontwikkeling van Wes -Afrika

Die verbindings van Wes -Afrika met die Middellandse See -wêreld is baie oud, wat lank voor die opkoms van Islam aan die einde van die 6de eeu nC was. 'N Paar eeue voor die opkoms van die Romeinse ryk het die Griekse historikus Herodotus (ongeveer 484-425 v.C.) oor mense in Afrika geskryf. Herodotus het herhaaldelik oor die mense van die Nylvallei geskryf en beklemtoon dat baie van hulle swart Afrikane was, en het hy verbindings met mense verder na die weste voorgestel. Rotskuns uit hierdie tydperk, en later, dui op die bestaan ​​van strydwaens suid van die huidige Sahara, en dui op 'n verband met die Mediterreense wêreld.

Zoomorfe figure. Ronde kop tydperk (9.500 – c. 7.000 BP). Algerië. Tassili n ’Ajjer. Tan Zoumaitak. Wikimedia. Fondazione Passaré, Fondazione Passaré V1 057, CC BY-SA 3.0

Dit is belangrik om te weet dat die Sahara -woestyn in hierdie antieke tye nie so erg was as wat dit later geword het nie, en dit is vandag. Rotskuns uit die Sahara -woestyn is volop, en sommige is tot 12000 jaar oud. 'N Goeie voorbeeld is die Tassili n'Ajjer, noord van Tamanrasset in die Algerynse Sahara. Dit is een van die oudste voorbeelde van rotskuns in die Sahara. 'N Ander goeie voorbeeld is die Tibesti -massief in Tsjaad, wat ook rotskuns uit hierdie tyd dateer. Hierdie ou skilderye toon gebiede wat nou vrugbaar in die woestyn is, ryk aan diere wat nie meer in hierdie woestyngebiede kan woon nie, soos buffels, olifante, renosters en seekoeie. Dit is belangrik om in gedagte te hou dat hierdie era van vrugbaarheid in die Sahara saamgeval het met die Europese ystydperk. Die ystydperk was geen probleem in Afrika nie, en dit was eintlik 'n tyd van oorvloed.

Dit lyk asof die Sahara omstreeks 3000 jaar vC vinniger begin verwoestyn het, maar daar was sterk verbindings met die Middellandse See tot later. Dit word getoon deur die Carthaagse generaal, Hannibal. Kartago was 'n ryk in Libië [die magtigste ryk in die Middellandse See tot met die opkoms van Rome], en omstreeks 220 vC het Hannibal 'n aanval op Romeinse magte in Europa uitgevoer wat die kruising van die hoë Alpe -bergreeks behels het. Sy militêre voorrade is deur olifante gedra, en dit was Afrika -olifante wat verbind was met die mense en geografiese gebiede suid van die Sahara.

Verwoestyning het toegeneem en die geografiese grense het moeiliker geword om oor te steek. Teen die tyd van die opkoms van Islam, in die vroeë 7de eeu nC [vanaf ca. 610fl., Met die totstandkoming van die vroeë kaliefs, c. 610 CE], was daar minder verbindings. Maar die groei van kragtige Islamitiese koninkryke in Marokko, en van leersentrums in Kaïro, Tripoli en die Midde -Ooste, het die opkoms van die karavaanhandel laat toeneem. Teen die 9de eeu nC is die ryk van Ghāna [ook bekend as Awkar] gestig in wat nou Mauritanië is [die eerste historiese verwysings uit ongeveer. 830 CE], met die hoofstad in Koumbi-Saleh [die handelsroete vanaf Ghāna was in die Wes-Sahara gekonsentreer, met sy eindpunt by Sījīlmassa]. Teen die 10de eeu nC was daar aparte nedersettings vir diegene wat Afrika-godsdienste beoefen en diegene wat Islam beoefen in Koumbi-Saleh, wat dui op die groot aantal Noord-Afrikaanse handelaars wat sou kom. Die goudhandel het reeds versprei om die handel en die samelewing in die Middellandse See te beïnvloed, en dit was omstreeks 1000 nC dat Wes -Afrikaanse goud die eerste keer vir markte in Europa gemunt is.

Dit is belangrik om te begryp hoe gebeurtenisse in Wes -Afrika teen die 11de eeu verband gehou het met gebeurtenisse in Noord -Afrika en selfs in Europa. 'N Belangrike verandering het in hierdie tyd plaasgevind, onder leiding van die Almoravid -beweging. Dit blyk dat hulle gegroei het uit Berber -Moslems wat na die middel van die 11de eeu noordwaarts van die rivier die Senegal getrek het. Hulle verower die Koninkryk Marokko, stig Marrakech in 1062 en vee in die 1080's na Al-Andalus in die suide van Spanje, waar hulle die kalifaat van Córdoba verdedig teen die herowering onder leiding van die Christelike konings van Spanje. Córdoba het in die 1030's in die 12de eeu reeds in die 1030's in die 12de eeu in die suidelike Spanje in baie mini -state in die suide van Spanje verdeel, dit is ingehaal deur die Almohads, wat ook uit Marokko gekom het en die Almoravids in 1147 omvergewerp het.

In Wes -Afrika het die belangrikste veranderinge in Ghāna gekom. Tot 1076 bestaan ​​daar saam Moslems en aanbidders van Afrika-godsdienste, maar in daardie jaar het die Almoravids die stad ontslaan en Ghana het agteruitgegaan. Mali sou eers in die 13de eeu opstaan. Daarna was die goudhandel die middelpunt van die trans-Sahara-handel. Geld was die oorsaak van die vroeë belangstelling van Arabiese handelaars in Wes-Afrika, wat inderdaad aan hulle bekend was as "die goue land". Die invloed van die trans-Sahara-goudhandel op Europese samelewings kan byvoorbeeld gesien word in die afleiding van die Spaanse woord vir goue muntstuk in die 15de eeu, maravedí, van die Almoravid murabitūn dinar.

Die handel in goud het die opkoms van magtige ryke soos Mali, Bono-Mansu en Songhay laat ontstaan, die uitbreiding van stedelike sentra soos Kano en die opkoms van kragtige handelsklasse soos die Wangara. Arabies het toenemend invloed uitgeoefen deur die verspreiding van Islam en die gebruik daarvan as 'n skrif vir administrasie. Teen die 15de eeu, toe die Atlantiese handel sou begin, het die handel suid van die Sahara minstens vyf eeue floreer en het dit reeds die opkoms, val en konsolidasie van baie West-Afrikaanse state en samelewings gevorm.

Belangrike handelsfaktore: omgewing, goud, perde en die organisasie van die karavaanhandel

Een van die belangrikste elemente in die skepping van handelsnetwerke is aardrykskunde. Handel is geneig om produkte te vind wat nie op een gebied gevind kan word nie, en wat verruil word met dié wat op 'n ander gebied benodig word. Samelewings wat in gebiede met bosprodukte woon, kan dit byvoorbeeld verruil vir sout uit woestyngebiede en graangewasse uit savannegebiede. Op sy beurt kan savanne en woestynmense bosprodukte verkry. Die Sahara -woestyn was dus 'n belangrike faktor in die ontstaan ​​van die sosiale struktuur van Wes -Afrika.

Waar die geografiese hindernisse tussen verskillende klimaatsones omvangryk is, moet die handelsnetwerke wat nodig is om goedere te vervoer ingewikkelder wees. Om te floreer, moet samelewings nuwe maniere ontwikkel om vreemde handelaars te akkommodeer. Waar die versperring so groot is soos die Sahara -woestyn, of die Atlantiese Oseaan, sal die sosiale struktuur verweef raak met hierdie komplekse handelsnetwerke. Dit het in Wes-Afrika plaasgevind met die trans-Sahara-handel en die sosiale raamwerke wat met hierdie handel na vore gekom het, het toe 'n invloed op die vroeë trans-Atlantiese handel geword. Dit is dus moeilik om die belangrikheid van handel trans-Sahara te verstaan ​​sonder om die belangrikheid daarvan vir die samelewing, in terme van organisasie en geloof, te verstaan.

Een belangrike klimaatsfaktor by die vorming van Wes -Afrikaanse samelewings was die verspreiding van die tsetsevlieg. In vogtige bosgebiede het die tsetsevlieg wat slaapsiekte veroorsaak, beteken dat dit moeilik was vir tropdiere om te oorleef. Kamele, perde, donkies en dies meer kon nie maklik oorleef in gebiede waar die tsetsevlieg kon leef en floreer nie. Dit het beteken dat die samelewing so georganiseer moes word dat mense die rol sou vervul en kopvragte goud, kola -neute, ivoor en meer kon dra. Dit het beduidend geword namate die goudhandel trans-Sahara sedert die 11de eeu al hoe belangriker geword het.

Daar was twee hoofsones vir die ligging van goud in Wes -Afrika. Een daarvan was aan die Bo -Senegal -rivier, veral die sytak van die Falémé. Die ander was in die woude van die Goudkus. Om naby die bron van goud te wees, was natuurlik 'n groot politieke prys, en dit is belangrik dat die gebiede naby die Falémé en die woude van die Goudkus vir baie eeue die opkoms van stabiele politieke stelsels beleef het. In die Falémé was dit die koninkryk van Gajaaga [wat deur die Franse as Galam bekend gestaan ​​het], wat 8 eeue lank stabiel geheers het [volgens die Senegalese historikus Abdoulaye Bathily]. In die Goudkus kom dit in 'n reeks kragtige Akan-state, wat begin met Bono-Mansu in die 14de eeu, en daarna deur Denkyira en Akwamu tot 1700, wat almal op die goudhandel staatgemaak het.

In Senegambië was die Falémé-bron van goud in 'n halfwoestyngebied waar die tsetsevlieg nie kon floreer nie [later was dit naby die hart van die koninkryk Bundu]. Dit het die skepping van kragtige kavalleriemagte bevoordeel, en een van die belangrikste dinge wat die Noord-Afrikaanse handelaars in die trans-Sahara-handel verhandel het, was hul beroemde "Arabiese" perde. Kavaleries was belangrik vir die proses van staatsvorming en militêre beheer in gebiede soos die Jolof -ryk in die noorde van Senegambië, en in Borno en Kano verder na die ooste. Een van die eerste gebiede van die trans-Sahara-handel wat Europeërs gekopieer het, was in die instelling van 'n perdehandel, met perde wat op die Kaapse Eilande geteel is en reeds in die 1470's na die Wes-Afrikaanse kus verhandel het.

In Bono-Mansu kon perde egter nie floreer as gevolg van die tsetsevlieg nie. Dit het beteken dat die rol van kopdraers van kardinale belang was om die gladde werking van die goudhandel te verseker. Goud is uit die myne in die woude gegrawe, honderd kilometer noord van die Atlantiese kus, en dan noordwaarts na die eindpunt van die trans-Sahara-handel in Oualata [in die huidige Mauritanië], Timboektoe [in die huidige Mali] , Kano en N'gazarzamu by Borno.

Hierdie stedelike sentra was noodsaaklik vir die organisasie van die trans-Sahara-handel as geheel. Hulle moes 'n komplekse infrastruktuur vir die verskaffing van dienste vir langafstandhandelaars ontwikkel. Teen die 15de eeu het elkeen van hierdie stede hotelle vir perde en handelaars gehad, wat huise vir diere opruim om terug te keer vir die langafstandhandel na die Middellandse See, and markets where the wherewithal for the trade could be bought: saddlery and other kit for camels and horses, huge stocks of grain (millet, rice, and cous) to feed the slaves and traders crossing the Sahara, skins for water, dried meat, and more. Some, such as Timbuktu, had also become centres of learning for the scholars who accompanied the caravans for Islam was also becoming ever more closely related to the success and transformation of the trans-Saharan trade.

Traders and Diasporas

The traders who specialised in linking up the different centres of the trans-Saharan trade were known as the Wangara. By the 15 th century, the Wangara formed an important trade diaspora, stretching from The Gambia in the West to Borno in the East they also had connections in the Mali empire, and as far south as Bono-Mansu, and some of the Akan states on the southern Atlantic coast of what is now Ghana.

As we have seen, Islam had become closely connected to trans-Saharan trade: all of the traders from North Africa who came with the caravans were Muslims, and they preferred to trade with Muslims only. The rise of the Almoravid movement in the 11 th century, and the fall of Ghāna, made it clear that those rulers who converted to Islam would fare better in the trans-Saharan stakes.

At the same time, Islam remained the religion of the nobles and the trader class. It was not the faith of everyone, and some would resist it strongly. Thus West African rulers who wanted to succeed in the trans-Saharan trade had to develop a complex strategy. On the one hand, they had to be seen as Muslims in order to be able to entice the trans-Saharan traders: and yet at the same time, they had to be able to relate to their subjects, many of whom were not Muslims.

This commercial reality contributed to what historians call “plural societies”. A plural society can be defined as one in which more than one religion is allowed and tolerated where people can mix across ethnic and religious lines, and where the ability to respect more than one faith is an important part of political and social life. This can be seen through the oral accounts of key rulers such as Sunjata Keita of Mali, many of which emphasise the place of musicians in the court of Mali. The balafon was a royal instrument, which can be seen through its relationship in oral accounts to the sorcerer-king whom Sunjata defeated, Sumanguru Kante. Sumanguru was also reputed as a “Blacksmith king”, in tune with the supernatural powers of smiths and previous political regimes. Thus even Islamic rulers such as those of Mali showed their respect of African religions [and this may also explain why political leaders from Mali explained in Cairo in the 1320s that it was not possible to convert the producers of gold to Islam].

The Wangara diaspora of traders gradually became more and more important in creating a common culture across different parts of West Africa. Their arrival in Borno by the 15 th century showed how the pluralism of society, the spread of Islam as a scholarly, religious, and commercial religion, and the arrival of more and more global influences were all coming together across a wide part of West Africa.

Arabic, Literacy, and Scholarly Production

One of the impacts of the growing trans-Saharan trade was the spread of Arabic as a written language in West Africa. Arabic became not only a language of faith and religious scholarship, with the many mallams, shereefs, and other seers who came to the region. It was also a language of government and law. The many manuscripts now housed in the Ahmed Baba Institute in Timbuktu are testament to the spread of literacy in West Africa from an early time, and certainly it had become important by the 13 th century.

Rulers of important West African empires such as Mali and Songhay of course maintained existing indigenous frameworks of rulership. However they borrowed Islamic bureaucratic forms, religion, scholarship and legal structures to govern the new states, and the complex international relationships which they were developing through trade with the rest of the Islamic world. Taxation, law, and state offices all developed alongside the literate class which became vital to the functioning of the states of the Sahel.

By the 15 th and 16 th centuries, certain desert clans were renowned for their learning and scholarship. In Western areas such as Mauritania, these were known as the zwāya, and in the later 17 th century they would have a major role in the Islamic revival movement which spread in the 18 th century.Desert clans such as the Masūfa also migrated to Timbuktu from Māsina in central Mali, bringing special areas of learning in Islamic law (fiqh).The high status of these scholars is shown by the fact that the great Timbuktu scholar Ahmad Baba had as his main shaykh or religious instructor a scholar from Djenné on the Niger. [Ahmed Baba lived from 1556 to 1627, and wrote over 40 books in his lifetime he has the reputation of being Timbuktu’s greatest scholar].

The spread of Arabic has been studied by some historians through the spread of the use of Arabic on tombstones. The Brazilian historian PF de Moraes Farias spent his career studying these funerary inscriptions in cemeteries in Mauritania, Mali, and Niger. What he found was a more integrated history of Songhay, Tamasheq, Berber and Mande peoples than traditional histories had suggested. Arabic was not only an elite language of learning, but also became a language used by many to pay homage to their departed family members.

Headless figure, Jenne-jeno, Mali, 900-1400 AD, terracotta – National Museum of Natural History, photograph by Daderot, United States – DSC00413, CC0 1.0.

An important feature of this rise of Arabic was the spread of scholars from North Africa in centres of learning such as Kano and Timbuktu. Indeed, this was also an exchange, since scholars from West African cities moved to learn, study, and preach further afield. One was Al-Kānemī, from Kanem-Borno, who lived and taught in Marrakesh c. 1200, before dying in Andalusía in Spain. By the 14 th century, annual caravans took pilgrims from West Africa to North Africa and then to Mecca, and there was in Cairo a hostel to accommodate only those pilgrims who came from Borno while Askia Mohammed, who became ruler of Songhay c. 1495, instituted a garden and lodge for pilgrims from West Africa in Medina [a holy city of Islam, in Arabia], during his own hajj.

Tomb of Askia, photograph by Taguelmoust, 2005, CC BY-SA 3.0

The frequency of such presences of West Africans in the wider Islamic world is shown not only through the spread of Arabic, and the number of documented journeys made, but also by oral accounts. For instance, [the Gambian theologian Lamin Sanneh notes that] one of the most important strains of Islam in this period was that of Suwerian Islam. The founder of Suwerian Islam, al-Hajj Sālim Suware, is said in oral accounts to have made the pilgrimage to Mecca seven times in the early 13 th century. This is unlikely to be true, given just how difficult this journey was [and also as the Qur’an lonely requires it as a duty for Muslims to make the pilgrimage once in their lifetimes if possible]. However, the story reveals just how normal these journeys were, and how often they took place.

By the 15 th century, the growth of the gold trade had gone hand in hand with the emphasis on scholarship. The last 15 th century Sarki of Kano, Mohammed Rimfa, invited large numbers of scholars to settle in the city, and one of them – Sherif Abdu Rahman – came from Medina. Rahman brought his own library and many learned followers. The city walls of Kano were built, and the Kurmi market established, which showed just how much urban developments, learning, and the growth of the trans-Saharan trade had become interconnected.

This was also very apparent in Timbuktu. Timbuktu grew a reputation as a city of learning, and yet during the reign of Sonni Ali (c. 1464-93) of Songhay, its scholars felt undermined and slighted. After Sonni Ali’s death, many mallams from Timbuktu complained at his rulership and departure from orthodox Islam, and the ways in which they claimed he had persecuted the mallams. In the 16 th century, a succession of Askias ruled who followed a more orthodox path of Islam, and the city’s reputation as a centre of learning reached its peak. But this would fall with the Moroccan invasion of Songhay in 1591 [after which time, many of its scholars would disperse west, to Mauritania which is why many scholars of Islam in Mauritania see this as the centre of Islamic scholarship in the Sahel by the 18 th and 19 th centuries].

Mali and Mansa Musa

Perhaps the most famous and influential kingdom linked to the trans-Saharan trade was that of Mali. Mali was founded by Sunjata Keita in the 13 th century, defeating the blacksmith king Sumanguru Kante. However, in Mali, the ruler who reached world renown at the time was the Emperor Mansa Musa.

A ttributed to Abraham Cresques, Catalan Atlas BNF Sheet 6 Mansa Musa, marked as public domain, more details on Wikimedia Commons

Mansa Kankan Musa Keita was the son of Mansa Aboubacarr II the Navigator who in the 1300s sent out an expedition across the Atlantic Ocean from River Gambia to discover new territories. His son Mansa Kankan Musa Keita better known as Mansa Musa ruled Mali from 1312-1337. His reign lasted barely quarter of century but the whole 1300s are still called the Century of Mansa Musa because of his lasting legacy.

This legacy came out more for his exploits on his way to Mecca to perform his pilgrimage 1324-1325 than in any wars he fought and won or lost. He apparently did not want to perform the pilgrimage as he was still a nominal Muslim but when he accidentally killed his mother, he decided to perform the Hajj to purify himself and atone for his capital crime. He took along the entire court of his to Mecca including doctors, princes, griots and an army of body guard which numbered 8000 men! He left he Capital of Mali and traversed the Sahara through Walata in present day Mauretania, then Libya before entering Cairo. From Cairo he entered the Holy city of Mecca.

This pilgrimage had economic, political and religious consequences.

Economically, Mansa Musa dispensed so much gold on his way to Mecca that he has since then been called the richest ever human being to live on this earth. He also cemented trade ties between Mali and the Middle East and Cairo such that from 1325, caravans of over 10,000 camels traversed the Sahara into Mali at Gao and Timbuktu. Religiously, Mansa Musa and his huge entourage returned from the hajj renewed Muslims who now wanted to strengthen the religion and spread it far and wide. The Malian masses which were mostly animist then, were soon converted by the fresh pilgrims. Also, Mali opened up to more Arab scholars who were attracted by the immense wealth Mansa Musa displayed. These Arabs built fabulous mosques and courts for Mansa Musa. He also brought along great scholars who helped him establish the famous libraries in Gao, Jenne and Timbuktu. The hajj became one of the world’s greatest PR exercises! Politically, Mali became well known and Mansa Musa earned international repute. His pilgrimage put Mali firmly on the map. Indeed, before his death in 1337, Mansa Musa has expanded Mali into a sprawling empire with over 400 cities extending from the Atlantic in the West to the forest zones of the south. All the known states of the time such as Songhay,, Ghana, Galam, Tekrur formed part of Mansa Musa’s Mali. Mansa Musa indeed gave Mali her glory and Mali also gave Mansa Musa his glory!

Political reorganization in the 15 th century: Bono-Mansu, Mossi, Kano, and Songhay

The growth of the trans-Saharan trade from the 10 th to the 15 th century led to profound transformations across West Africa, and this can be seen through a whole range of transformations that took place in the 15 th century, from West to East and from North to South. It would be political, economic and social transformations in West Africa that would drive globalization and Europe’s role in this, not the other way around.

A good example are events in Nigeria. In Borno, the growth of the gold trade from Bono-Mansu would lead to the movement of the capital away from the old centre of Kanem, further south to Gazargamo (Ngazargamu) in Borno circa 1470. In Kano, there was the establishment of a new system, the Sarauta stelsel. Meanwhile, the 10-metre deep earthworks known as “Eredos”, built around Ijebu in Yorubaland, have recently been dated [by the archaeologist Gérard Chouin] to the period 1370-1420.

In other regions similar transformations were afoot. In Mali, the Dogon people of the Bandiagara escarpment probably moved there in the 15 th century. At the same time, in the 15 th century, the Mossi kingdom rose in what is now Burkina Faso, linked to the profits to be made from taxing the onward gold trade.Al-Sa’dī describes Mossi attacking the town of Mâssina in this period.It was also at this time that Bono-Mansurose to prominence. Meanwhile, the key gold-trading centre of Bighu, also on the Gold Coast and which was to become very important in the 17 th and 18 th century, is mentioned by al-Ouazzan (as Bito) in the 1520s, suggesting that it too rose to prominence in these decades.

Meanwhile, in Senegambia, the rise of the major military leader Koli Tenguela at the end of the 15 th century coincided probably with an attempt to control the gold trade which came from the kingdom of Wuuli, on the north bank of the Gambia river. Tenguela, a Fula, would eventually lead an army south across the Gambia river to the Fuuta Jaalo mountains in Guinea-Conakry and establish a new polity there. This would lead in turn to the establishment of Fuuta Tooro on the Senegal river.

In other words, all across West Africa, from Borno to Fuuta Tooro, political transformations were taking place well before trade with Europe had begun. West African mining technology, economic transformation, and political reorganization grew. This helped to create the framework in which European powers sought to expand their knowledge of the world, as they began to sail along the West African coast in the 15 th century.

The most remarkable example came in northern Nigeria. Kano grew very rapidly in the 15 th century, sending out military expeditions to the south and becoming a regional hub linking trading networks from southern Nigeria to what is now Mali and beyond. [The Kano Chronicle gives some details of these changes]. In the reign of Kano’s Sarkin Dauda (c. 1421-38), we are told of the connections between Kano and the province of Nupe. The major power between Kano and Nupe was Zaria, which conquered a large area of land. The Kano Chronicle says, “at this time, Zaria, under Queen Amina, conquered all the towns as far as Kwararafa and Nupe. Every town paid tribute to her. The Sarkin Nupe sent forty eunuchs and ten thousand kolas to her…in time the whole of the products of the west were brought to Hausaland [of which Kano was the capital]”.

Just as European power was beginning to expand along the West African coast in the 15 th century, therefore, so the impact of the trans-Saharan trade reached its zenith. The 15 th century was not just the time of European expansion, but of global expansion of networks, trade, productions, and the manifestation of this power in more complex states, in West Africa and beyond.

Koli Tengella and Tekrur

Tekrur was another of the states which thrived largely as a result of the Trans-Saharan trade. It was founded in the 7 th century, and was located in present day North-East Senegal in the valley of the Senegal River. For many years, Tekrur laid quietly as a vassal of the Ghana and Mali empires. Tekrur had largely Serahuly and Mande speaking populations, but in the 15 th century, the Fula became powerful and removed the ruling Mande class and established the Janonkobe dynasty. They were led by a warrior the Senegalese historian Ousman Ba called ‘the great hero and saviour of the Peulh’ named Koli, the son of Tengella. He formed and mobilised a vast army and ravaged through Fouta Jallon, Mali and Jollof to make Tekrur the unvanquished power in the region. Koli was crowned as Satigi or emperor over the vast lands now under the control of his Fula armies. His capital was at Gode, near the present day Matam.

Koli is remembered in the Fouta Toro legends as the big chief of the Fula animist aristocracy who lived on war and slavery, catching especially of the Fula and Tukulor Muslims of his empire. No doubt then in 1776, the Muslims headed by Sulayman Bal revolted against Koli’s oppression to found the Muslim state of Fouta. How did Koli benefit from the trade across the Sahara? Simply put, by trading grain in exchange for firearms. He was able to build a strong army which maintained Tekrur’s dominance for many decades. It is clear from what has been said above that the trade across the Sahara helped to build strong states and also to destroy them as weapons became readily available and the lucrative trade also generated envy and the desire to dominate.

Ghana and Songhai Empires

Ghana was one of the most famous and earliest of the West African empires. It existed between the 5 th and 13 th centuries in the modern Mali and Mauritania, and was heavily connected to the trans-Saharan trade. The Ghana empire with its capital of Kumbi Saleh in Mauritainia, is not to be confused with modern Ghana with its capital at Accra, which was named after it. The principal inhabitants of Ghana were the Serahuli, also called Soninke, who were part of the Mande-speaking people.

Ghana owed her progress and prosperity and influence to the strategic role it played in the Trans-Saharan trade. British historian Kevin Shillington was categorical in this: ‘…Ghana’s position with regard to the trade…. made it grow powerful and its rulers became rich…. It seems likely that trade was a major factor in the growth of Ghana from the very beginning’.

Ghana was located half way between the sources of the two Trans-Saharan trade items: salt from the desert up north and gold from Bambuk to the East. Ghana played the enviable role of middleman. The introduction of the camel as carrier of goods in the trade was a massive boost to the exchange between Ghana and the desert peoples such as the Berbers.

Ghana’s glory could not be hidden simply because it was well traced and chronicled by the Arabic traders who came there. As early as the 11 th century an Arab geographer called al-Bakari visited Kumbi Saleh, the capital and described the fabulous wealth he saw and the well advanced form of administration run by the Ghana ruler. He observed that Kumbi Saleh had two separate wards: the foreigners’ quarter where Arab trader resided and the main ward where the king and his people lived. The dumbstruck Arab visitor also described in glowing terms how well dressed in gold the Ghana king was, how he was able to raise an army of 200,000 men and how he allowed both Islam and animism to be practised in Kumbi Saleh. Of course, our Arab writers only met the royals, nobles and traders as they were interested only in gold. They said little about what the ordinary people did for a living but we can glean from the writings that they fished and farmed along the banks of the River Senegal to survive.

Ghana’s glory rested on trade and so did its collapse. When the Almoravids started to wage war against other Berber tribes, the trade routes to Ghana became unsafe and trade was affected. Dry weather conditions also affected Ghana’s ability to feed herself and her vast army this seriously weakened the state. Also, by the 12 th century, vassals like Mali had began to rebel to gain freedom from Ghana’s dominance.

Songhay, on the other hand lasted from the 11 th to 16 th century. It rose to prominence as a result of the Trans-Saharan trade. As early as the 14 th century Muslim traders were settled in Gao, the principal trade town of Songhay. Gao became the hub for the Trans-Saharan trade for the central and eastern Sahara. The farmers and fishermen of Songay ensured the traders were well fed.

Songhay collected the bulk of her revenue from the taxes levied on trade caravans. One of the great Songhay emperors was Muhamed Ture also called Askia Muhamed who introduced Islam in to Songhay and increased the empire’s reaches. Like Mansa Musa of Mali, he made a pilgrimage to Mecca where he showed how rich and powerful his kingdom was. The Trans-Saharan trade helped to make Songhai rich and prosperous.

It should be noted that the trans-Saharan trade continued to be important into the 19 th and even the 20 th century, as the continuing trade and human traffic shows. The desert is a geographical barrier which requires complex organisation to cross – those who crossed it laid the foundations of some of the most important states in West African history.

Factbox:

3000BCE: Sahara starts desertifying

220BCE: Hannibal of Carthage crosses the Alps with West African elephants

400 CE: City of Jenne-jenò in the Middle Niger has grown to 4000 inhabitants

900AD: Gold from the forests of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire found in North African mints in increasing quantities

1062: The Almoravids from the fringes of the Senegal river valley conquer Morocco and establish Marrakech.

1076: Almoravids sack Koumbi-Saleh, capital of Ghāna

1080s: Almoravids sweep into southern Spain

1070-1100: The kingdom of Kanem-Borno converts to Islam and becomes important in the trans-Saharan trade. Regular pilgrimages to Mecca via Cairo of the Borno kings begin in the 1100s.

1200: Kano’s city walls completed by this date

1200-1250: rise of the Mali empire under Sunjata Keita, founded on trans-Saharan wealth

1322-5: Pilgrimage of Mansa Musa, emperor of Mali to Mecca via Cairo

1330s: Djinguereber mosque built in Timbuktu using the architect As-Sahili from Andalusía in southern Spain

1350-1390: Wangara traders bring Islam to Kano with trade

1433 – 1474: Emergence of Songhay to rival Mali for imperial power with the loss of Timbuktu to Songhay in 1468 to their ruler Sonni ‘Alī

1470s: The capital of Borno moves south to the fortified redoubt of Ngazargamu

1492: Death of Sonni ‘Alī, ruler of Songhay. He is replaced by Askia Mohammad in 1494, who inaugurates the great age of Songhay

1490s-1510s: Rise of Koli Tenguella, founder of Futa Toro on the northern bank of the Senegal river

1591: Fall of Songhay to the forces of Morocco


Growth and Urbanization of Malinké

Mansa Musa—Mansa is a title meaning something like "king"—held many other titles he was also the Emeri of Melle, the Lord of Mines of Wangara, and the Conquerer of Ghanata and a dozen other states. Under his rule, the Malinké empire was stronger, richer, better organized, and more literate than any other Christian power in Europe at the time.

Musa established a university at Timbuktu where 1,000 students worked towards their degrees. The university was attached to the Sankoré Mosque, and it was staffed with the finest jurists, astronomers, and mathematicians from the scholarly city of Fez in Morocco.

In each of the cities conquered by Musa, he established royal residences and urban administrative centers of government. All of those cities were Musa's capitals: the center of authority for the entire Mali kingdom moved with the Mansa: the centers where he was not currently visiting were called "king's towns."


Mali Empire (ca. 1200- )

The Mali Empire was the second of three West African empires to emerge in the vast savanna grasslands located between the Sahara Desert to the north and the coastal rain forest in the south. Beginning as a series of small successor trading states, Ancient Ghana, the empire grew to encompass the territory between the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Chad, a distance of nearly 1,800 miles. Encompassing all or part of the modern nations of Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, and Chad, at its height in 1300, Mali was one of the largest empires in the world.

The Mali Empire was strategically located between the West African gold mines and the agriculturally rich Niger River floodplain. Mali’s rise begins when the political leaders of Ghana could not reestablish that empire’s former glory following its conquest and occupation by the Almoravids in 1076. Consequently a number of small states vied to control the salt and gold trade that accounted for Ghana’s wealth and power.

In 1235 Sundiata Keita, the leader of one of these states, Kangaba, defeated its principal rival, the neighboring kingdom of Susu, and began consolidating power in the region. Sundiata’s conquest in 1235 is considered the founding of the Malian Empire. Under Sundiata’s successors Mali extended its control west to the Atlantic, south into the rain forest region, including the Wangara gold fields, and east beyond the great bend of the Niger River.

At its height in 1350 the Mali Empire was a confederation of three states, Mali, Memo and Wagadou and twelve garrisoned provinces. The emperor or mansa ruled over 400 cities, towns and villages of various ethnicities and controlled a population of approximately 20 million people from the capitol at Niani. The Malian Army numbered 100,000 men including 10,000 cavalry. During this time only the Mongol Empire (China) and the Russian Empire exceed Mali in size. The mansa reserved the exclusive right to dispense justice and to tax both local and international trade. That trade was centered in three major cities, Timbuktu, Djenne and Gao.

Between 1324 and 1325 Mansa Musa, the most famous of the Malian Emperors, made an elaborate pilgrimage through the current nation of Sudan and through Egypt on to Mecca in Arabia, bringing thousands of followers and hundreds of camels carrying gold. Through the highly publicized pilgrimage and indirectly through an elaborate trade that sent gold to the capitals of Europe and Asia, Mali and its ruler became famous throughout the known world.

Mali’s power however was eventually weakened by palace intrigue that prevented an orderly succession of imperial power and by the desire of smaller states to break free of its rule to reap the benefits of the salt and gold trade. The first people to achieve independence from Mali were the Wolof who resided in what is now Senegal. They established the Jolof Empire around 1350. In 1430 the nomadic Tuareg seized Timbuktu This conquest had enormous commercial and psychological consequences: a relatively small but united group had occupied the richest city in the Empire and one of the major sources of imperial wealth.

The greatest challenge, however, came from a rebellion in Gao that led to rise of Songhai. The once vassal state to Mali conquered Mema, one of the Empire’s oldest possessions in 1465. Three years later they took Timbuktu from the Tuareg.

Beginning in 1502, Songhai forces under Askia Muhammad took control of virtually all of Mali’s eastern possession including the sites for commercial exchange as well as the gold and copper mines at the southern and northern borders. Even the desperate effort by Mansa Mahmud III to craft an alliance with the Portuguese failed to stop Songhai’s advances. In 1545 a Songhai army routed the Malians and their emperor from their capital, Niani. Although Songhai never conquered what remained of the Empire of Mali, its victories effectively ended Malian power in the savanna.


Regions of Mali Map

Mali has been divided into 10 administrative regions. In alphabetical order, these are as follows: Gao, Kayes, Kidal, Koulikoro, Menaka, Mopti, Segou, Sikasso, Taoudenni, Tombouctou (Timbuktu) note - Menaka and Taoudenni were legislated in 2016, but implementation has not been confirmed by the US Board on Geographic Names

The country also has one capital district, Bamako. It is the capital and largest city of Mali.

With an area of 496,611 sq. km Tombouctou is the largest region of Mali by area and Sikasso is the most populous one.


Mansa Musa, King of Mali

King Mansa Musa is famous for his Hajj journey, during which he stopped off in Egypt and gave out so much gold that the Egyptian economy was ruined for years to come. Mansa Musa was the great-great-grandson of Sunjata, who was the founder of the empire of Mali. His 25-year reign (1312-1337 CE) is described as the golden age of the empire of Mali (Levztion 66). While Sunjata focused on building an ethnic Malinke empire, Mansa Musa developed its Islamic practice. He performed his Hajj in 1324. According to Levztion, the journey across Africa to Makkah took more than a year and it took a powerful king to be able to be absent from his kingdom for so long. Mansa Musa journeyed along the Niger River to Mema, then to Walata, then through Taghaza and on to Tuat, which was a trade center in central Africa. Tuat attracted traders from as far as Majorca and Egypt and its traders included Jews as well as Muslims.

When he arrived in Egypt, Mansa Musa camped near the Pyramids for three days. He then sent a gift of 50,000 dinars to the Sultan of Egypt before settling in Cairo for three months. The Sultan lent him his palace for the summer and made sure that his entourage was treated well. Mansa Musa gave away thousands of ingots of gold, and Egyptian traders took advantage of this by charging five times the normal price for their goods. The value of gold in Egypt decreased as much as 25 percent. By the time Mansa Musa returned to Cairo from Hajj, however, he had run out of money and had to borrow from local Egyptian merchants.

While Mansa Musa was devout, he was not an ascetic. His imperial power was widely respected, and he was feared throughout Africa. Ibn Battuta s accounts show that Musa expected the same traditional etiquette of reverence to be performed for him as for any other king. These included demonstrating one s submission before the king. People who greeted him had to kneel down and scatter dust over themselves. Even in Cairo, Mansa Musa was greeted by his subjects in the traditional way. No one was allowed into the king s presence with his sandals on negligence was punished by death. No one was allowed to sneeze in the king s presence, and when the king himself sneezed, those present beat their breasts with their hands (Levtzion, 108).

Another custom was that the king would never give orders personally. He would pass instructions to a spokesman, who would then convey his words. He never wrote anything himself and asked his scribes to put together a book, which he then sent to the Sultan of Egypt. However, Mansa Musa had to face his own test of humility because it was required, when greeting the sultan, to kiss the ground. This was an act that Mansa Musa could not bring himself to perform. Ibn Fadl Allah Al-Omari, who spent time with Musa in Egypt, reports that Musa had made many excuses before he could be persuaded to enter the sultan s court. In the end, he made a compromise by announcing that if he had to prostrate on entering the court, it would be before Allah only, and this he did.

Mansa Musa stood in a long tradition of West African kings who had made pilgrimage to Makkah and, like his predecessors, he traveled in style. Ibn Battuta recorded the display of wealth, which included a large presence of bodyguards, dignitaries, saddled horses, and colored flags. He traveled with his senior wife, Inari Kunate, who brought with her five hundred maids-in-waiting. The senior wife was also respected and feared, and rulers of different cities paid their tributes to her. However, Ibn Battuta recorded that in Mansa Musa s court, the Shari`ah was rather informally practiced in matters of marriage. He records that Ibn Amir Hajib, a member of the Mamluk court, noted how Mansa Musa strictly observed prayer and knew the Qur an, but had maintained the custom that if one of his subjects had a beautiful daughter, he brought her to the king s bed without marriage. Ibn Amir Hajib informed Mansa Musa that this was not permitted under Islamic law, to which Mansa Musa replied, Not even to kings? Ibn Amir Hajib said, Not even to kings. Henceforth Mansa Musa refrained from the practice.

Mansa Musa s Hajj had a significant impact on the development of Islam in Mali and on the perception of Mali throughout Africa and Europe. He was later accompanied back to Mali by an Andalusian architect, who is said to have designed the mosque at Timbuktu. He also invited back with him four descendents of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), so that the country of Mali would be blessed by their footprints. According to Levtzion, Mansa Musa s pilgrimage is recorded in many sources, both Muslim and non-Muslim and from both West Africa and Egypt. Mali also appeared on the maps of the Jews and Christians in Europe. In Mali, Musa is known for building mosques and inviting Islamic scholars from around the Muslim world to his empire (Levtzion 213).

- Levtzion, N. Ancient Ghana and Mali. London: Methuen & Co., 1973.


Africa 979 CE

North AfricaIn North Africa, the Islamic religion has taken root, and a Shiite movement, called the Fatimids, now rules most of that region from Egypt.The Christian civilization of the Nubian kingdoms in the Nile Valley .

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What is happening in Africa in 979CE

North Africa

In North Africa, the Islamic religion has taken root, and a Shiite movement, called the Fatimids, now rules most of that region from Egypt.

The Christian civilization of the Nubian kingdoms in the Nile Valley continues to flourish, while the Christian kingdom of Ethiopia is under fierce pressure from surrounding pagan tribes.

Sub-Saharan Africa

Islam is also now spreading across the Sahara desert into West Africa, carried by merchants and missionaries, although at this date the great bulk of the population have their traditional religions. West African civilization continues to advance, and other kingdoms have appeared beside Ghana, notably Songhai and Mali. Further east, the development of a more easterly trade route across the Sahara has led to the rise of the kingdom of Kanem, on the shores of Lake Chad.

The maritime trade between the east coast of Africa, Arabia and India is also expanding, and is leading to the rise of a coastal society, predominantly black by race and Muslim by culture, which will later be given the name “Swahili”. There is evidence for the beginnings of urbanization in this period along the coast.

In southern Africa, the Bantu herding cultures are thriving, pushing the pre-Bantu hunter-gatherer peoples further and further into inhospitable desert areas.

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Darkness and Light: Europe in 962 CE This series of timemaps shows a portion of North Africa.


Map of the Mali Empire, c. 1337 CE - History


An African emperor who ruled Mali in the 14th century discovered America nearly 200 years before Christopher Columbus, according to a book to be launched this month.

Abubakari II ruled what was arguably the richest and largest empire on earth - covering nearly all of West Africa.

According to a Malian scholar, Gaoussou Diawara in his book, 'The Saga of Abubakari II. he left with 2000 boats', the emperor gave up all power and gold to pursue knowledge and discovery.

Abubakari's ambition was to explore whether the Atlantic Ocean - like the great River Niger that swept through Mali - had another 'bank'.

In 1311, he handed the throne over to his brother, Kankou Moussa, and set off on an expedition into the unknown.

His predecessor and uncle, Soundjata Keita, had already founded the Mali empire and conquered a good stretch of the Sahara Desert and the great forests along the West African coast.

The book also focuses on a research project being carried out in Mali tracing Abubakari's journeys.

"We are not saying that Abubakari II was the first ever to cross the ocean," says Tiemoko Konate, who heads the project

"There is evidence that the Vikings were in America long before him, as well as the Chinese," he said.


The researchers claim that Abubakari's fleet of pirogues, loaded with men and women, livestock, food and drinking water, departed from what is the coast of present-day Gambia.

They are gathering evidence that in 1312 Abubakari II landed on the coast of Brazil in the place known today as Recife.

"Its other name is Purnanbuco, which we believe is an aberration of the Mande name for the rich gold fields that accounted for much of the wealth of the Mali Empire, Boure Bambouk."

Another researcher, Khadidjah Djire says they have found written accounts of Abubakari's expedition in Egypt, in a book written by Al Omari in the 14th century.

"Our aim is to bring out hidden parts of history", she says.

Mr Konate says they are also examining reports by Columbus, himself, who said he found black traders already present in the Americas.

They also cite chemical analyses of the gold tips that Columbus found on spears in the Americas, which show that the gold probably came from West Africa.


But the scholars say the best sources of information on Abubakari II are Griots - the original historians in Africa.

Mr Diawara says the paradox of Abubakari II, is that the Griots themselves imposed a seal of silence on the story.

"The Griots found his abdication a shameful act, not worthy of praise," Mr Diawara said.

"For that reason they have refused to sing praise or talk of this great African man."

Mr Diawara says the Griots in West Africa such as Sadio Diabate, are slowly starting to divulge the secrets on Abubakari II.

But the research team says an even bigger challenge is to convince hard-nosed historians elsewhere that oral history can be just as accurate as written records.

Mr Diawara believes Abubakari's saga has an important moral lesson for leaders of small nation states in West Africa, which were once part of the vast Mande-speaking empire.

"Look at what's going on in all the remnants of that empire, in Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea.

"Politicians are bathing their countries in blood, setting them on fire just so that they can cling to power," says Mr Diawara.

"They should take an example from Abubakari II. He was a far more powerful man than any of them. And he was willing to give it all up in the name of science and discovery."

"That should be a lesson for everyone in Africa today," concludes Mr Diawara.


7b. Mali: A Cultural Center


Mansa Musa, greatest king of Mali, is shown on this Spanish map of Africa.

What would life be like if a magician ruled the land? The history of ancient Mali gives us some hints. The founder of this West African kingdom was well known among his people as a man of magic with more than a few tricks up his sleeve.

Before the sorcerer's reign, and the Malian kingdom's birth, years of competition and fighting took place in the lands west of the upper Niger River. A series of fierce battles took place, and in the 13th century C.E., a group known as the Soso emerged victorious. The Soso's new lands, which had once belonged to the kingdom of Ghana, were like giant pots of gold. But before the Soso could settle in and enjoy the wealth, the great "sorcerer-king" Sundiata moved in to take over.

The Lion King

Sundiata claimed that Mali was his by right of inheritance and in 1230 A.D he defeated the Soso and took back the land. According to legend, Sundiata's rival, King Sumanguru, was also a sorcerer. Sumanguru conjured up the heads of eight spirits for assistance. Sundiata had stronger magic. He defeated the eight heads and then shot an arrow, which grazed Sumanguru's shoulder, draining him of all remaining magic. With a pat on the back, Sundiata declared himself ruler, or mansa, of the region and set up capital in the city of Niani.


The mosque at Timbuktu was the heart of the kingdom of Mali. The empire of Mali expanded after the fall of Ghana, reaching its height under the rule of Kankan Musa (c. 1312-1327 C.E.). Many monumental mosques were constructed during the reign of Mansa Kankan Musa who is still remembered as a great Islamic ruler.

Sundiata, also known as the "Lion King," was determined to make changes, and indeed he did. He decided to assign specific occupations to particular kin groups and developed a social organization similar to a caste system. For example, if born into a family of warriors, one was destined to be a warrior. If born into a family of djeli , or storytellers, one was destined to join the djeli tradition. Choice of destiny was not an option.

This system conveniently meant that if born into a family of mansa, one was part of the ruling dynasty &mdash the Keita. It was one of Sundiata's "tricks" to keep power in the family.

For the most part, the system worked. However, for a short time, power escaped the Keita hands and landed in those of a former slave. The disruptive reign of the ex-slave, known as Sakura, paved the way for Sundiata's nephew, Mansa Kankan Musa, to back the throne. Best known for his wealth, his generosity, and his dedication to Islam, Mansa Musa took the kingdom to new heights.

A Golden Pilgrimage

Through involvement in the gold trade that swept through Africa and reached all the way to Europe, Mansa Musa led Mali to great riches. The region's prosperity was nothing new, but based on Egyptian records, Mansa Musa's display and distribution of the wealth was unprecedented.

In 1324, the great Mansa Musa set out on a pilgrimage to Mecca. Decked out in his finest clothes, he passed through Cairo with 500 slaves, each of whom carried a six-pound staff of gold. Backing them up were 100 camels, carrying in sum over 30,000 more pounds of the precious metal.


The African gold trade was indeed a lucrative one, as shown by this gold from Ghana.

Surely this was a sight to behold, and the accounts left behind say that the show got even better. While cruising through Cairo, Mansa Musa reportedly handed out gifts of gold to bystanders. He entertained the crowds and made a lucky few suddenly rich.

In Mansa Musa's Hands

Aside from being generous, Mansa Musa made an important mark in Mali by introducing the kingdom to Islam and making it one of the first Muslim states in northern Africa. He incorporated the laws of the Koran into his justice system. Cities such as Timbuktu and Gao were developed into international centers of Islamic learning and culture. Elaborate mosques and libraries were built. The university arose in Timbuktu might well have been the world's first. The cities became meeting places for poets, scholars, and artists.

Though not everyone accepted the new faith and culture, a strong relationship between religion and politics quickly developed. Mansa Kankan Musa ruled with all the ideals of a fine Muslim king. He died in the mid-14th century, and Mali was never quite the same. Internal squabbling between ruling families weakened Mali's governing and its network of states started to unravel. Then, in 1430, a group of Berbers seized much of Mali's territory, including Timbuktu.

Though the wealth and power that Mali possessed was swept up quickly by the next great empire, its legacy stands proudly. The pioneering spirit and groundbreaking accomplishments of Mali's kingdom make its rise and fall an important chapter of African history.