Presentation on theme: "SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA FROM PRE-HISTORY TO 1500 C.E."— Presentation transcript:
1 SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA FROM PRE-HISTORY TO 1500 C.E.
2 PRE-HISTORIC AFRICA Regions in Africa Sub-Saharan Africa vs. Northern Africa (inc. Nile Valley)The Sahara is the greatest physical and cultural barrierNorth settled early by Berbers, Hamites (Caucasian groups)Sub-Saharan Africa has larger regions with many micro regionsWest Africa Forest, Sahel called Sudan, Central Africa, East Africa, South AfricaEach region defined by physical geography and vegetation; many micro culturesNorth and East Africa saw first “African” civilizationsThe Nile River: Pharaonic Egypt; Kush-Meroe (often called Nubia)The Ethiopian Highlands: Axum (Aksum) or EthiopiaNorth Africa: Carthaginian Empire, Roman and Greek civilizationsThe SudanSudanic region was sahel or plains stretching across Africa south of Sahara9000 B.C.E. domestication of cattle; cultivation of sorghum, cottonBecame home to most Sub-Saharan civilizationsSmall states based on tribes, clans developedReligion: polytheism, shamanism, placation of spirits, divinationClimatic ChangePrior to 5000 CE Sahara one large inland sea surrounded by plains5000 B.C.E. development of Sahara Desert as desertification increasedIncreasing desertification forced mass popular migration to waterNile shifts to east; formation of large lakes in Central Africa that feed Nile
6 THE BANTU The Bantu peoples Bantu agriculture and herding Originated in the region around modern Nigeria/CameroonInfluenced by Nok iron making, herding, agriculturePopulation pressure drove migrations, 2000 BCE – 700 BCETwo major movements: to south and to east and then southLanguages split into about 500 distinct but related tonguesBantu agriculture and herdingEarly Bantu relied on agriculture – slash-burn, shiftingPastoralists, semi-nomadic due to agriculture, cattleIron metallurgyIron appeared during the 7th and 6th centuries B.C.E.Iron made agriculture more productiveExpanded divisions of labor, specialization in Bantu societiesPopulation PressuresIron technologies produced population upsurgeLarge populations forced migration of Bantu
7 THE BANTU MIGRATION The Bantu Migration Bananas Population growth Population pressure led to migration, c B.C.E.Movement to South, along Southeast and Southwest coastsLanguages differentiated into about 500 distinct but related tonguesOccupied most of sub-Saharan (except West) Africa by 1000 C.E.Split into groups as they migrated: Eastern, Central, SouthernBantu spread iron, herding technologies as they movedBananasBetween 300/500 C.E., Malay seafarers reached AfricaSettled in Madagascar, visited East African coastBrought with them pigs, taro, and banana cultivationBananas became well-established in Africa by 500 C.E.Bantu learned to cultivate bananas from MalagasyBananas caused second population spurt, migration surgeReached South Africa in 16th century CEPopulation growth3.5 million people by 400 B.C.E.11 million by the beginning of the millennium17 million by 800 C.E.22 million by 1000 C.E.
11 BANTU POLITICAL ORGANIZATIONS Stateless societiesEarly Bantu societies did not depend on elaborate bureaucracySocieties governed through family and kinship groupsVillage council, consisted of male family headsChief of a village was from the most prominent family headsA group of villages constituted a districtVillages chiefs negotiated intervillage affairsChiefdomsPopulation growth strained resources, increased conflictSome communities began to organize military forces, 1000 C.E.Powerful chiefs overrode kinship networks and imposed authoritySome chiefs conquered their neighborsKingdom of KongoVillages formed small states along the Congo River, 1000 C.E.Small states formed several larger principalities, 1200 C.E.One of the principalities conquered neighbors, built kingdom of KongoMaintained a centralized government with a royal currency systemProvided effective organization until the mid-17th century
12 SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONSDiversity of African societies in Sub-Saharan AfricaComplex societies developed into kingdoms, empires, and city-statesCoexisted with small states and stateless societiesLineages consisted of all members descended from a common ancestorKinship groups of stateless societiesExtended families and clans as social and economic organizationsCommunities claimed rights to land, no private propertyVillage council allocated land to clan membersSex and gender relationsMen undertook heavy labor, herding,Women were responsible for child rearing, domestic chores, farmingMen monopolized public authority but women could be leadersWomen enjoyed high honor as the source of lifeMany societies were matrilineal; aristocratic women influenced public affairsWomen merchants commonly traded at marketsSometimes women organized all-female military unitsIslam did little to curtail women's opportunities in sub-Saharan AfricaAge gradesPublicly recognized "age grades" or "age sets"Assumed responsibilities and tasks appropriate to their age gradesComing of age ceremonies and secret societies restricted by age, gender
15 FIRST AFRICAN CIVILIZATIONS Egyptian History, c BCE to 525 BCEPre-history dominated by small city-states along NileOld KingdomMenes- Narmer united Upper/Lower EgyptPyramid building era; pharaohs considered divineMiddle Kingdom2nd Illness saw Semitic invasion: HyksosNew Kingdom saw rise of empire3rd Illness saw invasions by Kush, Assyrians, Sea PeoplesEventually ruled by Persians, Greeks, Romans, ByzantinesKush in Upper Nile assimilates Egyptian cultureEthnically were Black AfricansAdopted many of Egyptian practices: religion, architectureRuled Egypt as 26th DynastyFamous for iron, gold tradeRemained independent until Muslim conquests
16 NILE SOCIETIES Urban elites (2%) ruled over rural masses Social ClassesPharaoh (ruler and his immediate family)Officials (Advisors, generals, soldiers, priests)Merchants and artisansPeasantsSlavesPatriarchal societies with a twistWomen were occasionally rulersWomen had rights, could own landsWere “less” than males but not oppressed
17 RELIGIONS OF THE NILE Polytheism Ahkenaton and Monotheism Extremely complex pantheon of godsDeification of natureExtremely powerful, influential priesthood with great wealthConflict of good, evilHumans judged for their actionsCult of OsirisStrong belief in afterlife, accountability for actionsMummification was but one aspect of thisRegenerative cycle of Osiris/Ra-Re/HorusAhkenaton and MonotheismAmenhotep believed there was only one GodEnded polytheism, opposed by priests; was assassinatedNubian BeliefsAdopted many Egyptian beliefsMajor focus on the sun and moon
18 WRITING Early Nile Writing Education Sub-Saharan Writing Hieroglyphics (Pictographs)Merotic Writing in NubiaGe’ez Writing in AxumEducationScribes had influenceOften attached to court or templesServices rented outScribes could advance sociallySub-Saharan WritingLacked alphabet, booksLack due to termites, lack of durable mediumDeveloped oral traditional, tribal memoriesWest African griotsMemorized history by mneumonic devicesKept all records for tribes, rulersIslam brought first alphabet to Sub-Saharan Africa
19 ECONOMICS OF NILE Economic Specialization and Trade Transportation Bronze Age arose around 17th century B.C.E.Iron Age begins around 1,000 B.C.TransportationLargely waterborne; little need for roadsOut of Nile Valley, camels and horses were commonTradeEgypt was largely self-sufficient, autarkicNet exporter of grains, foodstuffs, luxuries, paper, medicinesMost trade was based on luxury productsPapyrus, paper, medicines, herbs, finished products especially silverImports tended to be wood, gold, finished productsKush-Meroe specialized in iron, gold workingsTrade RoutesUp Nile to Kush-MeroeAcross Sinai to Fertile CresentDown Red Sea to East Africa, Southern ArabiaAcross Mediterranean to Greece, PhoeniciaLittle contact with interior of Africa
20 THE NOK CULTURE Discovered 1928 in Northern Nigeria Was it a civilization or advanced culture?Flourished 900 BCE to 200 CE on Niger-Benue RiverClearly first Sub-Saharan civilization/culturePrecursor of Bantu, West African forest peoplesKnowledge is based on archeologyIron makers and sculptorsAnimals and humans made from fired clayFigures of animals, peoples including leadersSeem to have been pastoralists, farmersCould smelt ironHave found iron tools, weapons; probably also used woodSeemed to have skipped copper, bronze agesIndigenous or borrowed from North Africa, Nile River?
21 GHANA: 1ST SUB-SAHARAN CIVILIZATION CamelsCamels came to Egypt from Arabia, 7th century B.C.E.Romans introduced them to North Africa, patrolled desertAfter 500 C.E. camels replaced horses, donkeys as transport animalsCamels' arrival quickened pace of communication across the SaharaIslamic merchants crossed the desert to trade in West AfricaEstablished relations with sub-Saharan West Africa by 8th centuryThe kingdom of GhanaKings maintained a large army of two hundred thousand warriorsA principal state of west Africa, not related to modern state of GhanaBecame the most important commercial site in west AfricaControlled gold mines, exchanged it with nomads for saltProvided gold, ivory, and slavesWanted horses, cloth, manufactured goodsBecame Islamic after its arrival.Koumbi-SalehCapital cityThriving commercial center
22 ARRIVAL OF ISLAM IN AFRICA North AfricaArab armies conquered region by early 8th Century; pushed up NileMass conversions of local inhabitants due to tax incentivesWest AfricaIntroduced by Trans-Saharan Trade routeMerchants were greatest contact with IslamLocal rulers, elites converted by 10th centuryGhana most powerful at time of introductionGave elites control of trade, many benefitsAllowed people to observe traditional beliefsNomadic Berbers in North AfricaBerbers and Arabs were bitter rivalsArabs settled coastlands, citiesBerbers lived in deserts, mountainsBerbers became puritanical Muslim, ShiaBerber fanatics invaded Ghana, MoroccoGhana weakened, fell 10th century CEElite religion vs. common practicesMost people remained polytheists especially outside of cities, townsProduced syncretic blend such as accommodation of African gender normsAfter conversion by elites, old beliefs remained; part of inherited traditionsReligion introduced writing, literary traditions
23 KINGDOM OF MALI Mandike Peoples Ghana was established by Mandika After fall of Ghana, Mandika established many small statesMost people were not Muslims but merchants wereSundiataAfter Ghana dissolved, political leadership shifted to Mali empire, a Mandika stateThe lion prince was immortalized in the book the Sundiata (reigned ) built the Mali empireRuling elites, families converted to Islam after his deathThe Mali empire and tradeControlled gold, salt; taxed almost all trade passing through west AfricaEnormous caravans linked Mali to north AfricaBesides Niani, many prosperous cities on caravan routesMansa MusaSundiata's grand nephew, reigned from 1312 to 1337 –Peak of powerMade his pilgrimage to Mecca inGargantuan caravan of thousand soldiers and attendantsGold devalued 25% in Cairo during his visitMansa Musa and IslamUpon return to Mali, built mosquesSent students to study with Islamic scholars in North AfricaEstablished Islamic schools in MaliThe decline of MaliFactions crippled the central governmentRise of province of Gao as rival to MaliMilitary pressures from neighboring kingdoms, desert nomads
24 SONGHAI EMPIRE Origins Rise Zenith Fall Sorko fishermen of Niger became merchantsJoined Gao state (part of Malian Empire)Mali could never collect taxes from GaoRiseSonni Ali the Great build cavalry, war fleetDisputed Mali, conquer TimbuktuAnti-Muslim: saw them as a threatZenithAskia Muhammad seized power after Sonni’s deathDevout Muslim, promoted Islam; launched jihadsVisited Cairo, Mecca; promoted Songhai to MuslimsDeclared Caliph of the SudanBuilt centralized state using Muslim jurists as advisorsTradition and TradeMaintained tribal rituals of sacred drum, sacred fire, dressPrivileged caste craftsmen; slaves important in agricultureTraded kola nuts, gold, slaves for horses, salt, luxuries, finished goodsFallCivil war erupted in 16th centuryDemographic ChangesDrought, desertification hurt economyDiseases spreadMoroccan Empire invades and destroys state in order to control gold trade
25 KANEM-BORNU Origins Islam and Trade A Change Situated north east of Lake Chad.In 11th century, Sefawa dynasty was establishedShift in lifestyleFrom entirely nomadic to pastoralist way of life with agricultureState became more centralized with capital at Njimi; maintained large cavalryIslam and TradeKanem converted to Islam under Hu or Hawwa ( ).Faith was not widely embraced until the 13th century.Muslim traders played a role in bringing Islam to KanemWealth of Kanem derived from ability of rulers to control tradeMain exports were ostrich feathers, slaves and ivory; imported horses, luxuriesExports were crucial to their power, ability to dominate neighborsA ChangeCombination of overgrazing, dynastic uncertainties, attacks from neighborsRulers of Kanem to move to Borno, state now referred to as Kanem-BornoNew contacts with Hausa of Nigeria; capital becomes center of knowledge, tradeArmy modernized by trade with Muslim, Turks: acquired firearmsDecline was long, gradual and peaceful: fell in the 19th century
26 SLAVERY Slavery in Africa Slave trading Most slaves were captives of war, debtors, criminalsKept for local use or sold in slave marketsOften used as domestic laborers especially agricultural workersGenerally not a social stigma attachedSlaves could receive freedom, become part of family, tribeChildren born to slaves were not slavesSlave tradingSlave trade increased after the 11th century CEPrimary marketsAcross Sahara to North Africa and Egypt and ultimately ArabiaOut of East Africa to Arabia and Middle EastIn some years, 10 to 12 thousand slaves shipped out of AfricaMales preferred, could also act as carriers of trade goods10 million slaves transported by Islamic trade between 750/1500Demand for slaves outstripped supply from eastern EuropeOriginal slaves preferred in Muslim world were Caucasian SlavsWord “slave” comes from SlavSlave raids against smaller states, stateless societiesMuslims could not be used as slaves (Quran) yet often ignored
27 EARLY AFRICAN RELIGION Creator godRecognized by almost all African peoplesCreated the earth and humankind, source of world orderLesser gods and spiritsOften associated with natural features, forces in worldParticipated actively in the workings of the worldBelieved in ancestors' souls influencing material worldDivinersMediated between humanity and supernatural beingsCalled shamans and inappropriately “witch doctors”Interpreted the cause of the people's misfortuneUsed medicine or rituals to eliminate problemsAfrican religion was not theological, but practicalReligion to placate the gods, ask for assistance, cures, fertilityPublic celebrations inc. dancing, singing formed communityGenders honored different deities, had separate ceremonies
28 EARLY EAST AFRICAN HISTORY Early visitors to east AfricaEgyptians visited, traded with areaFamous expedition of Hatshepshut to PuntIndian, Persian visited after 500 B.C.E.Greeks, Romans called area AzaniaMalays established colonies on MadagascarKingdom of Axum (Aksum)Sabeans of Yemen created AxumArose in highlands of EthiopiaTrading state across Bab el Mandeb straitsTribute empire on land; trade gold, frankincense, myrrh, food, ivoryBuilt stone structures, issued own coinsEventually became Monophysite ChristianKing Ezana converted and court followed in early 4th centuryDeveloped Ge’ez language, writing in association with ChristianityMaintained strong contacts with EgyptTraded with Romans, Byzantines, Persians, Indians, ArabsBy 2nd century: Bantus populated much of East AfricaBy 7th century: Arab merchants begin to visitBy 8th century: Muslim armies, merchants push up Nile
29 THE SWAHILI CITY-STATES Intermarriage of the Bantu and the Arab produced SwahiliAn Arabic term, meaning "coasters"Dominated east African coast from Mogadishu to SofalaSwahili is a Bantu language mixed with ArabicThe Swahili city-statesChiefs gained power through taxing trade on portsDeveloped into city-states ruled by kings, 11th-12th centuriesControlled trade from interior: slaves, gold, ivory, spicesExchanged goods for finished goods, cloths, dyes, luxuriesCraftsmen, artisans, clerks were MuslimsSlaves used for domestic, agricultureZanzibar clove plantations needed slavesKilwaOne of the busiest city-statesMultistory stone buildings, mosques, schoolsIssued copper coins from the 13th centuryBy 15th century, exported ton of gold per yearMerchants from India, China, Arabia visitedIslam in East AfricaRuling elite and wealthy merchants converted to Islamic faithConversion promoted close cooperation with Muslim merchantsConversion also opened door to political alliances with Muslim rulers
30 ZIMBABWE South Central Africa Zimbabwe Wooded and grass savannahs Rich in minerals especially copper, goldBantu herders, ironsmiths found it wonderfulZimbabweA powerful kingdom of Central Africa arose in 13th centuryFrom 5th centuries C.E. built wooden residences known as zimbabweBy the 9th century began to build stone zimbabweMagnificent stone complex known as Great Zimbabwe, the 12th century18,000 people lived in Great Zimbabwe in the late 15th centuryKings and wealthOrganized flow of gold, ivoryTrade include slavesCounted wealth in cattle, tooTraded with Swahili city-states
31 CHRISTIANITY IN AFRICA Early Christianity in North AfricaChristianity reached Africa during 1st century C.E.St. Mark converted Egypt, spread up NileRomans introduced faith to North AfricaNorth Africa was home to many heresiesArianism = Jesus was humanMonophysites = Jesus had one natureDonatists = Apostate Christians could not returnVandal German settlers were Arian ChristiansByzantine conquest returned north to CatholicsRegion had no influence on sub-Saharan AfricanMonophysite Christianity along the NileBelieved Christ had one nature, largely divinePersecuted; declared heresy by ChalcedonThe Christian kingdoms of Nubia and Axum1st Christian kingdom, 4th century C.E.,Nubians of Kush also became ChristianBoth adopted Monophysite form of ChristianityEthiopian and Nubian ChristianityHad little contact with Christians of other landsShared basic Christian theology/rituals, kept African pointsIsolated, attacked by Islam