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Kingdoms of Africa.

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Presentation on theme: "Kingdoms of Africa."— Presentation transcript:

1 Kingdoms of Africa

2 Resources of Africa Africa is a land of great beauty and resources. Some of the resources that come from Africa are; rubber, gold, wheat, copper and cotton. Return

3 Did you know? Africa is one of the earth’s seven continents. It is the second largest continent. The earliest evidence of human beings comes from Africa. Many great cultures developed here.

4 African Society -Did you know?
During the middle ages, most of African society was organized into villages. The villages were small and most villagers were related. Most of the people in the villages were either farmers or herders.

5 African Government-Did you know?
The villages were often governed by a tribal council, which was made up of older men who had gained the respect of their village. Disputes and arguments were settled by the tribal council, who often spent many days discussing their decisions until everyone agreed.

6 Government In the large trading states, kings who were considered to be descended from gods, ruled the people.

7 African Religion Did you know?
African villagers believed that an all powerful god created the world and set down the rules that people should follow. This god, or Supreme Spirit, taught the first Africans how to fish, hunt, plant, make tools and weave. Then he went back to live in the sky.

8 Religion They believed that this supreme spirit was too great to pray to, so they worshipped lesser gods that lived in natural objects like water, fire, trees and rocks. These were the gods that they would pray to when they wanted favors. They also prayed to their ancestors. They believed that the dead ancestors could help them by speaking to the supreme spirit.

9 African Religion Did you know?
Last of all, every village also had a diviner. The diviner could call on the gods to ask questions and answer prayers.

10 Africa was the home of 5 great civilizations; Ethiopia, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Mali and Songhai.


12 The Kingdom of Ghana - Gold for salt trade – In Africa, south of the Sahara desert, salt was very important but hard to find. In hot climates people need salt in their bodies to keep from dehydrating. Salt also preserves food, especially meat, and seasons it. So, this gold for salt trade developed in the middle ages.

13 It worked like a triangle
It worked like a triangle. Arab traders loaded their camels with beautiful silks, cottons and leather goods. They traveled to North Africa to trade these items for salt. There was plenty of salt in North Africa. Then, the Arabs took the salt to West Africa where they traded it for gold. Since the Kingdom of Ghana was in the middle of all this trading, they controlled it. Both sides of Africa - north and south - paid Ghana a tribute to handle the trades. Although Ghana never owned gold and salt mines, they controlled the trade between the kingdoms and got rich

14 Then, with the arrival of camel trains, the caravans, the Kingdom of Ghana expanded their control to include trade with the foreigners. They traded gold for spices and other luxury goods as well as salt. Eventually, Ghana and other countries along the coast became known as the Gold coast. Salt mine At the end of the eleventh century, Muslims attacked Ghana and this invasion caused the gold for salt trade to end. Ghana lost its power.

15 Ghana became a rich and powerful nation, especially when the camel began to be used as a source of transport. Ghana relied on trade and trade was made faster and bigger with the use of the camel.

16 Islamic Mosque in Ghana travel/ghana/ After 700 AD, the religion of Islam began to spread over northern Africa. Followers of this religion are called Muslims. Muslim warriors came into Ghana and fought with the non-Islamic people there. This weakened the great civilization of Ghana. Local warriors then decided to break away from Ghana and form their own kingdoms. This ended many of the trade networks. It also eventually weakened the civilization of Ancient Ghana. Return

17 Ethiopia

18 Ethiopia is considered an area of one of the oldest human settlements.

19 Lucy is considered the world’s oldest, most complete, and best preserved adult fossil.

20 Nubian Pyramids

21 The Land of Ethiopia For many centuries, the people and culture of Ancient Ethiopia were a mystery to the world. Even the Ancient Greeks wrote about an advanced culture that was mostly unknown to other civilizations of the time.

22 A frankincense tree. The resin was used to make good smelling incense.
Ancient Ethiopia was a great kingdom that produced many resources like gold, ivory, copper, frankincense and ebony. Ethiopia was also known as Kush. The name Ethiopia is Greek –aithiopia- “burnt face” = Ethiopian A frankincense tree. The resin was used to make good smelling incense. Return

23 Little was known about the culture
Little was known about the culture. They did not write down their history until late in ancient times. They were also isolated geographically. Outside people would need to cross harsh desert or many waterfalls, called cataracts, to reach Ethiopia. Nubian Hieroglyphs Cursive Version T I K N W D Ethiopian, or Nubian writing was similar to Egyptian writing but developed into a completely separate language later in time.

24 Mali

25 Mali gained control of the gold for salt trade
Mali gained control of the gold for salt trade. It was a large kingdom south of Ghana. A powerful king named Sundiata ruled this area from around AD. He led the people in conquering and expanding his kingdom to be as great as Ghana had been. Perhaps the greatest king of Mali was Mansa Musa ( ). He developed the gold and salt trade of Mali and his kingdom became very powerful and rich.

26 Mansa Musa was a Muslim, meaning he followed the religion of Islam
Mansa Musa was a Muslim, meaning he followed the religion of Islam. He built many beautiful mosques in western Africa.

27 In 1324 Mansa Musa made a pilgrimage ( a journey to a holy place) to Mecca, which is a holy city in Arabia, with 60,000 servants and followers and 80 camels carrying more than 4,000 pounds of gold to be distributed among the poor. Of the 12,000 servants 500 carried a staff of pure gold. This showed his power and wealth to the other people he visited.

28 When Mansa Musa died there were no kings as powerful as he was to follow. The great kingdom of Mali weakened. Eventually a group of people known as Berbers came into the area and other people came up from the south to claim territory that was once part of the kingdom. Although Mali fell, another advanced African kingdom took its place, the kingdom of Songhai. The Berbers still live in North Africa. This picture, taken in 1893, shows a Berber group. Return

29 Songhai

30 Songhai was a strong Muslim kingdom
Songhai was a strong Muslim kingdom. The first great ruler of Songhai was named Sonni Ali. Sonni Ali sent warriors to march on landlocked cities like Timbuktu and another city called Jenne. Soon, the kingdom grew larger than Mali and Ghana. It kept growing until it was the largest kingdom in all of West Africa.

31 Eventually, Songhai controlled the gold mines in the south and the salt mines in the north. At its height, Songhai stretched over 2,000 miles.

32 Sunni Ali died in 1492 CE. His son took over the rule of Songhai but he did not accept Islam as a religion. Islam was accepted as a religion by many people in northern Africa. One of Sunni Ali’s generals, named Muhammad Ture, overthrew the new king and made himself king of Songhai. Ture was a Muslim and so he made Islam the religion of his kingdom. This is a photo of a mosque in western Africa. Many mosques were built of local materials.

33 Songhai remained a rich and strong kingdom under Muhammad Ture’s rule.
It had a complex government centered in the city of Gao, and great centers of learning. But later rulers were not as powerful.

34 The Fall of Songhai – By 1590, Songhai began a civil war
The Fall of Songhai – By 1590, Songhai began a civil war. Just like Ghana and Mali, the wealth and power of Songhai began to fade and in 1591 the Moroccan army invaded. The Songhai were defeated because the Moroccans had a new weapon, the gun, and the army of Songhai did not. After that, the kingdom of Songhai split up into small, independent states. This led to the fall of Songhai.

35 Silk, Ceramics, Beads, Islam from Europe and Asia
All three kingdoms of West Africa relied on trade for their strength and wealth.. Salt Timbuktu Gao Jenne Gold, Ivory, Wood, Slaves Coming into West Africa Coming from Africa and going to Europe and Asia

36 Zimbabwe

37 Zimbabwe means house of stone, which comes from the language of the Shona people, who were expert stone builders or masons.

38 They knew how to build stone walls without using mortar, which is cement that glues bricks together. Zimbabwe was a powerful kingdom for hundreds of years because this area had precious minerals like gold and iron and many people came to trade the gold, iron and ivory. All the trading along the east coast of Africa united the people and as a result, East Africans developed a language known as Swahili, which is an African language mixed with Arabic words.

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