Image Source: A Diamond’s Eye View of the World, Amman, February 2007, (Nov.28, 2013). Justification: We chose this photo of a camel to represent our main character, Rafiki, because it was cute and it’s head was facing the camera. Welcome to my journey!
Vanessa Lin Sources: Image: Mali Resource Website, Ancient Mali, January 2003, (Nov. 28, 2013). Information: Klobuchar, Africans of the Ghana, Mali, and Songhai Empires, p.14, 28. Justification: Connection to themes: Self-Sustainable - West Africa had many resources, such as gold and salt, to sustain itself. Other civilizations took the initiative to start trading with West Africa because West Africa didn’t find the immediate need to trade with others due to their self-sustaining resources and systems. However, West Africa often imported luxury and foreign goods from North Africa because of their different resources. Images: The camels on the map represent the various trade routes across West Africa. Most of West Africa’s trading was done within Africa and not overseas. Merchants often travelled across the Sahara desert on camels to trade with other merchants from across Africa. Gold, Salt, and Trade… Oh my! Economy
Vanessa Lin Sources: Image: Hudson Valley Geologist, Men of Salt, December 2010, (Nov. 29, 2013). Information: Klobuchar, Africans of the Ghana, Mali, and Songhai Empires, p. 12, 14. Kennedy, History of Africa: History of West Africa, p.41. Justification: Connection to themes: Self-Sustainable - West Africa became self-sustainable off of their trade because of their numerous resources and the economic opportunity it provided. The merchants had enough resources to trade that they could make a good living off of only trade. Because of their wealth, merchants held a high position in society in ancient West Africa. Images: The image is a photo of a salt miner in West Africa. It is a modern photo because I couldn’t find any photos of ancient tools used or a map indicating the location of mining activities. I chose this photo because it showed the natural resources in West Africa that was used in trading and bringing wealth to merchants. From salt mining to salt trading! Economy
I’m On My Way! Sources: Image: Salt Mine Tour, Salt Mining in Taoudenni and The Growth of Timbuktu, January 2005, (Nov. 29, 2013). Information: Klobuchar, Africans of the Ghana, Mali, and Songhai Empires, p. 13. Conrad, Great Empires of the Past: Empires of Medival West Africa Ghana, Mali and Songhay, p. 53. Justification: Connection to themes: Self-sustaining - The people of West Africa have been able to develop technology to allow them to efficiently extract the mass amount salt and gold and be able to trade it. This allows many jobs in the industry and the trade allows them to make a living and have access to products outside of Africa. Their skills in metalworking and in mines allow West Africa to be self sustainable. Images: The image is of a map showing the distance between Taoudenni and Timbuktu, only some of the camel’s journey. Athena Mpampas
Emperor, Emperor! Image: Edwina Takahashi, Woodlawn Post, Story of Gold- Mansa Musa, 2011, (November 30, 2013).http://woodlawnpost.com/?p=1540 Information: Conrad, Empires of Medieval West Africa: Ghana, Mali, and Songhay, p. 37, 38. Justification Connection to Theme: Moralistic - In the Mali Empire, the Emperor (Mansa) was at the top and the priests, aristocrats, merchants, and slaves followed. In the Mali empire, social movement had been allowed, though the slaves were not treated as fairly. The Mali empire had allowed the spread of it’s language, laws, and even customs along the Niger river, however, there was no emphasis toward equality in the Mali empire. This image depicts Mansa Musa returning from the Pilgrimage of Mecca with his tens of thousands of slaves following, carrying pounds of solid gold. Kirsten Chan Social Structure
What about the others? Image: Franko Khoury, Mali Empire and Djenne Figures, Works of Art, 1987, (November 30, 2013). Information: Conrad, Empires of Medieval West Africa: Ghana, Mali, and Songhay. p. 84. Justification Connection to Theme: Moralistic - The social status of the ancient Mali people were based on their identification with ancestors who participated with Sunjata in the founding of the empire early in the 13th century. Members of some of these lineages have the status of aristocrat, or horonw. Traditionally, they were proprietors of the land and community leaders, and were expected to conduct themselves with dignity and honour. The senior male members of the families were eligible to be chiefs. Some lineages claimed descent from distinguished ancestors described in The Sunjata Epic, including Sunjata himself. Kirsten Chan Social Structure
Image: Sebastien Cailleux, The Guardian, Timbuktu’s ancient manuscripts to get a new digital existence, 2006, manuscripts-preserve (November 30, 2013). manuscripts-preserve Information: Africans of the Ghana, Mali and Songhai Empires, p.39. Mvuyekure, World Eras: West African Kingdoms , p.205, 223. Justification Connection to Theme: Moralistic - The Mali Empire had special military forces whose duty was to keep order. These military forces were the bottom of the moral “hierarchy”, where the king was at the top and the government officials were in the middle. People would first go to these military forces, who would in turn direct them to the proper person to talk to. Each major city had a mayor appointed by Mansa Musa, and if a citizen did not like the court or the mayor’s decisions, they could bring their appeal directly to Mansa Musa, whose palace was built in Timbuktu around Self-Sustaining - The University of Sankore was also built in Timbuktu after Mansa Musa’s pilgrimage to Mecca, and because of the respect for human rights and people’s education that were honoured during Mansa Musa’s rule, more people were educated in reading and writing at the university, which led to the creation of more manuscripts. Muslim scholars from all around Africa made their way to Timbuktu, which led to the number of people leaving Africa for the Middle East decreasing significantly and thus creating more unity in the Mali Empire. Candace Yang Government & Politics/Laws The Mayor of Araouane and His Decision! Image: A photo of the manuscripts in 2006, which resided in The Ahmed Baba Centre in Timbuktu, Mali. They are evidence of the respect that the Mali government gave people in terms of their freedom of education regardless of their position in society, which was a reform that began during the Ghana Empire and was preserved throughout the Mali Empire under Mansa Musa’s rule.
Sources: Image: Beautiful Mosque, Sankore Mosque in Timbuktu, November 2013, (Nov. 29, 2013). Information: Klobuchar, Africans of the Ghana, Mali, and Songhai Empires, p. 9, 18, 45. Conrad, Great Empires of the Past: Empires of Medival West Africa Ghana, Mali and Songhay, p. 40. Justification: Connection to themes: Ritualisitc - Mosques are used as a place of worship for Muslims, this mosque was built in the 14th century and is still standing today. There were alot of mosques through out West Africa showing that religon was very important to them. Images: This is a picture of the Sankore Mosque in Timbukutu, modern version standing today. I Can’t Believe It! Athena Mpampas
To The King! Image: Erik Ortiz, New York Daily News, King Mansa Musa of Mali named richest person of all time, 2012, richest-history-article (November 29, 2013). richest-history-article Information: Africans of the Ghana, Mali and Songhai Empires, p. 25, 39. Conrad, Empires of Medieval West Africa: Ghana, Mali, and Songhay, p.43, 76. Mvuyekure, World Eras: West African Kingdoms , p.205. Justification Connection to Theme: Moralistic - in Ancient Western Africa, the citizens of the empire were granted an audience with the king or their governor when they felt they were wronged. The citizens would have to fall face down, slap their chests and throw dust and ashes over their head before they could approach the emperor. When crimes were committed, the accused had to drink a bitter potion made with sap from the wood of a particular tree, and if they threw the potion up, they were innocent; if they didn’t, they were guilty. Theft was an especially serious crime, and those convicted were sentenced to either death or slavery, which led to the common knowledge of right vs. wrong. Due to the fact that people usually knew about these laws, theft and crime were rarely an issue in Western Africa during the Mali Empire, which led to a smooth-running political system and widespread respect for these laws. Image: The image depicts king Mansa Musa of the Mali Empire, who ruled from 1312 to 1337 CE, taken from a map of Africa called the Catalan Atlas. Candace Yang Government & Politics/Laws
Thanking Emperor Musa Sources: Image: Brothers Making Plays, The BMP Series, Mansa Musa: Richest in History, Dec 15,2012, 0/Higgins-Bond_KankanMussa.jpg 0/Higgins-Bond_KankanMussa.jpg,(Nov 29, 2013). Information: Africans of the Ghana, Mali, and Songhai Empires. Chicago: World Book Inc, Page - 42 Justification: Connection to themes: Ritualistic - Rulers were priests because the people believed the rulers received power from the gods. From this the priests had great influence among the people. The priests had special ways to communicate to the spirit world. They could then discover the source of problems that their people and entire community had. Once the problem was found, the priests could find solutions by conducting ritual sacrifices to communicate with the appropriate spirits. Images: The image shows the emperor Mansa musa of Mali. He was the emperor as well as priest. Sydney Allison Religion
To the Mosque Sources: Image: Global Pride and Travel, Great Mosque Djenne Mali Africa, Feb 13, 2013, content/uploads/2013/07/Great-Mosque-of-Djenn%C3 Great Mosque Djenne Mali Africa, Feb 13, 2013, content/uploads/2013/07/Great-Mosque-of-Djenn%C3 %A9.jpg %A9.jpg, (Nov 29,2013). Information: Conrod, David. Empires of Medieval West Africa. New York: Facts on File Inc, Page -100 Justification: Connection to themes: Ritualistic - The religion of Islam was widely practiced in West Africa. Islam was spread into West African cities from North African Arab traders. A mosque is a place of worship for the religion of Islam. Images: Ritualistic/ Self- sustainable - The image shows a picture of the Great Mosque Djenne Mali Africa. This Mosque represents classical Arabian style mixed with characteristics of Malian style. It uses basic material of sun baked mud. This picture is from present day. Great Mosque Djenne Mali Africa Sydney Allison Religion