African Kingdoms Becca mosely

map of ancient ghana

KINGDOM OF GHANA c. 400 - 1200

  • ghana is hot and humid with lots of rivers, lakes, and creeks.
  • ancient ghana mostly focused on islamic beliefs
  • shipped nearly six million slaves to neighboring countries starting in the 1100s
  • also traded gold, salt, sheep, cattle, leather, and honey to the north and east
  • mostly spoke the soninke language
  • ghana was very wealthy
  • in ghana, there is over 100 ethnic groups, mostly consisting of akan, moshi-dagbani, ewe, and ga
  • family is very important
  • ancient ghana fell due to invasion, overgrazing, and rebellion
  • currently, ghana has a population of roughly 25,758,108
  • (current) mostly christian
  • (current) known for hand carved stools, fertility dolls, and kente cloth
accra, capital of current ghana
hope city, ghana
map of ancient mali

KINGDOM OF MALI c. 1235 CE - 1600 CE

  • mali is hot and dry in the north and hot and humid in the south
  • ancient mali was 98% muslim and 2% christian
  • from about 1502 - 1590, mali shipped slaves to neighboring countries
  • mali also traded lots of gold through the sahara to the north african coast
  • sundiata united the tribes to create mali
  • the downfall of mali began when mansa musa went on his pilgrimage to mecca and he brought gold to give out. people then realized how rich mali was and they attacked them
  • mali used castes
  • farmers were highly respected since they grew all of the food
  • freedom of religion
  • (current) independence from france in 1960
  • (current) surplus of food and cotton, which they trade to most of africa
river in mali
mali landscape
map of ancient songhai

KINGDOM OF SONGHAI c. 1464 - 1591

  • ancient songhai was mostly muslim
  • used slaves to transport goods across the sahara desert to morocco and to the middle east
  • slaves were sold to work in america and europe, too
  • slaves were mostly prisoners of war
  • songhai traded kola nuts, gold, ivory, slaves, spices, palm oil, and precious woods in exchange for salt, cloth, arms, horses, and copper
  • sunni ali brought power to the kingdom
  • conquered much of the nearby regions including important trading cities like timbuktu and djenne
  • morocco invaded songhai in 1591
  • have mansas
  • large military
  • religious freedom
  • (current niger) ranked one of the most underdeveloped countries in 2015
  • (current) lack of food supplies, but have a good amount of oil
  • (current) mostly muslim
songhai sculpture
woman from songhai
map of ancient benin

KINGDOM OF BENIN c. 1440 - 1897

  • hot and humid with lots of mountains and marshy lands
  • ancient benin mostly used a traditional religion that later evolved into islam and christianity
  • benin did not export male slaves
  • slaves were shipped everywhere
  • slaves were treated very fairly and you could earn your way out
  • benin negotiated with their traders fr hours up to months
  • if anyone stole the goods when they were being traded, benin closed off trade until the goods were returned or replaced by the theives
  • the british conquered benin
  • no written language
  • invented a lot of clever items
  • farmers were highly respected
  • believed in voodoo
  • everyone was taught how to fight
  • no school
  • lots of festivals
  • (current) many ethnic groups
  • (current) mostly muslim
  • (current) one of the smallest countries in africa; underdeveloped
river in benin
cultural mask


  • “Ghana Religion.” Ghana Religion,
  • Diarra, Lilian. “Ghana's Slave Castles: The Shocking Story of the Ghanaian Cape Coast.” Culture Trip, 26 Mar. 2014,
  • “Trade & Investment.” Ghana High Commission
  • “Home.” Ghana - Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette,
  • “Ancient Mali Gold Trade Routes.” Ancient Mali Trade Routes vs. European Trade Routes,
  • “Ancient Africa for Kids.” Ducksters Educational Site,
  • “Mali Country Profile.” BBC News, BBC, 1 Sept. 2016,
  • “The World Factbook: NIGER.” Central Intelligence Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, 12 Jan. 2017,
  • “The Benin Empire and Slave Trade - A History Lesson in 5 Minutes (Compiled by Bolaji Aluko).” NigerianMuse, 29 Aug. 2009,
  • “Ancient AfricanKingdom of Benin.” The Fascinating Kingdom of Benin - Ancient Africa for Kids,
Created By
Becca Mosely


Created with images by D-Stanley - "Portuguese Church" • Marco Bellucci - "Mosque of Kani Bonzon" • D-Stanley - "Tofinu People on Lake Nokoue" • aburak - "brussels belgium city"

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