until lions tell their tale the story of the hunt will always glorify the hunter african proverb n.
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The Golden Age of Africa

The Golden Age of Africa

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The Golden Age of Africa

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  1. Until Lions tell their tale, the storyof the hunt will always glorify the hunter- African proverb

  2. "Let's face it – think of Africa, and the first images that come to mind are of war, poverty, famine and flies. How many of us really know anything at all about the truly great ancient African civilizations, which in their day, were just as splendid and glorious as any on the face of the earth?" - Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Wonders of the African World

  3. The Golden Age of Africa

  4. African Societies 5th – 17th cent. • In general: • Cluster around great water bodies of continent (Niger,Senegal, Nile, Congo…) • 2 central factors: livestock wealth & interregional trade

  5. Agricultural economies expanded • Farmers supplied the food needed by the population • Surplus food was brought to the market for exchange A market scene in West Africa

  6. Manufacturing • Africa’s main manufactures • Hides and skins • Gold • Metallurgy (iron) • Textile manufacturing and dyeing Kente cloth from Ghana

  7. Religion • Each African society had a religious system • We call that religion African Traditional Religion (ATR)

  8. ATR Beliefs • Supreme God • several divinities or lesser gods • ancestors • life after death • some reincarnation • spoken word • incantations, sacred songs, proverbs etc.

  9. ATR Beliefs (contd.) • belief in power of prayers • sacrifice • role of priests, holy men?, seers, spirit mediums • Griots

  10. Other Religions in Africa • Islam in Northern and Sudanese Africa • Christianity in Northern and Northeastern Africa • Judaism in Northeastern Africa Mosque in Mali

  11. African music • music for all occasion • work, naming, marriage, funeral, etc. • dance, drama

  12. African Art and Craft • African art inspired by religion, kingship, and personal beautification • made for upper class and royalty • accessible to all Benin ivory mask

  13. specialized forms: • sculpture in wood, bronze, brass and stone • painting of homes • body adornments • charms, amulets Ife Bronze figure of a king

  14. Ghana, Mali, Songhay Empires

  15. Ghana(5th – 13th cent.) • Wangara area b/w upper Niger and Senegal rivers • area produced great quantities of gold for trade across Sahara

  16. Ghana Empire • established by the Soninke people • Tarikh-as-Sudan (book of West African history found in Timbuktu) dates to 1650 A.D. • its capital was Kumbi Saleh, a market town • it engaged in the caravan trade in gold, kola nuts, salt, captives kola nuts on sale in Djenne, Mali

  17. Tenkamenin – 11th cent. • Al-Bakri…powerful and wealthy state able to “put 200,000 warriors in the field, more than 40,000 of them being armed with bow and arrow.” • it was attacked by the Almoravids in 1076 • the defeat weakened the empire and it later fell to…

  18. Mali(6th – 15th cent.) Incorporated most of present-day Mali, Senegal, and the Gambia, southern Mauritania, eastern Guinea-Bissau, and eastern Guinea

  19. Mali Empire • Mandinka (Malinke) people • Sundiata “Lion King” Keita – 1240 • original capital was Niani while most prominent city was Djenne The Grand Mosque of Djenne on a market day

  20. like Ghana, it engaged in caravan trade • Mali’s most known ruler – Mansa Musa • pilgrimage to Mecca • built Sankore mosque in Timbuktu • ??????? invaded Mali in 1542 and while kings fled other small kingdoms absorbed much of Mali

  21. Songhai or Songhay(8th – 17th cent.) Most expansive kingdom with great trading cities of Gao, Djenne, and Timbuktu

  22. Songhay Empire • established by Songhay people • Sonni Ali • Most famous ruler was Askia Muhammad (Sonni Ali’s general) • he expanded the empire, performed pilgrimage to Mecca -1497 • made Sankore mosque a university Sankore mosque and university, Timbuktu

  23. Death of Askia Muhammad in 1538 (part of mosque where he was buried still exists in Gao, Mali) • Decline as territory becomes too expansive and successors lead failed military expeditions • Songhay was defeated by Moroccan invaders in 1590-91…they leave by 1612 b/c they could not locate the rich gold mines or maintain security on roads & in the markets around Songhay. Tomb of Askia in Gao

  24. Other Empires of Western Africa • Kanem • Hausa States • Oyo Empire • Asante Empire • Ife • Benin Empire • Kongo kingdom