AFRICAN KINGDOMS. Ghana. Around AD 800 the rulers of many farming villages united to create the kingdom of Ghana.

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1 AFRICAN KINGDOMS In Africa, towns soon became part of an important trade network. Gold and salt were the most important products traded. People needed salt in their diets to prevent dehydration. There was plenty of salt in the Sahara but there was little in the savanna. The people of the Sahara traded the plentiful gold of their region to obtain salt from the Sahara. Strong African leaders created powerful kingdoms by gaining control over most of the profitable trade routes. Three trading kingdoms of West Africa were Ghana, Mali, and Songhai. The trading kingdom Axum thrived in East Africa. Over time, Islam became an important social and religious force, particularly in North Africa and West Africa. Ghana Around AD 800 the rulers of many farming villages united to create the kingdom of Ghana.

2 Ghana had a powerful king who ruled over a splendid court in his capital of Kumbi Saleh. Income from the gold trade allowed him to maintain a large army of foot soldiers and cavalry. The army helped the king to control and expand his kingdom. Muslim merchants brought their religion when they settled in the kingdom of Ghana. The king had Muslim officials and was influenced by Muslim military technology and ideas about government. Ghana also absorbed Arabic writing and Muslim styles of architecture. Women in Ghana had high status and played an active role in the economic life of the empire. Mali Mali was ruled by powerful kings called mansas. Under Mansa Musa, the most powerful ruler, Mali extended its borders and dominated West Africa. Mansa Musa s large army kept order in the empire and protected it from attack. Although warriors were in an elite class in Mali, most of its people were farmers and herders. Mansa Musa ran an efficient government, appointing governors to rule particular areas. He based his system of justice on the Qur an, the Muslim Holy Book. He also made the city of Timbuktu a center of Muslim learning. The empire declined in the 1400s when the people could not agree n a ruler. Timbuktu

3 Songhai Like Ghana and Mali, Songhai depended on a strong army to control trade routes. The emperor Sonni Ali built Songhai into the largest state that had ever existed in West Africa. He established an efficient bureaucracy to govern the kingdom. Trade spread to Europe and Asia. Songhai prospered until the late 1500s when civil war broke out and caused the downfall of the kingdom. Ghana ( ) Mali ( ) Songhai ( ) Controlled trade in gold and salt across West Africa. Women worked in business and government Conquered kingdom of Ghana Mansa Musa became a great emperor Grew into largest West African state. Controlled important trade routes King had Muslim advisors Mali controlled gold trade routes Emperor set up Muslim dynasty Timbuktu became a great trading city and center of learning OTHER AFRICAN KINGDOMS The Mediterranean and Red Seas linked Africa to the Middle East and Europe. The Indian Ocean also linked east Africa to India and other Asian lands. Products from the African interior were transported overland to the coast and then out of Africa. Axum Axum was located on the Red Sea. It was a trading kingdom that merged Jewish and Christian traditions. It eventually became present day Ethiopia. Hausa In the 1300s the Hausa people built city-states in what became present-day Nigeria. They were cotton weavers and leatherworkers who traveled on caravans across the Sahara and as far as Europe. Benin Located in the rain forests of the Guinea coast, Benin traded ivory, pepper, and also slaves. The people of Benin also learned how to cast bronze and brass.

4 Around AD 600 trading cities rose along the coast of East Africa. They included Mogadishu, Kilwa, and Sofala. They conducted business with Indian and also sold slaves to Persia. Cultural diffusion led to the rise of a new language called Swahili in which Arab words were mixed with Bantu, an African language.

5 ACHIEVEMENTS Art African art often used ivory, wood, and bronze for jewelry and religious objects. Art linked people who created it with those who used it. Bronze art from Benin Literary Traditions Oral and written literature preserved African culture. Arabic was a common form of written history which praised rulers. Oral history contained folk tales which used fantasy and humor to teach moral lessons. Education Elders taught the young what roles they would serve in the community. In the 1400s Timbuktu in Mali became a center of learning. Manuscripts from all over the world were contained in the university built by Mansa Musa. Students from all over the world attend school here. Commerce Commerce introduced Africans to crops and animals from other lands. A rich mix of cultures developed. Unfortunately, as a result of commerce, slave trade also developed.

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