For long periods Africa below Sahara had only limited contact with civilizations of Mediterranean and Asia, but increased between 800-1500 Spread of Islam linked Africa to outside world through trade, religion and politics. While parts of Sub Sahara Africa entered world network, others remained isolated Chapter 8 Introduction
I) African Societies: Diversity and Similarities • Continents vast size and number of cultures made diversity inevitable • Political forms varied from Hierarchical states to “stateless” societies organized on kinship and lacking concentration of power, often existing side by side • Christianity and Islam had some political and cultural influence
a) Stateless Societies • Controlled by lineage or age sets controlled by a council of families or the community • Often secret societies that could limit a kings power • Delayed ability to respond to outside pressures, mobilize for war, or undertake large building projects
b) Common Elements in African Societies • Migration of Bantu speakers provided common linguistic base for much of Africa • Animistic Religion (belief in Natural forces personified as gods) provided a guide to ethical behavior and concept of good and evil. Deceased relatives were a link to the spiritual world • North Africa integrated into world economy, but sub Saharan regions encouraged regional trade • Agriculture and iron working present, both women and men important in marketplace. • In general exchanged raw materials for manufactured goods
c) Arrival of Islam in North Africa • North Africa was an integral part of classical Mediterranean civilization. • Between 640 and 700 CE the followers of Muhammad swept across north Africa form Suez to Morocco. • By 670 Muslims ruled Tunisia or what the Romans had called Africa Ifriqiya. The Arabs had originally used this word for eastern north Africa and Maghrib for lands to the west. • In opposition to the Arabs the people of the desert, the Berbers, formed states of their own. By the 11th century under great pressure from the new Arab invaders the Berbers launched a great puritanical reform movement called the Almoravids.
Arrival of Islam in North Africa This jihad or holy war to purify, spread and protect the faith moved south against the African kingdoms of the savanna and west into Spain and into the western Sahara. • In 1130 another reform group called the Almohadis followed the same pattern, and were essential background developments to the penetration of Islam. • Islam, with its principle of equality of believers, caused conversion to be rapid, but soon unity divided into competing Muslim states • Combining religion and politics appealed to many African rulers, and social disparities continued
d) The Christian Kingdoms: Nubia and Ethiopia • Christian states were present in North Africa, Egypt, and Ethiopia before arrival of Islam. Oppressed by Byzantine Christians, the Egyptian Christians (Copts) welcomed Muslim invaders • Islam spread into Nubia (Kush), which resisted until the 13th century • Ethiopia successors to Christian Axum resisted pressure from neighboring Muslims , and King Laibela formed a Christian state in the 13th century. He died in 1221.
II) Kingdoms of the Grassland • Islam spread peacefully into sub-Saharan Africa • Merchants followed caravan routes across Sahara to Sudanic states, such as Ghana, which had flourished in the 8th century. • The sahel, or extensive grassland belt at the southern edge of the Sahara, became the focal point of exchange between the forests to the south and north Africa. • Ideas, trade and people from the Sahara and beyond began arriving in increasing numbers and several African states developed to take advantage of their position as intermediaries in trade. • By 13th century, new states such as Mali, Sonhay and the Hausa had become important
Sudanic States Sudanic states often led by a patriarch or council of elders from a family Rulers sacred individuals separated from subjects by rituals Arrival of Islam reinforced their ruling power. The Almoravid invaded Ghana in 1076 Two most important were Mali and Songhay
b) The Empire of Mali and Sundiata, the “Lion Prince” Mali formed among Malinke people who broke away from Ghana (13th century) The economic basis for society in the Mali empire was agriculture, and this combined with trade by merchants, or juula that formed small partnerships throughout the region. Griots, professional oral historians, begin their epic histories of Mali with the story of the Lion Prince, Sundiata The beginning of Malinke expansion is attributed to Mansa Sundiata(emperor, 1260) whose power was strengthened by Islam, and expanded territory through clan structure and gold trade. Although he created the political institutions of rule that allowed for great regional and ethnic differences, Sundiata also stationed garrisons to maintain loyalty and security. As the famous Arab traveler Ibn Batuta reported “Of all people the Blacks are those who hate injustice and their emperor pardons none who is guilty of it.”
b) The Empire of Mali and Sundiata, the “Lion Prince” Sundiata died about 1260 but successors extended Mali’s borders until it controlled most of the Niger Valley all the way to Atlantic Ocean. Mansa Kankan Musa’s pilgrimage to Mecca (1324) brought attention of the Muslim world to Mali by causing a sensation across the Sudan to Egypt. The trip and the ruler became legendary where it was said that so much gold was distributed that a devaluation of the local currency took place. The trip had other consequences as well, for Mansa Musa brought back poet and architect Ishak al-Sahili, who came from Muslim Spain and directed the building of several important mosques which led to a distinctive form of Sudanese architecture that made use of beaten clay.
c) City Folk and Villagers Distinctive regional towns (Jenne, Timbuktu) developed in western Sudan Towns included scholars, craft specialists, foreign merchants Timbuktu was famous for its library and university Most of population lived in villages and farmers supported themselves and their imperial states
d) The Songhay Kingdom As the power of Mali began to wane, a successor state for the old empire was beginning to emerge, Songhay. It began to form an independent kingdom in the 7th century and dominated Niger Valley By 11th century, rulers were Muslim and an empire was formed under Sunni Ali (1464-1492). A line of Muslim rulers who followed him took the military title askia, and especially Muhammad the Great extended the boundaries soby 16th century state dominated central Sudan.
d) The Songhay Kingdom Life in the Songhay empire followed many of the patterns established in the previous savanna states, and Muslim clerics were sometimes upset that pagen beliefs and practices continues. They were shocked that women went unveiled and mixed freely, and wanted to impose a strict interpretation of Islamic law. A Muslim army from Morocco equipped with muskets defeated the much larger Songhay forces in 1591. The demise of the empire did not mean the end of political and cultural tradition in the western Sudan, the Hausa people of northern Nigeria arose in 14th century, combining Muslim and pagan ways
e) Political and Social Life in the Sudanic states Large states ruled by dominant group Islam provided universal faith and laws, indigenous political and social patterns also unified state. Ruling families used Islamic titles, such as emir or caliph to reinforce their authority, surrounding themselves with literate Muslim advisors and scribes who aided in government administration. Large proportions of the population of both Mali and Songhay never converted to Islam, and those that did often maintained many of their old beliefs as well. For example many societies did not exclude women, and some recognized the role of women within the lines of kinship, contrary to the normal patrilineal customs inscribed in the Sharia, or Islamic holy book. Slave trade to Islamic world had major effect on women and children, wanted for concubines and eunuchs
III) The Swahili Coast of East Africa Series of trading ports developed as part of Indian Ocean network On the coast between Horn of Africa and Mozambique Town residents influenced by Islam, but remained tied to traditional ways
The Coastal Trading Ports Immigrants from Southeast Asia had migrated to Madagascar as early as 200 BCE With the rise of Islam, Muslims from Oman and Persian gulf settled in African coastal villages on the land of Zenj, the Arabic term for the east African coast. By 13th century a mixture of Bantu and Islamic culture merged as urban trading posts, as many as 30 flourished (Kilwa most important) They exported raw materials in exchange for Indian, Islamic and Chinese luxuries
b) The Mixture of Cultures on the Swahili Coast • Expansion of Islamic influence in the Indian Ocean facilitated commerce by building a common bond between rulers and trading families • A dynamic culture developed using Swahili language and incorporating African and Islamic practices • Apart from rulers and merchants, most of the African population retained beliefs, especially in the interior
c) In Depth: Two transitions in the History of World Populations • Determining the size and structure of historical populations is very difficult. • Demography, or the study of population, has increasingly become a valid tool of historical inquiry. • Demographic transitions can often be uncovered by research and show characteristics of past civilizations • Modern census taking only became common in the 18th century, until then population increased very slowly • Pre-modern economies maintained rough balance between birth and death, most individuals not reaching 35. • Since onset of Industrial Revolution (1750) world population has soared to more than 5,000,000,000
IV) Peoples of the Forest and Plains • Far apart from the people of the savanna and eastern coast, African people in the forest and plains followed their own lines of development • Agriculture, herding and use of iron were widespread • Some large complex states were formed, most were preliterate and transmitted knowledge by oral methods
Artists and Kings: Yoruba and Benin • In Nigerian forests the Nok culture flourished between 500 BCE and 200 • The Yoruba were highly urbanized agriculturists organized into city states • King’s power limited by a council of state and secret society advisors • Subjects in the holy city of Ile-Ife created terra-cotta and bronze portrait heads • Edo people to the east formed the city-state of Benin(14th century), whose artists were renowned for their work in ivory and cast bronze
b) Central African Kingdoms • Bantu speaking people were forming states that replaced kinship patterns with kingship. • By 13th century they were approaching southern tip of Africa • Luba people in Katanga created a divine kingship • Ruler had powers ensuring fertility of people and crops
c) Kingdoms of the Kongo and Mwene Mutapa • Kingdom of the Kongo flourished by late 15th century, a federation of states grouped into 8 provinces • Agricultural society, sharp division of labor • Women crop cultivation and domestic task. • Men cleared the forest, hunted and traded • Great Zimbabwe, was the center of a state built by Shona speaking people in the 11th century • Massive stone buildings and walls constructed • Dominated gold sources and trade with coastal ports.
..\..\..\..\My Documents\History\Power presentations World\basic\Ancient World History\Ch15\visual.pdf d) Global Connections: Internal Developments and External Contacts • Spread of Islam brought large areas of Africa into the global community • South of the Sahara most pronounced contacts were in the Sudanic States and East Africa, where there was a fusion of cultures • Most of Africa evolved free of Islamic contact, some in stateless societies • Some states developed their own concept of kingship and state