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Africa’s Government and Religion
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  1. Africa’s Government and Religion Today we are learning about the governments and religions that influenced life in medieval Africa

  2. Government & Society • All citizens were allowed to come to a meeting w/ the king to voice complaints. • Kings • settled arguments • Managed trade • Protected the empire • Subjects • Had to obey the king completely

  3. Ghana’s Government

  4. Kings most important job – control trade • No one traded w/out his permission • Illegal to own a gold nugget • Only allowed to trade gold dust • ???? Why not the son???? • Royal blood lines were matrilineal (passed on by mother) • Throne inherited by nephew, not son

  5. Mali’s Government • Like Ghana’s but larger • More territory, people, trade • Royal officials – more responsibilities • Specialized- each was in charge of something dif. • Generals – oversaw the provinces divided by Sundiata • Trousers – Military honor • to wear sewn clothes

  6. Songhai’s Government • Modeled after Ghana & Mali • Sunni Ali – Divided empire into provinces • Never finished what he started • Died mysteriously in 1492 • Muhammad Ture – general, took over • Loyal Muslim • Religion affected the government

  7. Traditional African Religions Located here • OlaudahEquiano – Igbo, disagreed with Europeans – he said they did believe in a higher power • Common Belief - in one supreme god • Communication • Nanti in E. Africa – talk directly to their god • Igbo – only be spoken to through less powerful gods • Helped people stay in touch w/ their history • Dead relatives spirits stayed in the community

  8. 3 Major African Religions Today Muslim Christians Traditional

  9. Islam in Africa • IbnBattuta – Arab lawyer from Morocco • 1325- goes to see the Muslim world • Islam had been spreading since 600s • Mansa Musa – ruler of Mali • 1324- made pilgrimage to Makkah

  10. Mansa Musa

  11. Songhai and Askia Muhammad • Sunni Ali – declared himself a Muslim to keep support of townspeople, but practiced a traditional religion • Sunni’s son – refused • Muhammad Ture – general, took over the gov. when had support of Muslim’s townspeople • Took the name Askia Muhammad – Askia is a rank in the Songhai army • Honored Muslim laws • Made Timbuktu a center for Islamic culture

  12. Islam in East Africa • Sultan of Mogadishu was honored by IbnBattuta visiting • He spoke in both Arabic and Swahili • Swahili – “people of the coast” • The unique culture • The language spoken • Swahili – exist in East Africa today • Blend of African and Muslim influences • Europeans and Portuguese tried to destroy it • Swahili outlived European rule

  13. Islam’s Impact • Africans who accepted Islam adopted: • Islamic laws • Ideas of right/wrong • Education • Arabic language • Art/Architecture