2Standard 7.4.2Analyze the importance of family, labor specialization, and regional commerce in the development of states and cities in West Africa.
3Background KnowledgeNorth African traders crossed the vast Sahara seeking goods from West Africa. In time, empires grew rich from this trade. This section, will cover Ghana, the earliest African trading empire.
4Section Focus Question How did the people of Ghana use their resources and skills to build a wealthy empire?
5The Rise of GhanaAncient West Africans left no written records, the region’s historians have had to rely mainly onarchaeology and oral history.Oral history is an account of something passed down by word of mouth from one generation to another.
6Ironworking Technology Metal tools and weapons were sharper and stronger than those made of stone, wood, or bone.The people south of Egypt on the Nile River, Kush, or Nubia, were the first Africans to develop ironworking skills.West Africans were making iron tools by 350 B.C. in a place called Nok.With iron tools, the people of West Africa could grow more food. Populations and food supplies increased.
7Ancient GhanaThe kingdom was founded by the Soninke people between the Niger and Senegal rivers around A.D. 300.their power based on their superior weapons.They had iron swords and spears, while their neighbors still used wooden clubs.Their kingdom grew to be the empire known as Ghana.Labor specialization - The division of jobs and skills in a society.Each clan, or group of related families, specialized in a certain craft or trade.The Sisse clan, for example, focused on government. Its members became Ghana’s emperors and officials. Other clans specialized in fishing or cloth making or cattle raising.
8CheckpointHow did increased food supplies benefit Ghana?
9The Gold and Salt TradeThe peoples who settled Africa’s deserts, savannah, and forests had different resources. They also had different needs. Such differences encouraged trade among these regions.
10Trans-Sahara TradePeople north of the Sahara needed gold. It was the basis of the currency of most countries. West Africans were rich in gold, but they needed salt.
11Trans-Sahara TradeNot only does salt add flavor to food, it is also essential for good health. Mines in the Sahara produced lots of salt. North African traders brought large cakes of salt to West Africa to exchange for gold.
12Trans-Sahara TradeThe peoples who settled Africa’s deserts, savannah, and forests had different resources. They also had different needs. Such differences encouraged trade among these regions.
14Trans-Sahara TradeThe North Africans brought steel swords, copper, and silks to West Africa. They returned with ivory, local crafts, precious woods, and enslaved people. North African merchants also brought the new religion of Islam to West Africa. Islam spread south along African trade routes, changing West African history and culture.
15Silent BarterMerchants from Ghana kept the source of Ghana’s gold a secret from North African traders.The North Africans were not allowed to visit the gold mines or communicate with miners that traded with Ghana.Gold and salt were exchanged between Ghana and the miners through a process known as silent barter, trading without words.When both sides were satisfied, the traders left with their gold and the miners with their goods. The traders from Ghana then used the gold to purchase salt from North African traders.
16Wealthy Rulers The kings of Ghana grew rich from the gold-salt trade. two sources of revenue - income to run the government.The first source was taxes on trade.The other source of revenue was the king’s control of the gold supply.only the king could own nuggets, or chunks, of gold
17Islam in GhanaFor centuries, Ghana welcomed North African traders but did not adopt their Muslim faith.the capital of Ghana, Kumbi Saleh, was actually “twin cities.”One was the commercial capital,the royal capital,
18Islam in GhanaIn about 1050, a new Muslim religious movement known as Almoravids.preached holy war against all non-Muslims.In 1076, an Almoravid army invaded Ghana and captured the capital.The leaders of Ghana converted to Islam. Ghana never reestablished its prosperity
19CheckpointWhy did the ruler of Ghana limit the gold supply?
20Looking Back and AheadThis section covered, Ghana, the first trading empire in West Africa. We learned how Ghana prospered from the gold and salt trade. The next section will introduce Mali, the second empire to appear in West Africa.