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When Where Leaders Religion Trade Decline. What famous trading city flourished in Mali?. Mali. The Empire of Mali forms in 1235 Mali rises from the ruins of Ghana Why did Ghana fall?. When. Where. Mali lies along the upper Niger River Fertile soils = good farming

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What famous trading city flourished in Mali?


The Empire of Mali forms in 1235

Mali rises from the ruins of Ghana

Why did Ghana fall?



  • Mali lies along the upper Niger River

  • Fertile soils = good farming

  • Controlled trade along the Niger


  • Mali’s rise begins under Sundiata

  • Legends say he was a mighty warrior and magician

  • He was the son of a king

  • When he was a boy, a powerful king treated the people badly

  • Sundiata hated this king

Leaders: Sundiata

  • Sundiata built a huge army and defeated the hated king

  • As ruler, Sundiata conquered Ghana and took over trade routes

  • He was a great leader who increased wealth

  • He introduced a new crop- cotton

  • Soldiers worked with slaves to grow foods like beans, onions and rice

Leaders: Sundiata

  • Sundiata took power away from local leaders called mansas

  • Mansas had both religious and political power

  • He was not a Muslim

  • Sundiata died in 1255, rulers continued to be called mansa

After Sundiata died Mansa Musa became the ruler

Mansa Musa increased Mali’s wealth, power, and fame

He captured trade cities Timbuktu, Gao and Djenne

Leaders: Mansa Musa

Leaders: Mansa Musa

  • He was Muslim

  • Made a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324

  • Through his journey Mansa Musa introduced the empire of Mali to the world

    • Textbook page 141

Leaders: Mansa Musa

  • He helped spread Islam by

    • Sending scholars abroad to study, setting up schools in Timbuktu

    • Making Arabic the main language for religion, government and trade

    • Hiring architects to build mosques throughout the empire


  • Islam became popular

  • Many people made pilgrimages

  • Arabic became the main language

  • Timbuktu became famous for its Qu’ran schools, a center of learning

    • Do you remember the names of 2 other Islamic cities famous for learning?

  • Built mosques


  • Mali controlled the salt and gold trade after Ghana fell

  • Traded cotton

  • Captured important trade cities like Timbuktu

  • Trade made Mali rich

Poor leadership after Mansa Musa weakened the empire

The empire was too large to defend

What other empire did we study that got too large to defend?

Raiders poured in, burned Timbuktu’s schools and mosques

In 1431, Tuareg nomads seized Timbuktu, the empire fell apart


Did Mali Discover America??

"So Abubakar equipped 200 ships filled with men and the same number equipped with gold, water, and provisions, enough to last them for years…they departed and a long time passed before anyone came back. Then one ship returned and we asked the captain what news they brought.

He said, 'Yes, Oh Sultan, we traveled for a long time until there appeared in the open sea a river with a powerful current…the other ships went on ahead, but when they reached that place, they did not return and no more was seen of them…As for me, I went about at once and did not enter the river.'

The Sultan got ready 2,000 ships, 1,000 for himself and the men whom he took with him, and 1,000 for water and provisions. He left me to deputize for him and embarked on the Atlantic Ocean with his men. That was the last we saw of him and all those who were with him. And so, I became king in my own right."

  • Mansa Musa, talking to Syrian scholar Al-Umari.


  • Which of the following best illustrates a similarity between the development of the Ghana and Mali empires?

    a. Both empires took advantage of large fold mines within their empires to fund their armies.

    b. Both empires lay along the upper Niger River, where fertile soil made food plentiful

    c. Both empires were helped by outsiders.

    d. Both empires were formed as democracies.


  • Which was not a way Mansa Musa spread Islam and education throughout Mali?

    • He hired artists and architects from other empires to build mosques in Mali.

    • He sent scholars to study in Morocco and then to set up schools in Mali.

    • He stressed the importance of reading and writing in Arabic, the language of the Qur’an.

    • He outlawed all religions except Islam.


  • What was the importance of Mansa Musa’s hajj to Mecca?

    a. He became an important leader in the Islamic leadership.

    b. His followers built a large mosque in his honor.

    c. He became famous and introduced the world to the Mali Empire.

    d. He became even wealthier through very shrewd trading deals.


  • Unlike Sundiata, most of Mali’s later rulers were

    a. Muslim.

    b. considered to be gods by their followers.

    c. Christian.

    d. from the empires north of the Sahara Desert.


  • Which of the following did not contribute to the fall of the Mali Empire.

    a. The empire had grown so large that the government could not control it.

    b. Weak leaders could not unite the empire.

    c. Several catastrophic droughts destroyed croplands and created famine.

    d. Invaders from the north could not be defeated.


  • Which of the following shows Mansa Musa’s promotion of religious tolerance?

    a. allowing angry miners to keep their own religion

    b. the building of great mosques throughout the Mali Empire

    c. making a journey, or hajj, to Mecca

    d. stressing the importance of reading and writing the Qur’an in Arabic

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