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Sub-Saharan Africa. Geography East Africa West Africa. Geography: Sub-Sahara. The plateau: “upside down bowl” – rivers flowing to the sea have rapids. Nile – cataracts Zambezi – Victoria Falls Sahara Desert: north ¼ of Africa – natural barrier – Mediterranean coast – lower 3/4.

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Sub-Saharan Africa


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    1. Sub-Saharan Africa Geography East Africa West Africa

    2. Geography: Sub-Sahara • The plateau: “upside down bowl” – rivers flowing to the sea have rapids. • Nile – cataracts • Zambezi – Victoria Falls • Sahara Desert: north ¼ of Africa – natural barrier – Mediterranean coast – lower 3/4

    3. Geography continued • Sahel region: southern edge of Sahara Desert – little rainfall – harsh droughts – poor farming and herding difficult. • Savannas: large grasslands - sorghum, millet, rice - cereals/bread; herd cattle, Masai: cattle for wealth, trade, “bride price” • Tropical rainforests: 100” rain; diseases – malaria, yellow fever, river blindness, and sleeping sickness

    4. Great migrations - animals

    5. Geography continued • Great Rift Valley: Tectonic Plates slowing pulling apart – Chapter 1: Leakey Family and finds of early hominids (Lucy) Ethiopia • Kalahari, Namid Deserts - South

    6. Early Culture • Great diversity: 1,000 ethnic groups, four major languages • Bantu language: migration pattern – west Africa to east – central and south Africa – major language group • Griots: Oral historians – family, clan, tribe – story tellers, moral lesson, entertainment

    7. The blood that runs through the soul

    8. Early Culture • Small villages: farming, herding, fishing • No advanced irrigation, community centered, mud, brick, straw, clay, stylized and decorative • Matrilineal: trace ancestors through mother, property – strong influence • Religion: animists – spiritual world – places, animals, nature (sun, moon)

    9. Caravans: Gold, ebony, ivory, & Ostrich feathers Meroe: “iron” pyramids, temples, pottery, metal ornaments, & written language Kush: Kingdom in the East

    10. Location: trade with Red Sea and African interior: ivory, gold & exotic animal hides Decline: Due to Arab traders re-organizing the trade routes Aksum: 100 BC – 650 AD

    11. Axum: Christianity & Ethiopian Christianity • King Ezana – after years of influence with Christian world – trade – missionaries became isolated by Arab traders • Ethiopia – isolated due to highlands – • King Labibela – had churches built

    12. Bantu • Linguistic group: various adaptations: Tutsi – cattle; cash-crops; The Nok (Nigeria): iron workers & lost wax bronze work; Congo: hard wood – fire for iron • Shared characteristics: higher deity; ceremonial carved masks & other icons, family centered, balance with nature; age grades & gender division (education); rites of adulthood; Gender division in labor; male adult government participation – varied governments

    13. Gold and Salt; ivory, slaves, jewels, copper Timbuktu: center of learning Mansa Musa: Muslim on a pilgrimage to Mecca West Africa

    14. Ghana:750 - 1076 • Gold (Volta R) – salt trade (Sahara) also - copper, ivory and some slaves • 1076, the Almoravids, a Muslim group, conquered Ghana

    15. Mali: 1200 to present • Rise: strategically located between the West African gold mines agriculturally rich Niger River floodplain • Mansa Musa, most famous Malian Emperor elaborate pilgrimage to Mecca • Decline: Due to Rise of Songhai in late 1400s

    16. Mansa Musa from Mali: 4 tons gold

    17. Songhai: 1375 - 1591 • Rise: Conquered region from Mali – Major trade route – gold – salt • Decline: Civil War weakened state – Conquered by Moroccan army -

    18. Songhai falls to MoroccansTimbuktu: Center of Islamic Learning – Great University

    19. Cultural Diffusion: Arabs traders, merchants spread Islam by 700s Interior: Gold, Ivory, hides India, SE Asia, China: cotton, silk, glassware, spices, porcelain Swahili: Bantu language with Arabic and Persian influences - culture: architecture, dress, food Eastern Trading Nations Eastern Cities

    20. Shona: Zimbabwe/gold