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Mali Question # 3 Why do you think salt is important? http://www.btsadventures.com/img/mosque.jpg
I. Mali • 1230 to 1255 the great warrior king Sundiata Keita “the Lion Prince” conquered Ghana. • Seized the capital of Ghana in 1240. • He controlled lands from the Atlantic coast to the trading city of Timbuktu. • He was able to rebuild the gold and salt trade.
A. Mansa Musa • Leader of Mali who used the wealth of Mali to build mosques and libraries to collect books from all over the Muslim world. • 1324 Mansa Musa makes a famous pilgrimage to Mecca. • While in Mecca, convinced some of Islam’s finest architects, teachers, and writers, to accompany him back to Mail-this helped spread Islam in West Africa. • After Mansa Musa’s death in 1332 the kings that failed to stop Berber invaders who conquered Timbuktu.
B. The Griots • Storytellers were called Griots or djeli • They were important people in Mali • They told the land’s history • Most of what we know about ancient Mali came from the storytellers • They were advisors to the kings This is a 19th century griot of Mali with his instrument
C. Why was Salt Important? The man is holding a slab of salt mined recently near Timbuktu • Mali often traded its gold for salt • Salt was sometimes more valuable than gold! • People’s bodies need salt to live • In the desert heat, salt is lost through perspiration • Salt was used to preserve food • Salt was brought in large slabs (coins) MiniFact: The picture behind these words is also a slab of SALT!
D. Timbuktu • A very important city in Mali • Center of learning for Muslims • Universities and schools • Largest trading center in Mali • On the Niger River • Trade • Food • Washing Timbuktu 19th century traders in Timbuktu
What did Mali trade? • Gold The dotted lines are trade routes from Mali to other parts of Africa
Salt Copper Ivory Cloth Kola Nuts Slaves Books Shells What else did they trade? Camels, the ships of the desert, traveled in caravans bringing to Mali: MiniFact: This was before Columbus even sailed to the New World!