The Rise of African Civilizations
Chapter 13, Section 1, page 444
Africa’s Geography – page 445
a vast and diverse continent hot, steamy rain forests on either side of the equator tropical grasslands, known as savannas, cover most of Africa north and south of the rain forests deserts → Sahara in the north and the Kalahari and the Namib in the southwest coastal areas in the north and the south have a Mediterranean climate (mild and good for growing crops)
Africa’s Geography – page 445
The African Plateau – page 446
Much of Africa rests on a plateau (a high area of flat land). Great Rift Valley Photo: Escarpments of the Great Rift Valley. Available from:
West African Empires – page 447
Berbers camels – “the ships of the desert” trade caravans cloth salt trade led to city growth, which led to empire building
Rise of Ghana – page 448 Ghana c. A.D. 400s “crossroads of trade”
grew wealthy from the salt and gold trade traders paid taxes as they passed through military might (iron weapons, manpower) control of the goods people wanted Photo: Map of Ghana. Available from: Discovery Education.
Rise of Mali – page 448 Ghana declined in the 1200s due to warfare and poor harvests. Mali griots – African storytellers Sundiata Keita – warrior king who took control of Ghana in 1240 Photo: West African Empires. Available from: Discovery Education
Rise of the Songhai – page 449
Mali declined after the death of Mansa Musa. Songhai largest empire in West Africa in the 1500s Sunni Ali – stormed Timbuktu and threw out the Berbers decline came through technology Photo: West African Empires. Available from: Discovery Education
Kingdoms of the Rain Forest – page 450
Benin – empire in the rain forest kingdoms were shielded by the rain forests food surpluses allowed for artisans
East Africa – page 451 Axum – powerful Ethiopian city-state which owed its power to its location on the Red Sea. dhow – sailboat with a triangular sail invented by Muslims other important cities: Mogadishu, Kilwa, Mombasa, Zanzibar Great Zimbabwe – founded around A.D. 700 by the Shona people (virtual tour)
Chapter 13, Section 1 Questions
Write the following questions and then answer them. Describe the geography of Africa. Why was salt such an important commodity? Who was Sundiata Keita? What natural protection did the rain foreat kingdoms enjoy? What city-states grew as trading ports in East Africa and why were they successful?
Africa’s Government and Religion
Chapter 13, Section 2, page 460
Objectives After this lesson, students will be able to
explain how the growth of empires led to centralized governments led by kings. discuss how traditional religions and Islam shaped African cultures.
Government and Society – page 461
ruler and subject West African governments utilized central governments ruled by kings. both sides benefited
Ghana’s Government – page 461
kings relied on council of ministers lesser kings ruled provinces chieftains oversaw their clan – a group of people descended from the same ancestor tight grip on power
Mali’s Government – page 462
similar to Ghana, but on larger scale Sundiata put generals in charge of provinces. accepted because they were often from the province they ruled protected people from invaders Mansa Musa rewarded citizens with gold, land, and horses. Military heroes were awarded the “National Honor of the Trousers.” Songhai’s government was similar.
Traditional African Religions – page 463
traditional religions varied most believed in a supreme being some believed in a hierarchy of gods some believed that ancestors stayed with the community Christianity is the most widely practiced religion in Africa today. North Africa is predominantly Muslim.
Islam in Africa – page 464 Mali and Mansa Musa
Mansa Musa allowed different religions, but worked to strengthen Islam. building initiativies A.D – Mansa Musa’s hajj journey (huge production)
Songhai and Askia Muhammad – page 465
Sunni Ali – poser Muslim Muhammad Ture takes control Askia Muhammad close support for Islam Islam in East Africa Swahili – language that means “people of the coast”
African Society and Culture
Chapter 13, Section 3, page 468
Objectives After this lesson, students will be able to:
describe how the Bantu migrations spread common ideas to much of Africa. discuss how the African slave trade disrupted African society and carried African peoples and cultures around the world.
Life in Medieval Africa – page 469
Bantu – “the people” migration helped spread culture across medieval Africa spread pottery making and mining skills responsible for common ideas and traditions
Importance of Families – page 469
family was the basis of African society extended families – families made up of several generations matrilineal – traced family descent through mothers children extremely important (ancestors)
Education and Women – page 470
Children were educated by their family and other villagers. oral histories – stories passed down from generation to generation (griots) Queen Nzinga – battled the Portuguese slave trade
Slavery – page 472 slavery within Africa the European slave trade
1440s – The European slave trade was started by Portugal. African slaves harvested sugarcane originally.
African Culture – page 474 “a nation of dancers, musicians, and poets”
African art religious meaning and story telling cave paintings were the earliest art forms woodcarving and weaving also important music and dance celebrated important events enslaved Africans used music to remind them of their homeland storytelling tradition of the griots
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