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West African Societies and Empires. Chapter 5 and 6. Human and Environmental Interactions. Depend on the Environment Adapt to the Environment Modify the Environment. Africa. 2 nd Largest continent Deserts Rift Valleys Rainforests. Social Structures. AGE-Sets Extended Family.

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West african societies and empires

West African Societies and Empires

Chapter 5 and 6

Human and environmental interactions
Human and Environmental Interactions

  • Depend on the Environment

  • Adapt to the Environment

  • Modify the Environment


  • 2nd Largest continent

  • Deserts

  • Rift Valleys

  • Rainforests

Social structures
Social Structures

  • AGE-Sets

  • Extended Family

In the village
In the Village

  • There was a family

  • Mom, dad, brothers and sisters

In the village1
In the Village

  • There was an extended family

  • Mom, Dad, sisters, brothers and close relatives

In the village2
In the Village

  • There were age-sets

  • People of the same age helped each other out

Loyalty to family

  • Everyone had specific jobs in their family and village


  • Hunted and farmed

    • Crops: Millet and sorghum

    • Raised goats and sheep


  • Collected firewood

  • Ground Grain

  • Carried Water

  • Looked after children

Elders old people
Elders (old people)

  • Taught family traditions to the younger generations

    • Songs, dances and stories

    • Community history and values


  • Worked beside the older family members as soon as they were able




  • Religion was similar from village to village

  • Animism

    • Belief that bodies of water animals, trees and other natural objects had spirits


  • Traditional beliefs

    • unseen spirits of ancestors stayed near by

    • Families offered food to these ancestors

Traditional beliefs
Traditional Beliefs

  • Traditional beliefs were based off of the families. The families were the basic group of village society.

  • Traditional: customary or time-honored

Trade movement
Trade: Movement

  • GOLD

  • SALT


  • Dates: raised in desert oasis

  • Kola Nuts: Used for medicines


  • Salt: When ancient lakes dried up they left salt behind

  • Gold: found in secret mines and used for jewelry

Culture and trade
Culture and Trade

  • When west Africa was damp people lived further apart because they could rely on the earths resources, but as time changed the earth got dryer and people had to live closer together to depend on one another. Thus came SOCIAL STRUCTURES!!

Technology brought change
Technology brought change

  • Heating rock= IRON

  • IRON= Strong tools

  • STRONG TOOLS= more crops

  • MORE CROPS= trading

  • Nok people became good farmers and hunters and gained power

Trade trade trade

  • Desert Trade

    • Not so smart people used horses, but horses had to stop and drink at every oasis

    • Then they started used camels 200AD

    • Camels allowed people to cross the desert in 2 months

    • They formed caravans

    • Berbers were know for crossing the desert

Desert trade

  • Desert Trade was dangerous because…

    • Supplies ran low

    • Thieves

    • Loose their way (sand was everywhere)

Trade gold and salt

  • Gold and Salt Mine=MONEY MONEY MONEY

  • Camels carried gold and salt from the Sahara desert in the north to the south for trade

  • EUROPE and the ISLAMIC world received gold and salt

  • Along with gold and salt, they traded cloth, copper, and silver and sold humans


  • Famous trading center in 1100AD

  • But how? and gold would trade each other for goods. But they would trade without ever contacting each other.

  • KING OF GHANA GHANA. So they conquered land.

  • King of conquered land

  • King of conquered land

  • King of conquered land

  • SO. great empire like Ghana cant last forever…

  • The End soon Ghana was at war with each other, and the empire collapsed.

Mali empire
Mali Empire soon Ghana was at war with each other, and the empire collapsed.

  • Story time

  • You see Ms. M liked him for a different reason…

  • Mali Fell. But how? he built mosques thought-out the empire. And many Muslims from Asia, Egypt and other parts of Africa visited Mali.

  • The End Only a small area of Mali remained.


  • The End was all over for the Songhai.

West african
West African was all over for the Songhai.

  • Historical and Artistic Traditions

  • Oral History did write down was in Arabic.

  • Is a spoken record of past events

  • Africa story tellers were called GROITS did write down was in Arabic.

  • The Groits were highly respected, and kept history alive. They told stories of deeds of people ancestors and stories of the rise and fall of West Africa.

  • West African Arts from Muslim lands such as Spain or Arabia Peninsula

  • Sculptures made of wood, brass, clay, stone, ivory and other materials

  • Masks made of hyenas, lions, monkeys and antelopes

  • Kenteis the hand-woven brightly colored fabric

  • Dances ere important visual arts