African Development • Differences in geography, language, religion, and politics contribute to Africa’s lack of political unity. • No universal states, nor universal religions • Christianity and Islam do find adherents in Africa, sometimes leading to large empires.
Stateless Societies • Organized around kinship • Lacking the concentration of political power and authority normally associated with the “state” • Little need to tax the people…encouraged people to move to other sparsely populated areas to create their own community. • External pressures make some of them move into state-building i.e. warfare(ex.pressure)
Common Elements… • Bantu migrations offered a linguistic base for Africans • Different dialects • Animism: belief in the power of natural forces personified as spirits or gods or even inanimate objects • Witchcraft/Holy Men
Economics of Africa • North Africa: involved in Mediterranean and Arab Trade system • Sub-Saharan varies from one region to the next
Arrival of Islam • Northern Africa has always been part of the classical world • After the age of the Pharaohs, Egypt was an important part of the Greek Empire, then later in the Roman Empire.
Arrival of Islam • Toward the end of the Roman Empire, Christianity had taken hold in Mediterranean Africa. • Wars between the Vandals and Byzantines disrupt this • Between 640 and 700 CE followers of Muhammad swept across Northern Africa. • Ifriqiya (Africa) for Eastern North Africa and Maghrib for Western North Africa
Arrival of Islam • By 711 CE, Arab and Berber armies had crossed into Spain, defeated in France in 732 CE. • Conversion was fast and easy in North Africa • With Abbasid Empire but eventually breaks into smaller kingdoms (Muslim Kingdoms)
What does Islam offer Africa? • Equality • Islamic tradition of uniting the powers of the state in a ruler reinforces the concept of the African King. • the umma put Africans legally at the same level as the Arabs.
However… • Practices differ considerably at the local level. • Social Stratification(social classes) • Ethnic divisions(tribes) • Gender differences(male/female) • Often led to reformist movements.
North African Christianity • Christian kingdom of Axum, with communities in Nubia and Egypt (Copts). • Copts maintained religious connection with the Byzantine Empire. When Egypt was conquered by the Arabs and converted to Islam, the Copts were able to keep their religion.
North African Christianity • The Ethiopian kingdom that grew from Axum was the most important Christian outpost. • In the 13th and 14th Century, an Ethiopian Christian State emerges. • Constant struggle with Christian Ethiopia and Muslim Somalia
Kingdoms of the Grasslands • Merchants and travelers spread the word of Islam from North Africa across the Sahara towards the Savanna on the southern edge of the Sahara called the Sahel • Camels for transportation • Gold from W. African forests
The Grasslands • The SAHEL was the extensive grassland belt at the southern edge of the Sahara. • TRADE: • Exchange gold from the forests of West Africa for salt from the Sahara (or goods from North Africa) • Camels improved trade
The Grasslands • The SAHEL becomes an active “coast” of trade between the forests to the south and North Africa. • States develop along with trading cities to take advantage of their position as intermediaries in the trade. • Their position in the open plains of the dry Sahel also leaves them open to attack and drought.
Ghana • The “first” of the West African Kingdoms • Rose to power in the 3rd Century CE by taxing the heavy Gold-Salt trade within its borders. • By the 900’s, its rulers converted to Islam and Ghana was at the height of its power. • Almoravid armies invade Ghana in 1076, survives but in declined by 1300’s new states emerge like Mali
Common elements in Sudanic States • Patriarch, or council of elders as leaders • areas with peoples of the same linguistic or ethnic background • Subordinates areas were conquered • Rulers were sacred and were surrounded by rituals. • Islam was used to reinforce indigenous ideas of kingship. • Mali and Songhay ex. of Fusion cultures
Mali • Malinke people • Rulers supported Islam by building mosques, public prayers, and supporting preachers. • In return, sermons would encourage loyalty to the king. • Mali became a model of the Islamicized Sudanic Kingdoms
Mali • Economic base was agriculture • Sundiata: Malinke leader who led towards prosperity as the state of Mali. • The Mansa, or emperor • Crime was severely punished (as evidenced by Ibn Batuta, the Arab traveler). • Security of travelers and trade was a key element to Mali’s success as a state where commerce plays such an important role
Mali • Sundiata dies around 1260 CE. • Of his sucessors, Mansa Musa was the most famous (r. 1312-1337) • Made pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324
Mali • Towns were like N. Africa but with W. African flavor • “Port” cities flourish like Jenne and Timbuktu/ • By the 14th century Timbuktu had a population of 50,000. • Contained a library and university. • 80% of the villagers lived by the agricultural lifestyle.
Songhay • Songhay begins to form around the 7th century. By 1010, a capital had been established at Geo on the Niger River. • Rulers became Muslim • Dominated by Mali for a while • By 1370’s, had established themselves as an independent state • Under the leadership of Sunni Ali (1464-1492) the Empire of Songhay began. • Tactical commander • Ruthless leader. • Successors known as askia’s. • Muhammad the Great expanded the borders of the empire. • By the 1600’s, Songhay dominated the central Sudan
Songhay • Remained the dominant power in the region until the end of the 16th century. • In 1591, a Muslim army with muskets crossed the Sahara and defeated the larger forces of Songhay. • Songhay split up, but other groups experienced success in the Western Sudan
Political Life in the Sudan • Unified states allowed the various communities, clans, and ethnic groups to coexist. • Movement and fusion of populations was constant in the Sudan • Common religion and law provided solidarity and trust to the merchants. • Organized under Muslim concept of a ruler who united civil and religious authority.
Political Life in the Sudan • Formation of large state heightened social differences and made societies more hierarchical. • Islam tended to accommodate pagan practices and beliefs. Large populations of Mali and Songhay never converted. • Many Sudanic states were matrilineal, which is contrary to patrilineal lines of kinship in the Sharia, or Islamic law.
Slavery • Slave trade between Africa and the Islamic World predated the arrival of Islam • Muslims viewed slavery as a stage in the process of conversion. • Slaves were used as domestic servants, laborers, soldiers, eunuchs, concubines. • Concentration on women and children across the Sahel to the East African coast.
The Swahili Coast of East Africa • From the Horn of Africa to modern-day Mozambique lay a string of Islamicized trading cities with contacts from Arabia, Persia, India, and China. • As in the Savanna Kingdoms of West Africa, Islam was slow to reach the general population in East Africa, and when it did, it was a fusion of indigenous beliefs and the new Islamic faith.
East Africa • Coastal cities developed from the mixture of Bantu migrants, as well as with Indonesian seaborne migrants. • Settled on the island of Madagascar, introducing bananas and coconuts. • Coastal villages of fishers, farmers dotted the coast
East Africa • Zanj: Arabic for the East African Coast. • 13th Century: urbanized East African trading ports develop. • Shared Bantu-based and Arabic Influenced Swahili (coastal) language. • Different Muslim ruling families, but similar language united them in trade. • Towns such as Mogadishu, Mombasa, Malindi, Kilwa, and Zanzibar.
East Africa • Kilwa was wealthy because of its control over Sofala • Access to the Gold produced in the interior • Farthest point south in which Indian ships could reach in one monsoon season • Many port towns were tied to each other in an active trade network. • 1300s-1400s: large state sponsored sailing expeditions stopped at the East African coast for ivory, and gold. • After 1431, only the Arabs and Indians continued this trade.
Central/Southern Africa • While the impact of trade and Islam radically altered the West/North/East African “coasts”, Central and Southern Africa was developing on its own trajectory. • By 1000 CE, still small agricultural societies, preliterate, but with great strides in arts, building, and statecraft…without writing.
Artists… • Terra Cotta objects discovered in Nok, in the forests of Central Nigeria dating to 500-200 BCE. • Terra Cotta and bronze portrait heads were found among the Yoruba people of Nigeria
The Yoruba • Agricultural society supported by a peasantry and dominated by a ruling family and aristocracy. • Spoke a non-Bantu language and recognized a relationship with the Hausa, who spoke Afro-Asian language. • Small city-states, each controlling about 50 miles. • Highly urbanized.
Benin • Similar settlement patterns as the Yoruba can be found among Edo people who formed the state of Benin. • Ewuare the Great (r. 1440-1473) extended Benin’s control from the Niger River to the Coast. • The Oba, or ruler, lived in a huge royal compound.
Central African Kingdoms • By the 5th Century CE, Bantu farmers and fishers reach beyond the Zambezi • 13th Century, they were approaching the southern end of the continent. • Beyond the scope of Islam • By 1000 CE, many of these groups were forming states.
Kongo • Late 15th Century, the Kongo was forming along the lower Congo River. • Agricultural base, with skills of weaving, pottery, blacksmithing, and carving. • Men: • Clearing the forest, producing palm oil and palm wine, building houses, hunting, long-distance trade. • Women: • Cultivation, care of animals, household duties, made salt from seawater, collected seashells which were used as currency.
Great Zimbabwe • Farther to the east, among the farming and cattle-herding Shona-speaking peoples. • Creation of GREAT stone enclaves to serve as the capital town area. • By the 15th century, a centralized state had begun to form controlling central Africa to the Indian Ocean.
Vocabulary Chapter 8 • Almoravids • Bantu Migration • Hausa States • Kingdom of Kongo • Yoruba • Stateless Societies • Almohadis • Sharia • Sundiata • Sunni Ali • Benin • Axum • Zanj • Griots • Nok • Askia Muhammad