North and Central African Societies Click here to hear camel noises, or camel calls!
Characteristics of Early Societies in Northern and Central Africa
- started as semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers
- established loose social structures as family members
respected the elder males (group leaders), families made their
own decisions, groups solve problems through talks, and
disgruntled members left the group
- lived by lineages, or links between past generations and future
generations through a common ancestor, dominated
- had stateless societies, or societies with no central
government - families kept the power balanced
- had patrilineal or matrilineal societies (ancestors traced
through fathers or mothers)
- created age-set groups (male vs. female was different) who
passed through ritual ceremonies and rites together
By 670 C.E., Muslims ruled Egypt and started to invade areas to the west. Some conquered people adopted Islam and based their governments and cultures on Islamic law. The Berbers, indigenous mountain and desert dwellers of North Africa, converted to Islam.