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African Civilizations and the spread of Islam. Mali This kingdom is an excellent example of the spread of Islam (old kingdom of Ghana) 1200 Mansa Musa.

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Presentation on theme: "African Civilizations and the spread of Islam. Mali This kingdom is an excellent example of the spread of Islam (old kingdom of Ghana) 1200 Mansa Musa."— Presentation transcript:

1 African Civilizations and the spread of Islam


3 Mali This kingdom is an excellent example of the spread of Islam (old kingdom of Ghana) 1200 Mansa Musa made the hajj in 1324 Rich from controlling caravan trade routes Below the Sahara, Africa was never fully isolated. There were periods of intermittent contacts 800-1500 contacts increased due to a growing international trade network Islam spread into Mali and was adopted by the royals. The civilization retained its individuality though Africa never united, many different types of states

4 African Societies Africa so vast and diverse neither universal states or religions characterize it history Stateless Societies: these are societies that organize authority around kinship or other obligations. Sometimes these stateless societies were quite large while others were small. No need to tax people if you don’t have a large government. Authority only affected small parts of peoples lives. Secret societies: west Africa, group controlled customs and beliefs and were able to limit the authority of rulers. Maintained stability within the community. Problems: outside pressure, mobilizing troops, organizing building projects, and long term stability to support trade

5 Common Elements in African Societies Language, thought, and religion Bantu-speaking people-commonalities between the various languages Animistic beliefs (dance & drumming) Believed in evil-priests led religious ceremonies Belief in cosmology-view of how the universe worked (ethics) Believed in a creator deity and power of ancestors Importance of family or clan ties Economics: N. Africa (active in Mediterranean trade), Sub-Saharan Africa (varied) 30-60 million people lived in Africa by 1500

6 Islam Cities and territories in N. Africa had been an important part of the classical world: Carthage and Egypt 640-700 followers of Muhammad swept across N. Africa 670 Muslims ruled (Tunisia) Ifriqiya 711 Berbers into Spain. Stopped in 732 by Charles Martel in Poitiers (battle of Tours) Many N.Africans converted to Islam b/c of message of equality & umma Abbasid unified territory for a while Almoravids: (11 th century) reform movement in Islam grew among Berbers. They launched a jihad or holy war to purify and spread Islam. They moved south to the African kingdoms and also north into Spain Almohadis: (1130) reformist group

7 Christian Kingdoms: Nubia and Ethiopia Developed in Africa along the Nile prior to the Romans making it their official religion Egypt (Coptic-language of ancient Egypt) connect to Byzantine empire Copts able to maintain religion in Egypt after Arabs conquered b/c they were dhimmi Muslim tried to penetrate Nubia/ Kush and were met with resistance. Remained an independent Christian state until the 13 th century They were cut off from Byzantium due to Arab conquerors 13-14 th centuries dynasty in Ethiopia traced it roots back to Solomon and Sheba. Continued being isolated.


9 Grasslands 3 important coasts of contact: Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and savanna Sahel-area between the western forests and the northern desert. Here is where the merchants came to trade. Camels brought from Asia couldn’t survive the humid regions of the forests. So the grasslands is where merchants came to trade. Therefore, cities were established. In the 3 rd century Ghana developed. By the 10 th century it was in its hayday! Rules had also converted to Islam However, they declined due to attacks by the Almoravid armies 1076 Mali would replace it

10 Sudanic States There were many kingdoms active in Africa Sudanic states often had a patriarch or council of elders of a family that ruled Terriortial core of similar peoples with conquered extension that paid taxes or tribute Ghana, Mali, and Songhay powerful examples Rules considered scared Islam accepted and people mixed Islam with their culture


12 Mali and Sundiata Malinke people broke away from Ghana in the 13 th century to create Mali Islamic Agricultural and merchant state Juula-Malinke merchants Malinke expansion under Sundiata (Sunjata). He became the Mansa or emperor Divided the kingdom into social order, created political institutions, and stationed garrisons. Made trade safe. Sundiata died in 1260 Mansa Kankan Musa –later successor (hajj 1324)

13 Cities and Villages in Sudan Mix of Islamic and Sudanese Examples: Jenne and Timbuktu Town were commercial with specialists and foreign residents. Scholars and theologians attracted. Strong military to protect merchants Libraries and universities developed. Books trade very lucrative here! For most people life was centered around village life and agriculture. 80% of villagers lived by farming. Farms were small due to lack of tools. A large farm was only about 10 acres. Polygamy practiced here…why? Rice, millet,sorghums, wheat, fruits, and veggies

14 Sorghum-grain or livestock food Millet Wheat

15 Songhay Kingdom Formed as Mali was declining within part of Mali. People of Songhay were from the middle area in the Niger Valley. Made up of farmers, herders, and fisherman By the 7 th century started to form a independent territory By 1010 capital established at Gao along the Niger River. Rulers were Muslims. By 1370’s Songhay reestablished itself as an independent kingdom again from Mali Under Sunni Ali (1464-1492) Songhay became an empire!


17 Songhay Sunni Ali was a great military commander who extended the empire and took over Jenne and Timbuktu. Set up provincial administrations to deliver his rule Muslim scholars not his biggest fans. They questioned his authority! Ruler who succeeded him took on the military title askia. Muhammad the Great extended the Songhay boundaries so that by the mid-16 th century Songhay dominated the Sudan! Overall problem between Muslim scholars and African converts b/c they mixed Islam with their local pagan beliefs. Men and women mixed freely and women went unveiled. Remained the dominate power until 1591 when a Muslim army from Morocco attacked. They had muskets! Rise of the Hausa states in N. Nigeria

18 Sudanic States: politics and social life State structure allowed for many diverse people to coexist Universal faith-Islam which also provided common laws Rulers-emir or caliph (to reinforce authority) Mixed pagan and Muslim beliefs Women enjoyed more freedom, no veils, free in markets, some groups traced linage through mother (matrilineal). Slavery: existed before Muslims came, but they developed it on a larger scale. Muslims viewed slavery as a stage in conversion. Slaves: domestic servants, soldiers, administrators, eunuchs, concubines. Focus on child and female slaves. Trade caravans transported many slaves across the Sahara to ports in the Indian Ocean. Trade extended for over 700 years. Think back to Nubia!

19 Swahili Coast-East Africa Islam spread along Eastern coast and merchant activity spread and Muslim ports where established along the Indian Ocean Bantu-speaking people migrated here along with refugees from Oman By 13 th century African trading ports developed along the coast. These towns shared common Bantu-based and Arabic-influenced Swahili (meaning coastal) language and other traits. Ruled by separate Muslim ruling families Trade in ivory, gold, slaves, iron, and exotic animals for silks and porcelain Kilwa most powerful of these port cities Some Chinese sent good directly to these ports. As late as 1417 and 1431 large state sponsored expeditions sailing from China to Africa occurred.


21 Swahili, Land of Zenj Port cities developed into city-states with their own local governments. Rulers interested in controlling slave trade and not making territorial conquests. Palace in Kilwa Cultural hybrid -Between Arabic and African Swahili –bantu and Arabic words -Many in-land Africans not Muslim -1500 Portuguese

22 Forest and Plains of Africa 1000 societies in central Africa agriculturally based with herding occasionally Organized into villages, however, states were starting to form Preliterate society (no written language) transmitted knowledge via oral traditions Gap between the Nok (500-200 BCE and) cultures that begin a renewed interest in arts 1000 CE Yoruba-speaking peoples of Nigeria. The city of Ile- Ife amazing artwork of rulers by 1200 CE Yoruba state were agriculturally based wit Ile-Ife thought to be the cultural center Yoruba origins unknown, but they spoke a non-Bantu language of the west African Kwa family similar their neighbors the Hausa people


24 Yoruba had regional kings that were divine, but not absolute. Ruled with princes, councils, and even Ogboni (secret society of religious and political leaders) Ile-Ife, Oyo, and Benin

25 Yoruba

26 Central African Kingdoms Bantu-speaking peoples reach the southern part of Africa by the 13 th century. Beyond the reach of Islam African kingdoms form by 1000 with kings. In Katanga-modified older system where now the ruler and his relatives were thought to have a special power and they ensured the fertility of the people and crops. They were the only ones fit to rule. A bureaucracy grew out of heredity.

27 Kongo and Mwene Mutapa 13 th century Kongo developed. agriculturally based, specialization like blacksmithing, women did all farm work while men cleared forests, built houses, and traded. Mbanza Kongo capital by 16 th had 100,000 inhabitants. Manikongo=king (mani = blacksmith) Kongo king was hereditary yet local chieftains were not and the king could control them. Great Zimbabwe- Shona-speaking people around the 9 th century built royal courts of stone (zimbabwe) largest structure the Great Zimbabwe. By 15 th century centralized rule from Great Zimbabwe occurred under the king, Mwene Mutapa. (Interior of southeast Africa) Control over gold allowed Great Zimbabwe to flourish and become active in trade. 16 th century internal rebellions split the kingdom, but as late as the 19 th century the much smaller kingdom of Mwene Mutapa survived.

28 Mwene Mutapa Kongo

29 Developments Islam brought large areas of Africa into more intensive contact with the global community Although Islam was to bring equality to the people it brought more stark divisions Many locals retained their beliefs or mix Islam with local traditions like in India Royals were Muslim Muslims controlled trade and were very wealthy and becoming a Muslim opened up doors for individuals involved in merchant activities. Kongo and Great Zimbabwe were examples of state- building that development independently! In the 15 th century, the Portuguese found well development and powerful kingdoms European advances to seek alternative routes to Asia due to Ottoman Turk advanced shutting down Constantinople/ Istanbul

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