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The three kingdoms of west africa

Ghana, Mali, Songhai

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The three kingdoms of west africa

  1. 1. The Three Kingdoms of West Africa: Ghana, Mali, Songhai STANDARDS: 6-4.1 & 6-4.2
  2. 2. The Ancient City of Timbuktu
  3. 3. The Kingdom of Ghana •Ghana was a wealthy and powerful trade state by 500 AD •They traded their few resources of gold & salt through silent barter: a process in which people exchange goods without contacting each other directly •This method of trade kept trade peaceful & the location of the gold mines secret
  4. 4. Ghana Controls Trade •Berbers in the north traded salt, cloth, and metals from the Mediterranean in exchange for gold, ivory, iron, and slaves •Camel caravans were used to transport goods across the Sahara Desert •Both Ghana kings and Islamic merchants became wealthy from this trade
  5. 5. Label these trade routes on your map of West Africa
  6. 6. Ghana’s Decline •By the early 1200s, Ghana collapsed • Factor 1: Muslims (the Almoravids) from North Africa attacked in the 1060s; weakening the empire by cutting off trade routes & forming new trade partnerships with Muslim leaders • No trade meant no income for Ghana
  7. 7. Ghana’s Decline • Factor 2: The Almoravids brought herds of animals with them, allowing them to overgraze the land
  8. 8. Ghana’s Decline •Factor 3: Rebellion within the expanded empire left Ghana weak & unable to keep control •As Ghana decline, the Kingdom of Mali grew
  9. 9. The Kingdom of Mali • In the 1230s, Sundiata took control of region & the gold & salt trade • He improved agriculture by clearing new fields for beans, onions, rice and introduced cotton • He took control from all the local leaders and took their title of Mansa-political & religious leader • After Sundiata’s death in 1255, later leaders took the title Mansa as well
  10. 10. Mansa Musa • Mansa Musa was Mali’s most famous ruler • In the1300s, Mali reached its height under Mansa Musa • He encouraged the spread of Islam through his pilgrimage to Mecca • Added trade cities like Timbuktu throughout empire
  11. 11. Mansa Musa • Supported education- sent scholars to study in Morocco, who returned & built schools in Mali •His people were taught to read the Arabic language so the Muslims in his empire could read the Qur’an • He hired Muslim architects to build Mosques throughout his empire
  12. 12. Fall of Mali •After Mansa Musa’s death, his son could not stop raiders from the southeast from burning down Timbuktu’s schools & mosques •By 1500 Mali had all but broke away
  13. 13. The Kingdom of Songhai • In the 1300s Mansa Musa conquered the Songhai people • By 1400s they rebelled & regained their freedom • Because the Songhai were Muslims, the Berbers in the north were willing to trade with them • 1464, Sunni Ali organized & expanded the Songhai empire through religious tolerance
  14. 14. Askia the Great •1492, Sunni dies & a rebellion overthrows his non- Muslim son •Askia led the rebellion & took control of the Songhai empire •Timbuktu flourished again with schools, universities, libraries, & mosques
  15. 15. Songhai Falls to Morocco • Morocco wanted control of Songhai’s salt mines • 1591, Morocco attacked Songhai with arquebus-early form of gun & destroyed Timbuktu • Changes in trade patterns ended the Songhai empire • Port cities on the Atlantic coast were preferred by the European merchants who did not like dealing with the overland Muslim traders
  16. 16. West African Traditions •Oral history is how most of West Africa’s history was passed down •Griots were highly respected storytellers who told of the lives of the ancestors –They acted out stories for entertainment & were informative –They recited proverbs- short sayings, to teach lessons –They had to memorize every name and event, so some facts may have been confused over time
  17. 17. West African Traditions •Sculptures & Statues were made of wood, ivory, brass, clay, & stone •Most were made to represent an ancestor or as gifts for the gods •They were placed in scared or holy places •Masks were also carved to look like the faces of animals & used in rituals •They also wove special cloth-kente:hand- woven, brightly colored fabric
  18. 18. West African Traditions •Singing, dancing, and drumming were used as entertainment as well as a way to honor their history and mark special occasions

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Ghana, Mali, Songhai


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