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The story of africa
The story of africa
The story of africa
The story of africa
The story of africa
The story of africa
The story of africa
The story of africa
The story of africa
The story of africa
The story of africa
The story of africa
The story of africa
The story of africa
The story of africa
The story of africa
The story of africa
The story of africa
The story of africa
The story of africa
The story of africa
The story of africa
The story of africa
The story of africa
The story of africa
The story of africa
The story of africa
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The story of africa

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A look at Sub Saharan Africa during the Post-Classical Period, with some questions about how history should be told and how maps can be problematic.

A look at Sub Saharan Africa during the Post-Classical Period, with some questions about how history should be told and how maps can be problematic.

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Transcript

  • 1. What’s the best way to tell about history?
  • 2. Is it best when it starts:“Once Upon A Time...”“Once Upon A Time...”
  • 3. Should it be only facts?
  • 4. Whose facts? What are facts, anyway?
  • 5. "Until the lionshave theirhistorians, talesof the hunt shallalways glorifythe hunters."Proverb -African
  • 6. So which is more interesting...
  • 7. Charlemagne• Brought about centralized authority in Western Europe.• Lived from 768-814• Had diplomatic contact with Abbasids and Byzantine Empire, unified his empire through warfare.• Built a capital at Aachen• Crowned Emperor by Pope Leo III in 800
  • 8. OR
  • 9. grandson of Charles, “The Hammer” Martel came to the throne. Though his father was known as Pepin “the Short,” Charlemagne stood at 1.84 meters (about 6 feet) which made him tall for his day. He is described as being heavily built, with livelyround eyes in a round head, white hair, and a short thick neck. He favored the color blue, and preferred having swords with gold and silver handles. Otherwise, he dressed like the ordinary people of his time. His favorite food was roasted meat. Charlemagne was married 4 times and had 11 legitimate children and 9 illegitimate children. He had two sets of twins. He also had 5 known concubines, who alsobore him 9 children. Though he inherited a kingdom, it was not at peace. He waged war against the Saxons for 32 years before finally defeating them. He also defeatedthe Bavarians, Slavs, Lombards, and Avars, and put down a rebellion in Rome, earning the love of Pope Leo III, who crowned him Emperor of the Romans on December 25, 800. Despite being illiterate himself, Charlemagne valued education and set upschools for law, literacy and Latin, and through his direct actions, preserved much of the ancient world’s written work. Charlemagne died January 28, 814 at the age of 71 of Pleurisy, an inflammation of the lining around the lungs. This usually is causedby repeated infections (like bronchitis and pneumonia). He was buried the same day he died. Charlemagne was married 4 times and had 11 legitimate children and 9 illegitimate children. He had two sets of twins. He also had 5 known concubines, who alsobore him 9 children. Though he inherited a kingdom, it was not at peace. He waged war against the Saxons for 32 years before finally defeating them. He also defeatedthe Bavarians, Slavs, Lombards, and Avars, and put down a rebellion in Rome, earning the love of Pope Leo III, who crowned him Emperor of the Romans on December 25, 800. Despite being illiterate himself, Charlemagne valued education and set upschools for law, literacy and Latin, and through his direct actions, preserved much of
  • 10. Shouldn’t history be interesting?
  • 11. African history comesto us from the griots
  • 12. “I am a griot . . . we are vessels of speech, we are the repositories whichharbor secrets many centuries old. The art of eloquence has no secretsfor us; without us the names of kings would vanish into oblivion, we arethe memory of mankind; by the spoken word we bring to life the deedsand exploits of kings for younger generations . . . I teach kings the historyof their ancestors so that the lives of the ancients might serve them as anexample, for the world is old, but the future springs from the past” (D.T.Niane, Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali, p. 1).
  • 13. Take a look at page 490 for the story of Sundiata, the first Lion King.
  • 14. Is this map accurate? Is it fair?• Groups: Z, Kilwa, Kongo, Axum-how does the text describe them? Modify the map based on that description• Add the presence of religion• Add goods exported/imported• expand the trade routes
  • 15. Then, on your blog:• Post answers to these questions: • Why show an isolated Africa? • Why not color code religions? • Why not color code other kingdoms? • Why not show goods and trade partners? • What’s the overall impact on your image of Africa that comes from these omissions? What’s changed?
  • 16. Religion in S.S. Africa• Islam in East Africa (Swahili Coast)• Rulers/Elites convert but don’t force others to do so.• Retain pagan practices at home, Islam in public.• Islam becomes a social “glue” for merchants and political partnerships.
  • 17. Religion in S.S. Africa cont.• West African rulers/elites convert • Kings of Ghana in 10th century• Forms positive connections with North Africa; syncretic versions arise• Sundiata nominally Muslim, but doesn’t force conversion• Mansa Musa devout, encourages conversion
  • 18. Religion in S.S. Africa cont.• Christianity popular in Egypt & North Africa, weak in S.S. Africa• Axum is converted to Christian kingdom • merchants bring it, elites convert • Bible translated liberally into Ethiopian • Isolated from the rest of Africa (Muslim) and Euro-Christendom • Syncretic with African traditions
  • 19. Religion in S.S. Africa cont.• Traditional African religion: Hugely diverse.• Common element is a single male creator god; lesser deities associated with nature• Ancestor worship common• Oracle reading, medicine men, magical interventions, Diviners all common• Stresses morality and balance, not theology
  • 20. Social Structure• Some kingdoms/empires/city-states have defined social groups: • Merchants, Ruling Elites, Peasants• Most areas follow kinship group structure
  • 21. Kinship Groups• Extended families or clans• Age is the factor that matters• Little private property• Land held communally, children raised communally• Harvest distributed by council of elders
  • 22. Gender Roles• Men work in specialized skill areas • Tanning, iron working, heavy labor• Both work equally in agriculture• Women have opportunities in politics, economics and military--not full equality, but closest we see in the world• Islamic and Christian norms slow to arrive.
  • 23. Something unique• Age grades • Cross social class, family, and locale • Like your school stratification
  • 24. Slavery• Practiced since Bantu migration• POWs, suspected witches, criminals, rarely debtors (little private property...)• used in agriculture, mostly male• Slaves become status symbols--labor is wealth, not property.
  • 25. Slave trade• Vibrant and the norm within Africa• Trans-Saharan and Indian Ocean trade tap slave trade in 9th century--high demand• shifts internal slave trade: large states raid smaller kinship groups for slaves to sell • 10,000-20,000 per year exported • Swahili Coast the center for slave trade
  • 26. Big revolt--Zanj• Mesopotamia--slaves used to harvest sugar cane and mine salt deposits• 869, slave named Ali bin Muhammad leads a revolt of 15,000 slaves• Captures the city of Basra.• Crushed by Abbasid military

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