D- Western Influence. C- Islamic Influence. Africa’s Triple Cultural Heritage.
C- Islamic Influence
Africa’s Triple Cultural Heritage
This presentation explains the importance and effects of the TRIPLE HERITAGE on the present-day spatial organization and development of Africa. In chronological order, this triple heritage is related to the INDIGENOUS, ISLAMIC, and WESTERN influences.
B- Indigenous heritage
Dr. Mabaye Dia
Assistant Professor of Geography
B-5- The era of modern kingdoms
B-3- The Iron and Late medieval period
B-4- The Bantu migratory
B- Indigenous heritage
The history of the indigenous heritage is categorized into five major periods:
B-1- Africa as the cradle of man
Zinjanthropos (1.8 million years)
About 12,000 years ago, hunter-gathers began to sett1e permanently along the Nile River to domesticate plants and animals and exchange goods.
(Ancient and Early Medieval Civilizations of Sub-Saharan Africa, Aryeetey-Attoh, 2003)
These ancient societies have not been researched as extensively as Egypt, they were civilizations in their own right. All these civilizations were characterized by permanent settlement, domestication of plants (cereals and roots) and animals, and well-established political structures.
(Late Medieval and Modern Kingdoms of Sub-Saharan Africa, Aryeetey-Attoh, 2003)
The need for more land for settlement and agricultural purposes as the original land culd no longer support the fast growing population.
B-4 Bantu Migrations in Sub-Saharan Africa
Toward the end of the medieval period, especially after 1600, a number of modern kingdoms emerged, particularly in the forest belt and in areas where the Bantu migrations had spread.
Modern kingdoms emerged on the demise of the earlier medieval civilizations and were precipitated by trade in gold and slaves with north Africa, as well as the need to form political associations to protect both their trade routes and themselves.
Islam is not an African religion; it was introduced from the major source region, Arabia. Islam, however, is part of the Africa's heritage and its social, cultural, and religious fabric.
Islam has existed in Sub-Saharan Africa since at least A.D. 700-1300. Today, the religion has a major influence on the cultural, economic, and political systems of regions, especially in the Sahel and Savanna belts of West Africa and along the coast of East Africa
The first was by contact between Arabian traders and the people along the coast of East Africa and its surrounding islands (Zanzibar, Pemba, and the Comoros). This first wave of Islamic influence began around 700 A.D. These contacts and the subsequent spread of Islam were confined to the coast;
Reaction against Christianity as the colonial religion led to Islamic conversions:
The use of the African drum in religious practices, the acknowledge of polygamy, Islam has been less critical of female circumcision.
D-2 The period of enslavement (1500s-1840s)
D-4 The colonial period (1880s-1960s)
D-3 The age of land exploration (1840-1880s)
D-1The period of initial contact (1450-1500s)
(1500s and 1840s)
The abolition resulted from humanitarian efforts in the United States and Europe.
In spite of the fact that Europe's interests in Sub-Saharan Africa had waned after the era of slavery, The INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION provided an impetus for Europe to maintain its presence in the region.
Between 1840 and 1890, land explorers such as Henry Stanley (an American employed by King Leopold of Belgium), David Livingstone (along the Zambezi), and Mungo Park (along the Niger River).
In Southern Africa, the British and Dutch (Boers or Afrikaners) had begun to colonize territory during this period. This was largely due to the appeal of the Mediterranean climate and the abundance of mineral resources in the region: Anglo-Boers War (1899-1909)
The reports of explorers about the resource potential of Sub-Saharan Africa led to intense competition for territory amongst European powers and set the stage for the “scramble” for territory
European nations met in Berlin (Berlin Conference, 1884) to determine the ground rules for the partitioning of Sub-Saharan Africa into British, French, Portuguese, German, Belgian, Italian, and Spanish territories (Rowntree and Al., 2000)
Apartheid: An official policy of racial segregation (white, coloured (mixed race), Indian (South Asian), African (black))that shaped political, legal and social relations in South Africa for nearly 50 years.
(Rowntree and Al., 2000)
The colonial period in Sub-Saharan Africa lasted for only about 75 years for most countries, but it had the most pervasive impact.
Colonialism has resulted in three major political and Socio-culturaldilemmas for present-day countries:
After World War II
Third, African Students such as K. Nkrumah (Ghana), C.A. Diop (Senegal), and L.S. Senghor (Senegal) returned home to organize political platforms. In Kenya, the Kikuyu-led Mau Mau movement (J. Kenyatta) resisted the colonial and missionary annihilation of local culture.
The cumulative effect of these factors resulted in Ghana being the first colony to attain its independence in 1957. By 1965, almost all African countries had obtained their independence.
2. Because several ancient, medieval, and modern civilizations existed in various parts of Africa, subtle differences exist in the effects of the indigenous heritage from region to region. Yet, there are some underlying commonalities that link the cultures of Africa.
3. The Islamic influence is localized mostly in the northern savanna, Sahel, and desert regions of West Africa and the coastal regions of East Africa.
4 The effect of the trans-Atlantic Stave Trade was devastating, especially in the middle belt of West Africa
5 All colonial powers were bound by the single purpose of extracting resources from their colonies, thus relegating African colonies to a state of economic and cultural dependency.