Chapter 12 - Early Societies in West Africa


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Chapter 12 - Early Societies in West Africa

  1. 1. Chapter 12– Early Societies in West Africa
  2. 2. 12.2 Geography and Trade <ul><li>The northern border of West Africa is the Sahara Desert </li></ul><ul><li>The Atlantic Ocean makes up the western and southern borders </li></ul><ul><li>The eastern edge is made up of mountains. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>The Sahara Desert is about 3.5 million square miles and is about the size of the United States </li></ul><ul><li>It is very dry and not suitable for large settlements </li></ul>
  4. 4. The sahel (semi-desert) is further to the south - It has enough water for some grasslands, short bushes, and a few trees
  5. 5. <ul><li>The sahel becomes savanna , an area of tall grasslands and some scattered trees </li></ul><ul><li>Long rainy season produces good farmland and grazing for cattle </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>The savanna becomes forest further to the south </li></ul><ul><li>Woodland forest provides different kinds of trees </li></ul><ul><li>Rainforest dominates the southern-most region </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Trade connected the different West African regions </li></ul><ul><li>Rivers were used to trade for highly sought-after goods </li></ul>
  8. 8. II. Early Communities and Villages
  9. 9. <ul><li>Earliest farm communities consisted of extended families </li></ul><ul><li>They produced most of their needs </li></ul><ul><li>Traded with other families for goods they could not produce themselves </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Farming communities settled south of the Sahara Desert </li></ul><ul><li>Communities joined together to form larger villages </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Development of Towns and Cities </li></ul><ul><li>- Ironworking and trade fueled the growth of cities </li></ul><ul><li>The Nok tribesmen made iron tools by 500 B.C.E. </li></ul><ul><li>They used charcoal-fired ovens to melt the steel </li></ul><ul><li>Blacksmiths shaped it into tools </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Iron tools improved farming techniques, helping to create a demand for the tools </li></ul><ul><li>Better farming from tools led to a food surplus, which stimulated trade </li></ul><ul><li>More trade led to the growth of large towns and cities </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>City of Jenne-jeno , built in 300 B.C.E., was excavated in 1977, proving that cities existed in Africa long before the arrival of Europeans </li></ul><ul><li>1. Built at the junction of the Bani & Niger Rivers </li></ul><ul><li>2. Good location for fishing, farming, & trade </li></ul><ul><li> a. Traded catfish, fish oil, onions, & rice in exchange for salt, iron, copper, & gold </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Craftsmen included potters, metal smiths, weavers, leather workers, and bead makers </li></ul><ul><li>Blacksmiths were most admired, as iron was a prized item in West Africa </li></ul><ul><li>Many blacksmiths were also leaders of their community or village </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>IV. The Rise of Kingdoms and Empires </li></ul><ul><li>Rulers of trading centers grew wealthy from taxes on traded goods </li></ul><ul><li>They used the wealth to raise and equip an army to conquer other regions </li></ul><ul><li>They also collected tribute from the conquered peoples </li></ul><ul><li>West African rulers were both political leaders and religious leaders </li></ul><ul><li>They performed religious ceremonies to please the gods </li></ul>
  16. 16. Between 500 and 1600 C.E. three great kingdoms arose in West Africa south of the Sahara Desert: - Ghana - Mali - Songhai
  17. 17. <ul><li>The king might send a governor to rule a newly-conquered region </li></ul><ul><li>If they were cooperative, the king might allow self-rule </li></ul>2 pictures of the great Mali King Mansa Musa
  18. 18. Advantages and disadvantages of being part of an empire <ul><li>Advantages </li></ul><ul><li>King provided protection </li></ul><ul><li>Armies kept trade routes safe </li></ul><ul><li>Wars between cities came to an end </li></ul><ul><li>Disadvantages </li></ul><ul><li>Had to pay tribute to the king </li></ul><ul><li>Had to serve in the king’s army </li></ul>