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Kingdoms of the Grasslands – West African Kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai. Chapter 8 (2 of 4). Need to Know: Ghana Mali Songhai. They are know as the Sudanic states. Islam Spreads Quickly Through North Africa. Islam spread mostly by merchants and travelers, not so much invaders.

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kingdoms of the grasslands west african kingdoms of ghana mali and songhai

Kingdoms of the Grasslands – West African Kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai

Chapter 8 (2 of 4)

slide2

Need to Know:

Ghana

Mali

Songhai

They are know as the Sudanic states

islam spreads quickly through north africa
Islam Spreads Quickly Through North Africa

Islam spread mostly by merchants and travelers, not so much invaders

by 700s states formed along edge of sahara
By 700s, States Formed Along Edge of Sahara

Sahel – grassland (savanna) at south end of Sahara where these states formed

slide6

West African grasslands we are discussing

Advantages:

Grew by being along trade route (gold traded from west Africa for salt or dates from Sahara)

Used camels to trade in the desert

Disadvantages:

Suffered many droughts

Located on plains, so open to invasion

west african o r sudanic states

These states were led by a council of elders, and would get control over neighbor states and tax them to get more powerful

A majority of populations never converted to Islam, just the rulers (shows that Islam blended with local cultures and traditions)

West African or Sudanic States
west african or sudanic states
West African or Sudanic States
  • Resembled rest of north Africa, but distinctive local architecture
  • Towns were commercial – lots of trade and craftsmen
  • Large militaries to protect trade – encouraged merchants and scholars to come to places like Mali
ghana
Ghana

Grew into strong state by taxing gold and salt trade that occurred there

1st of the Sudanic states

Ghana was attacked in 1076 and began declining

By 900s, rulers had converted to Islam

Attacked by Almoravids – Muslim reformers within the Berbers

slide10

Mali

Click map for video on Mali

2 most important leaders of mali
2 Most Important Leaders of Mali

Sundiata

  • Nicknamed the “Lion Prince”
  • Greatly expanded Mali
  • Overcame regional fighting to unite Mali as 1 powerful state
  • Created basic laws for Mali
  • Known as Mansa (emperor)
  • Created social arrangement – each clan had different responsibility (helped unite them)
  • Severely punished crime to protect trade and keep security
  • Mansa Musa
  • Mansa Musa led Mali 1312-1337
  • Went on hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca giving away gold to show Mali’s wealth
  • Brought back Ishak al-Sahili, architect, built mosques and unique form of Mali architecture (out of beaten clay; ex = mosque of Jenne)
  • Mali’s contact with outside world brought change and innovation
ibn butata
IbnButata

Famed Arab traveler who recorded his journeys.

Made trip through Africa and recorded African societies and cultures

Made journey to Mali

slide15

Ghana

Mali

Songhai

songhai
Songhai
  • Located in Mali empire, as Mali crumbled, Songhai grew
  • Along gold trade route helped it grow
  • Rulers became Muslim, majority people didn’t
  • Gao = capital of Songhai, many mosques and foreign merchants living there
sunni ali

Led Songhai (1464-1492) – used cavalry to expand Songhai into huge empire

Persecuted all who opposed him (including fellow Muslims)

Sunni Ali

Askia = title given to rulers who followed Sunni Ali

Set up bureaucracy to rule far flung areas of empire

Captured Timbuktu and Jenne

muhammad the great
Muhammad the Great

Expanded Songhai so by 1500s it dominated central Sudan

life in songhai
Life in Songhai

Similar to life in the previous states in the savanna (Ghana and Mali)

Islam blended with local pagan beliefs – upset ulama

(example = ulama upset women didn’t have to wear veils)

The Fall of Songhai

1591 – Songhai defeated by Morocco

(Songhai larger army, but Morocco had guns)

Defeat set off internal revolts and Songhai broke apart

west african traditions that lived on after the fall of songhai
West African Traditions That Lived on After the Fall of Songhai

Hausa people of northern Nigeria formed states after Songhay collapsed, blended Islam and pagan traditions

Other states in the region continued to blended Islam and Paganism

These states used large cavalries to protect trade (salt, grain, cloth)

These states were relatively small, but continued culture of Ghana, Mali, Songhai

islam s affect on slavery
Islam’s Affect on Slavery

Muslims saw slavery as step to converting people to Islam

Slavery existed prior to Islam coming, but as Muslims conquered Africa, slave trade grew on huge scale

Slave trade lasted 700 years and is an example of Islam’s lasting impact on Africa

Slaves used as servants, laborers, soldiers, administrators, eunuchs, and concubines (so wanted to enslave women and children)

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