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Africa In the Medieval Period. Africa is the 2 nd largest continent on Earth.

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Presentation on theme: "Africa In the Medieval Period. Africa is the 2 nd largest continent on Earth."— Presentation transcript:

1 Africa In the Medieval Period

2 Africa is the 2 nd largest continent on Earth

3 Climate Sahara – Sahel – Savannah – Rain forests – Northern African Desert A strip of land dividing the desert from wetter areas Open grasslands with scattered trees Moist, densely wooded areas

4 Sahel Savannah Sahara Rainforest What impacts Africa’s Climates?

5 5 regions of Africa

6 Sub-Sahara Africa Why is Sub Sahara Africa isolated? 1.It was almost impossible to cross without modern transportation. 2. Both the sub-Saharan Africans and the people north of the desert were fearful of venturing into the ocean. 3.The tsetse flies that live on the edge of the desert carry deadly diseases.

7 Traditional African Religion ANIMISM 1.Belief in one remote Supreme Being. 2. A world of spirits (good & bad) in all things. 3. Ancestor veneration 4. Belief in magic, charms, and fetishes. 5. Diviner  mediator between the tribe and God.

8 Griot (Gree-oh) Storytellers –Hereditary caste –Entertain people with stories, poems, songs, dances, etc.  Keep oral histories of the tribe or village Griot Video

9 Most important people to early West Africans? Extended families Age-sets Griots Ancestors

10 Africa’s Mineral Resources Salt in the North Gold in the South  Trade created empires Ghana & Mali

11 Empire of Ghana (A.D. 700-1100) Ghana – 1 st Empire –Control trading routes –Powerful armies gain lands Decline –Muslim Invasion, overgrazing & internal rebellion

12 Empire of Mali (1230-1550) Mali – 2nd Empire –Sundiata conquered Ghana –Converts to Islam to appease traders –Controls trade routes Decline: poor leadership, empire too large –Kingdom of Songhai eventually overtakes Mali –Morroccans eventually overpower and destroy Songhai

13 Mansa Musa (MAHN-sah moo-SAH) Mali’s most famous Muslim ruler Sundiata’s grandson Went on pilgrimage to Mecca –Handed out gold Value dropped 10%-15% Introduced the Mali Empire to the world

14 Ghana & Mali Similarities  Both empires developed due to the Niger River  Food was plentiful  Major trading centers because trade routes passed through the empires

15 Islamic Cultural Growth Trans-Saharan trade –Berbers (North Africans) brought Islamic religion –Trade eventually controlled by Muslims Brought growth in –Islamic beliefs –Ethics –Laws

16 Why Islam? Merchants and traders in West Africa saw many advantages in converting to Islam. Literacy spread because belief in Islam encourages Muslims to learn the Quran. Many Muslims speak Arabic, the language of the Quran. In time, Arabic became the common language of the merchants and traders of West Africa. Strict Muslims follow Islamic law. It is easier to solve disputes when both parties agree on the laws. Conversion to Islam opened up new trading possibilities across North Africa and in Arabia. Many Muslims journey to Mecca at least once. This encouraged them to meet new people and discover new cultures.

17 Timbuktu Timbuktu was at the end of the camel caravan route that linked sub-Saharan Africa to North Africa and Arabia Gold, kola nuts, ivory, and salt! Mansa Musa’s Mosque Today it is a shadow of it’s former self.

18 Islamic Kingdoms – East Africa Indian Ocean trade and East Africa –Swahili language –The city-state: Zimbabwe –Trade: gold, slaves, ivory, and exotics for Muslim pottery, textiles, and glass

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