Sub Saharan Africa

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Sub Saharan Africa

  1. 1. TTrrooppiiccaall AAffrriiccaa
  2. 2. Geography • Tropics have the sun year round • Africa is almost entirely on the tropics (like southern Arabia, most of India and Southeast Asia) • Monsoons from the Indian Oceans (wet season) • Rainforests in West Africa and west-central Africa • Sahara is the world’s largest desert • Grasslands of East Africa
  3. 3. SSuubb--SSaahhaarraann AAffrriiccaa
  4. 4. Divided by the Sahara • Africa is divided by the Sahara Desert • Most of the Saharan Africa and northern Africa were heavily affected by the Islamic world • Sub-Saharan Africa is more complex
  5. 5. DDiivveerrssee EEtthhnniicciittyy • Sub-Saharan Africa is more diverse and has over 2,000 languages and dialects spoken
  6. 6. Common Thread • Few things are common between all tribes • One thing that is: most are descendants of the Bantu tribes
  7. 7. Bantu Tribes • Around 1,000 B.C.E. the Bantu began moving from their homeland in west central Africa • Descendants settled all parts of the continent south of the Sahara • With time, all these groups developed into their own group, with distinct languages and cultural traditions
  8. 8. Basics of Sub-Saharan Societies: • Most communities are small • Social life revolved around the village • Food: hunting, herding, and limited agriculture • Metalworking (gained this skill on their own, were not taught)
  9. 9. • Women were below men • Rolls: Valued for their field work, story-telling ability, role in education, and for producing heirs • African lineage is matrilineal, not patrilineal – Women inherited property, and the husband was required to move into his wife’s house Sub-Saharan Women
  10. 10. Sub-Saharan Art • Skills: carving, sculpture (especially in wood and ivory, bronze and iron)
  11. 11. Architecture • Impressive stone building and walls (ex: Great Zimbabwe) • Used timber as skeletons in reinforcing mud mosques that still stand today (ex: Mali)
  12. 12. Literatur e • Literature preserved by oral traditions • Professional storytellers told history and social customs – Also acted as entertainers and served as advisors to the king
  13. 13. Contact with North Africa • As time passed, trade, linked the north and south of Africa • This trade, also included slavery • Arab slavers penetrated south in Africa and forced many Africans into bondage • Some traders owned thousands of slaves
  14. 14. Contact with Islam • Islam became part of the sub-Saharan life, sometimes by force (ex: Ghana) and sometimes peacefully (ex: Mali)
  15. 15. West Africa: Ghana • Founded in 500 C.E. • Major supplier of gold to Europeans when Europe began minting coins • Muslim community of merchants linked to the trans-Saharan trade route • Overtime, Ghana society weakened because of the demographic conditions and as its population grew and its food production failed to meet demands • All this left Ghana vulnerable to Muslim conquest (the immediate cause of Ghana’s downfall)
  16. 16. Central Africa: Great Zimbabwe • 1000-1400 C.E. • Name means: “sacred graves of the chiefs” • Crucial as a political and religious center • Great walled city encircled 193 acres and home to 20,000 people • Immensely wealthy (archaeologists have found evidence of this) • Traded all over the world
  17. 17. Mali • Important north-south trade route for centuries • Founded in 1200’s by a conqueror and soon became a center of trade in western and northern Africa • Conversion was beneficial to having good trade relations with Arabs • Products: gold, salt, ivory, animal skins, and slaves
  18. 18. Timbuktu • Chief commercial outposts (although not the capital of Mali) • Stopping point for caravans and traders going in all directions • Main commodity: salt • Also renowned center of religious studies and Islamic scholarship
  19. 19. Mansa Musa • Mali’s most powerful ruler • (1312-1337) • Took pilgrimage to Mecca to display Mali’s wealth • Famous in Europe and Africa as one of the world’s richest monarchs • Systemized the government • By the early 1400’s, Mali was under foreign attack, which eventually led to its collapse
  20. 20. Mansa Musa Song
  21. 21. Crash Course: Mansa Musa
  22. 22. East Africa: • Urban centers along coast (nearly 40) • All multiethnic: diverse in population, language, culture and religion • Persians and Arabs pushed southward and mixed with local Africans • Islam became important but did not replace local religions • Trade among these regions goes back to days of Rome
  23. 23. Swahili • Most widespread language in the region was Swahili • Became the “lingua franca”= common tongue • Most common language on eastern coast
  24. 24. Swahili
  25. 25. Spread of Islam to Africa • Islam reached parts of North Africa (especially Egypt) in the 600’s and 700’s • Most in North converted, but some remained Christian(some in Nubia, Kush, Ethiopia and Egypt)
  26. 26. Islam in Africa • Brought by Arab traders (by either overland caravan or sea) • Most of the time, conversion was peaceful, but sometime it was forced • Why were the Arabs coming? AArraabb SSllaavvee TTrraaddee – Trade going northward: slaves, salt, ivory and animal skins – Trade going southward: manufactured goods like glass, metalwork, and pottery
  27. 27. Islam in Africa • Many of the Swahili city-states on Africa’s eastern coast were large Muslim communities • West coast, Sahara and sub- Saharan Africa • More dedicated converts were the BBeerrbbeerrss, desert nomads and hardened warriors • Copts, a Christian minority, formed communities in Egypt and Sudan
  28. 28. Indian Ocean Trade Network • East African coast • Desirable goods: ivory, slaves • Commercial ties: India, Mediterranean, China • Indian Ocean region was the world’s largest maritime trading network and an area of rapid Muslim expansion
  29. 29. Quick Review • 1. Which of the following helps explain why the development of strong and sizable political units occurred later and more slowly in sub-Saharan Africa than in many other regions of the world? – A. language was not yet developed – B. People in Africa had not yet evolved – C. There were many cannibals in this part of Africa – D. There was a vast array of languages and dialects spoken – E. None of the above Answer: D: The remarkable ethnic and linguistic diversity of sub- Saharan Africa made it difficult for stable, united states to take shape
  30. 30. Answer: B • 2. How did women in the small communities of sub-Saharan Africa tend to be treated? – A. They were seen as political equals – B. They were valued as fieldworkers and for education children. – C. There were treated as goddesses – D. More women served as chiefs than men – E. Women tended the cattle and so had a lot of power
  31. 31. Answer: A • 3. African literature of this period was preserved through – A. oral tradition – B. scroll paintings – C. writings on large slabs of stone – D. stories written on bronze statues – E. manuscripts kept in pyramid-shaped archives
  32. 32. Answer: D: long term was environmental changes, but short term was the Muslim invasion from the north • 4. The immediate cause of Ghana’s downfall was… – A. environmental calamity – B. the Crusades – C. its takeover by the Portuguese – D. Muslim conquest – E. the slave trade
  33. 33. Answer: C • 5. How do researchers know that the Great Zimbabwe was so wealthy at one time? – A. it left behind written accounts of history – B. Explorers testified of its wealth – C. Gold, jewelry, and other valuable items were found in its ruins – D. It still exists today and has remained wealthy for hundreds of years – E. None of the Above
  34. 34. Answer: E • 6. As far back as what era did East Africa already have commercial ties with India and the Mediterranean region? – A. the 1700’s – B. the 1400’s – C. the Sumerian era – D. the Egyptian Old Kingdom – E. the Roman era
  35. 35. Answer: B • 7. Which of the following is an accurate statement about East African cities during this period? – A. The area was no ethnically diverse – B. The most widely used language was Swahili – C. The area unfortunately never enjoyed a booming economy – D. Islam had not reached the shores of East Africa yet – E. East African city-states were all under the rule of a single Arab sheik
  36. 36. Answer: C • 8. The Copts were and still are a ______ minority in predominantly Islamic Egypt – A. Jewish – B. Buddhist – C. Christian – D. Muslim – E. agnostic
  37. 37. Answer: A • 9. Which of the following is an accurate statement about slavery at the time in sub- Saharan Africa? – A. By the 1200’s, some traders owned more than a thousand slaves apiece. – B. Slavery was confined to Timbuktu, at least until the 1400’s – C. Only Muslims could own and sell slaves – D. The people who were enslaved tended to live in East Africa – E. Slavery had not yet arrived in this region of the world yet
  38. 38. Answer: D • 10. How did African societies gain the skill of metalworking? – A. Muslims taught Africans the skill – B. Western Europeans taught Africans this skill – C. African societies learned this skill only after they were enslaved – D. They gained it on their own without outside help – E. None of the above.
  39. 39. Answer: D • 11. Which of the following places in Africa remained Christian despite the spread of Islam on the continent? – A. Marrakesh – B. Swahili city-states – C. Mali – D. Ethiopia – E. Tunisia
  40. 40. Answer: B • 12. Timbuktu was renowned for its – A. gold and its role in opposing the slave trade – B. salt reserves and Islamic scholarship – C. large harbor – D. glass and ceramic architecture – E. many Gothic churches

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