Africa and Islam (Ch 8)


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Africa and Islam
Ghana, Mali, Songhai

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Africa and Islam (Ch 8)

  1. 1. Chapter 8:African Civilizations and theSpread of Islam
  2. 2. • Stateless Societies ▫ Organized around kinship, little centralization of authority  Gvt rarely a full time occupation• Common Elements of African Societies ▫ Bantu language base ▫ Animistic religions ▫ Cosmology to explain the universe ▫ Superstitious ▫ Ancestors were first settlers of their land, therefore they have ownership of the land, resources, etc.  Venerated ancestors, link to the spiritual world
  3. 3. Recap: North Africa • North Africa is tied to Mediterranean world, founded by Phoenician traders (Carthage is its main trading port) • N. African trading network spreads through Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, S. Spain, and Sicily • Carthaginian outposts as far as France and England • But As Rome expands, they encroach on N. African territory – Punic Wars, etc.
  4. 4. Recap: Roman Rule in N. Africa • Romans build dams, aqueducts, roads, and cities across N. Africa • Christianity spreads across N. Africa • St. Augustine was born in Algeria, later serves as Bishop of Hippo (near Carthage’s ruins)
  5. 5. Camels and Trade• By 200 CE Camels are brought to North Africa from Asia• “Ships of the desert”• 20-30 miles per day, carrying up to 500 lbs, need very little water
  6. 6. • Between 640-700 CE Arab Spread of Islam armies brought Islam to N. Africa ▫ Islam replaced Christianity as the dominant religion in N. Africa ▫ Thus, Arabic replaced Latin as the language of N. Africa. • Muslim traders from N. Africa spread Islam into West Africa
  7. 7. • Almoravids – 11th c. - puritanical reformist Muslims in W. Sahara who launch a jihad to purify, spread and protect the faith ▫ Push South against the savannah kingdoms ▫ Push North towards Spain • Almohadis 1130 – reformists who follow similar pattern
  8. 8. The Nile Kingdom of Nubia • Present day Sudan • Christian kingdoms flourished in Nubia and Egypt • The Christians of Egypt created their own Coptic branch (convert literature from Grk to Coptic) • Muslim rulers tended to tolerate them
  9. 9. • Christian kingdom of Axum also flourished• Ethiopian kingdom grew from Axum and became the most important African Christian outpost• Isolation and preservation of Christianity• King Lalibela (d. 1221) created the great churches of rock• Ethiopian Christianity
  10. 10. Kingdoms of West Africa• Also known as the Sudanic States: ▫ Ghana ▫ Mali ▫ Songhai ▫ Commonalities:  Patriarch/council of elders w/ lineage of leaders  Territorial core + conquest areas  Drew taxes, tribute and military support from conquored areas  Rulers sacred and separate from their subjects
  11. 11. Sahara Desert
  12. 12. Trading Gold and Salt• Trade network stretches across the Sahara to reach civilizations along the Mediterranean and Middle East• Gold is plentiful in Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal• Men dig soil up from pits and women wash the soil to extract the gold dust and pieces• Used hollow feather quills to transport gold dust safely to N. Africa and Europe
  13. 13. Salt!• Salt essential aspect of diet to prevent dehydration• Sahara has an abundance of salt ▫ in Taghaza people even built houses out of salt blocks• Salt is scarce in the savanna ▫ Block of salt easily worth its weight in gold
  14. 14. Gold Wealth of Ghana • Ghana – “land of gold” • Soninke people • Ideal for trade – between Niger and Senegal rivers • King taxes all trade • Capital: Kumbi Saleh ▫ Comprised of two walled towns
  15. 15. Kumbi Saleh• First Town: home of the royal palace and the king ▫ King is seen as a semi- divine figure who dispensed justice and kept order• Second Town: home of the Muslim merchants who lived in luxurious stone buildings
  16. 16. Influence of Islam• Muslim merchants brought the Islamic faith to Ghana• Ghana adopted Muslim counselors, government officials, military technology, ideas about government, written language, coinage, business methods, and styles of architecture.• Most Soninke people continue to support their traditional customs and beliefs
  17. 17. Ghana’s Decline• c. 1050 AD Almoravids – pious Muslims of N. Africa launch a campaign to spread Islam• Almoravids overwhelm and take Ghana, but cannot consistently rule Ghana across the Sahara• Kingdom of Mali expands and takes over Ghana instead
  18. 18. II. The Kingdom of Mali • Mandinka people • Mandinka word “Mali” means “where the king dwells” • Mansas -- kings expanded their influence over the gold mining regions and salt supplies of Taghaza • Camel Caravan routes caused n5/Images/westafrica.jpg towns like Timbuktu to mushroom into great trading cities.
  19. 19. The Mali Empire flourished in the 13th century, with the city of Timbuktu on the banks of the NigerRiver as an intellectual, artistic and religious center. (The Republic of Mali).
  20. 20. Sundiata Ibn Batuta said:• Brilliant leader • Arab traveler• Celebrated by the griots • “Of all peoples, the Blacks are (professional oral historians) those who most hate injustice,• He divided up the world (16 and their emperor pardons clans – bear arms and carry none who is guilty of it” the box and arrow; five clans – devoted to religious duties; four clans – specialists like blacksmiths and griots)• Even though very diverse, safety and loyalty were emphasized• Crime was severely punished
  21. 21. Ibn Batuta & Marco Polo late 1200’s early 1300’s
  22. 22. Mansa Musa
  23. 23. Mansa Musa • Greatest Emperor of Mali • Expanded the empire to Atlantic Ocean and up to North Africa • 25 year reign • Converts to Islam and based his system of justice on the Quran
  24. 24. Mansa Musa’s greatness cont…• 1324 AD Mansa Musa fulfilled one of the five pillars: the Hajj• Created economic and diplomatic ties with other Muslim states along his journey• Still did not force women to veil, women were not secluded within the home• By 1400s Timbuktu becomes a leading center of learning, drew Muslim scholars from all over the world• Mali falls into decline after disputes over succession arise in 1400s
  25. 25. A New Empire in Songhai• 1450 – wealthy trading city of Gao emerged as capital of West African kingdom of Songhai
  26. 26. Sonni Ali • Soldier king who uses his army to create the largest state that had ever existed • Brought trade routes and wealthy cities (like Timbuktu) under his control • Chooses not to adopt Islam and follows traditional religious beliefs instead
  27. 27. Aski Muhammad• Expanded the territory of Songhai• Improved government beauracracy• As a Muslim, he made his hajj and met with different Islamic states along the way to increase his ties to the Muslim world.• Built temples and schools to study the Quran• Scholars and poets flock to Gao
  28. 28. Invaders from the North!• 1586 – succession disputes (surprise, surprise) lead to civil war• Ruler of Morocco uses an army armed with gunpowder weapons to seize gold mines• Morocco is unable to control Songhai across the Sahara, the kingdoms of West Africa end up splintered and fragmented
  29. 29. IV. Other Kingdoms of West Africa• Hausa people ▫ Modern day Nigeria ▫ 500-1500 ▫ 1300 AD Hausa build many clay-walled cities that function independently ▫ Kano – most prosperous city-state with a population of over 30,000 people
  30. 30. Benin Forest Kingdom • South of the savanna • 1300s • “Oba” – king who serves as a political and religious leader; spreads power among other groups (Queen mother and hereditary chiefs) • Benin bronzeworks – depict warriors armed for battle, queen mother’s updo’s, and the oba himself
  31. 31. Benin Bronzeworks• Ife artisans
  32. 32. Great Zimbabwe