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GEOGRAPHY OF AFRICA DESERTS MOUNTAINS RAIN FORESTS Africa’s geography is very diverse, containing mountain ranges, scorching deserts, rain forests, river.

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Presentation on theme: "GEOGRAPHY OF AFRICA DESERTS MOUNTAINS RAIN FORESTS Africa’s geography is very diverse, containing mountain ranges, scorching deserts, rain forests, river."— Presentation transcript:

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2 GEOGRAPHY OF AFRICA DESERTS MOUNTAINS RAIN FORESTS Africa’s geography is very diverse, containing mountain ranges, scorching deserts, rain forests, river valleys, open plains, and jungles

3 GEOGRAPHY OF AFRICA Africans lived differently based on their location in Africa’s diverse land

4 GEOGRAPHY OF AFRICA The Sahara is the world’s largest desert and acted as a barrier to separate North Africa from sub-Saharan Africa

5 EARLY SOCIETIES OF AFRICA By 750 CE, North Africans were part of the Islamic Empire, converted to Islam, and also shared Arabic culture Early societies of North Africa were influenced by Mediterranean cultures such as the Phoenicians and Romans

6 EARLY SOCIETIES OF AFRICA However, African societies south of the Sahara were isolated from the cultural diffusion of the Classical Era As a result, these sub-Saharan societies missed out on the great innovations of Greek, Hellenistic, and Roman cultures

7 How did early people in Sub-Saharan Africa live?

8 Characteristics of Sub-Saharan Africa While the societies of sub-Saharan Africa were diverse, they shared some similarities Most of the societies were family-based clans that lived in farming villages

9 Characteristics of Sub-Saharan Africa Few of these societies had written languages; histories were shared orally by storytellers (griots) One of their technological advancements was making iron tools

10 Characteristics of Sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africans were polytheistic and worshipped many gods

11 Characteristics of Sub-Saharan Africa They practiced Animism: a religion in which spirits exist in nature and play a role in daily life

12 THE BANTU MIGRATION Over the course of 4,000 years, Bantu peoples of central Africa migrated south in search of farmland These Bantu migrations helped spread new farming and ironworking techniques

13 What factors shaped the culture of East Africa?

14 EAST AFRICA The societies of East Africa, unlike those of the sub-Sahara, were shaped by cultural diffusion (exchanging of ideas with other cultures) The East Africans participated in the trade network of the Indian Ocean

15 EAST AFRICA The East African kingdom of Aksum traded with Persia, India, Arabia, and Rome

16 Aksum became a kingdom based on Christianity Aksum churches

17 EAST AFRICA Arab merchants brought their religion with them to East Africa Islam was introduced to the East African trade cities

18 EAST AFRICA The mix of African and Arab cultures led to the development of a new language: Swahili East African towns had mosques (Muslim places of worship) and were ruled by Muslim sultans However, many Africans chose to keep their traditional Animistic beliefs

19 What factors shaped the culture of West Africa?

20 WEST AFRICA: GOLD-SALT TRADE The societies of West Africa were shaped by trade with North Africa West Africa had large deposits of gold, but no salt North Africa had large deposits of salt, but no gold

21 WEST AFRICA: GOLD-SALT TRADE The lack of gold in the North and the lack of salt in the West resulted in the Trans-Saharan trade network

22 WEST AFRICA: GOLD-SALT TRADE The lack of gold in the North and the lack of salt in the West resulted in the Trans-Saharan trade network

23 WEST AFRICA AND ISLAM The gold-salt trade spread to the Northeast and attracted Muslim merchants Cultural diffusion between West Africans and the Muslims resulted

24 WEST AFRICA AND ISLAM Islam was introduced to West Africa and slowly gained converts (people who switch their beliefs to a new religion) Many West Africans either blended Islam with Animism or never converted

25 WEST AFRICA: GHANA The gold-salt trade led to increased wealth in West Africa and the formation of empires A West African kingdom, Ghana, amassed vast wealth by taxing merchants Ghana became an empire when it used that wealth to build a massive army and conquer neighboring people

26 WEST AFRICA: GHANA By the year 800 CE, Ghana was the most powerful empire in Africa Ghana’s kings were not merely rulers; they served as judges, religious leaders, and generals

27 WEST AFRICA: MALI A kingdom neighboring Ghana, Mali, eventually overthrew Ghana and absorbed its territory into the new Mali Empire Mali’s King Sundiata took over the Ghana Empire and controlled the major trade cities of West Africa

28 WEST AFRICA: MALI King Sundiata created an efficient government that controlled trade and promoted farming

29 WEST AFRICA: MALI The kings of Mali who ruled after Sundiata converted to Islam The most important of these Muslim kings of Mali was Mansa Musa

30 WEST AFRICA: MALI Mansa Musa built an army of 100,000 soldiers to control Mali’s gold trade and secure his empire To easier manage his territory, he divided the Mali Empire into provinces, each controlled by a governor he appointed

31 MANSA MUSA’S INFLUENCE Mansa Musa was a devout Muslim and went on a hajj to Mecca in 1324 Mansa Musa passed out gold nuggets to the people he met along the way of his long trip

32 This is a European map of Africa. Very little was known about Africa below the Sahara, but Mansa Musa is on the map. Based on his image on the map, what did Europeans know about Mansa Musa?

33 When Mansa Musa returned from Mecca, he was filled with religious fervor

34 Djenne Mosque He built many mosques throughout the Mali Empire, including one at Timbuktu

35 University in Timbuktu Timbuktu became a trade city that attracted scholars, religious leaders, and doctors The city had a university and became an important center of learning in the world

36 WEST AFRICA: SONGHAI After Mansa Musa’ reign was over, the Mali Empire began to decline Another neighboring kingdom, the Songhai, eventually took over Mali and formed the Songhai Empire

37 WEST AFRICA: SONGHAI Songhai kings gained control of the major trade cities along the highly valuable gold- salt trade routes The fall of the Songhai Empire in 1591 CE ended a thousand year era of West African Empires The Songhai grew into the largest of the West African empires

38 CONCLUSIONS African societies were transformed by two powerful forces:  Trade with outsiders  Introduction of Islam

39 Originally created by Brooks Baggett Modified by Christopher Jaskowiak


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