Ancient African Kingdoms Ghana, Mali, Songhai


Ghana mainly consisted of flat savannah grasslands with little evevation. Ghana had a flourishing trade system in which included the trading of slaves in and out of the country, gold, and salt. Ghana controlled the Trans-Sahara Trade Route that Ghana taxed traders for using and quickly became rich. Their first king Dinga Cisse ruled from 300-1100 C.E. Ghana's government was a fuedal government in which there were local rulers whom paid tribute, but ruled how they wanted, to the high king. Griots were storytellers from Ghana whom mainly told stories about Anansi The Spider. overall Ghana cared about its people and made laws to show that. Ghana is still a small country today.


Beginning as a province in Ghana, Mali, under Sundiata Keita, eventually took over Ghana and became a powerful empire. Having a similar geography to Ghana, Mali resided in a flat savannah grassland just south of the Sahara. Mali began as a polytheistic empire but gained religious freedom, however was mainly Muslim. Mali lasted from 1235 C.E. to 1600 C.E. Mali's government had an overall emperor called the Mansa and the provinces which made up the empire were ruled by governers called Ferbas. Ancient Mali was made up of tribes called the Mande people. Mali reached its peak under Mansa Musa in 1324. Mansa Musa, whom was fascinated with knowledge, built the University of Timbuktu in a city on the Trans-Sahara Trade Route. Adding to just trade, Mali ruled multiple gold and salt mines. Mali is a fairly large country today.


Songhai, much like Mali, began as a small fishing community in Mali that was required to pay taxes. However, Songhai refused and slowly, during Mali's downfall, Songhai took over Mali. The Songhai Empire resided along the Niger River and south of the Sahara. Songhai lasted from 1464 to 1591. Songhai's first leader was Sunni Ali whom declared himself prince over the five provinces, each led by a governer, that made up Songhai. In 1493, Islam became an important part of Songhai's culture under the new leader, Askia Muhammad. Songhai was very active in slave trade and also controlled most gold and salt trade. Present day songhai is now in Nigeria.

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Created with images by wwarby - "Superb Starling" • atvowles - "SDC13697" • Yenkassa - "National Colors" • Marco Bellucci - "Mosque of Kani Bonzon" • - "Mali 382"

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