DIVERSE SOCIETIES IN AFRICA• Identify the different geographic regions of Africa and explain how early how early Africans adapted to their environments.• Summarize the achievements of early West African Societies
AFRICA- A LAND OF GEOGRAPHIC CONTRASTS• 2nd largest continent in the world• 1/5ths of Earth’s land surface• Geography: • Narrow coast lines • Central plateau • Waterfalls, rapids, rivers • Few inlets• Navigation almost impossible to and from the coast
CHALLENGING ENVIRONMENTS • Sahara- largest desert in the N. • Roughly as large as U.S. • Atlantic Ocean to Red Sea • Ea. Yr. expands in the south [Sahel] • Kalahari- largest desert in the S. • Africa’s rainforest, partly uninhabitable • Known as nature’s garden • Produces mahogany and teak trees • Tsetse fly- prevents cattle, herd, donkeys and invaders
EARLY HUMANS ADAPT TO THEIR ENVIRONMENTS• Nomadic Lifestyle • Earliest peoples are nomadic hunter-gatherers. • Herders drive animals to find waters and graze pastures.• Transition to a Settled Lifestyle • Agriculture probably develops by 6,000 B.C. • As the Sahara dried up farmers move to West Africa or Nile Valley. • Agriculture allows permanent settlements and governments to develop
EARLY SOCIETIES IN AFRICA• Societies organized by Family Groups • Extended families made up several generations • Families with common ancestors form groups known as clans• Local Religions • Early religions usually include elements of animism-belief in spirits inhabiting objects• Keeping a History • Few African societies have written languages • History, literature, culture passed on by story tellers called griots. • Cultures in West Africa are advanced long before outsiders arrive.
WEST AFRICAN IRON AGE• Learning about the past • Artifacts reveal how people lived in the past. • Evidence of sub-Saharan cultures producing iron around 500 B.C.• Nok Culture • Nok—West Africa’s earliest known culture— made iron tools and weapons
WEST AFRICAN IRON AGE• Djenne-Djeno • From 600-200 B.C., cities began to develop near rivers and oases • Djenne-Djeno, Africa’s oldest known city, was discovered in 1977. • It was a bustling trade center that was linked to other West African towns through camel trade routes.