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Trading Kingdoms of West Africa
Kingdom of Ghana
Where was the ancient kingdom of Ghana located?
Western Africa Along Niger River
How did Ghana’s location lead to wealth and power?
To the north was the Sahara- a source of salt. Ghana had gold. Trade and control of salt and gold trade routes made Ghana powerful and wealthy.
How did the religion of Islam reach Ghana?
Arab traders and the Almoravids attacked Ghana in an attempt to force Ghana’s leaders to convert to Islam.
Kingdom of Mali
Why is Sundiata famous? As Mali’s ruler, he won back his country’s independence and conquered many kingdoms.
Why did Mansa Musa travel to Mecca?
As a Muslim, it was his spiritual duty to make a hajj to Mecca.
How did Masna Musa travel to Mecca?
With a huge number of guards and attendants, along with camels carrying comforts, luxury, and bagsful of gold nuggets, Mansa Musa set out across the desert towards Mecca (walking and with a few camels). Along the way, everywhere he went, he freely gave away gold. You can imagine the excitement he generated as he traveled from one oasis to the next. To reduce the likelihood of a takeover, he had brought with him on his trip most of the powerful people in his kingdom. He left the army in charge.
How did Mansa Musa’s belief in Islam affect the country and people of Mali?
Mansa Musa stressed the importance of reading and writing Arabic so that people could read the Qur’an. He sent scholars to study in Morocco, and these scholars later set up schools in Mali. He also brought in artists and architects to build mosques in Mali.
Where did the Songhai people live?
Along the Niger River in the place where the Kingdom of Mali used to exist.
Do you think the fact that Askia was a Muslim affected the way that he ruled?
Possible answer—He might have encouraged education so that people could read the Qur’an.
How did slave trading change over time?
At first, black Africans owned slaves who were captured in war, were criminals, or were sold to pay debts. Gradually, Muslim traders began selling black Africans in North America Eventually, many enslaved Africans were brought to the Americas.
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