Ancient African Kingdoms Jack Dorolek

Ghana

Map of Ghana
  • hot and dry climate, tropical along coast
  • borders Gulf of Guinea
  • contains Lake Volta, which is the largest lake on the planet
  • highest point, Mount Afadjato, rises 2,887 feet
  • north region is covered by low, bush savannas and scattered, grassy plains
  • in 1960 Muslim was the main religion, but now Christianity takes up 74% while Islam takes up 18%
  • around 6.3 slaves were shipped from Western Africa to North and South Africa to benefit other societies
  • about 5,000 slaves a year were shipped from the Gold Coast
  • controlled all of West Africa's trade routes by 800 AD with the help of a strong army
  • became wealthy by taxing traders while trading gold, salt, sheep, cattle, honey, leather, and cloth
  • used silent bartering to keep gold mine locations a secret
  • trade allowed Ghana to expand and spread beliefs
  • started after 300 AD by the Soninkes
  • reached peak under Tunka Manin
  • fell in the 1200's due to invasion, overgrazing, and rebellions
  • over 100 ethnic groups
  • main language today is English
  • well-known for hand-carved tools, fertility dolls, and kente cloth
  • family is important and shows identity, loyalty, and responsibility
  • currently a republic, led by John Dramani Mahama
  • multiparty political system with a new, U.S. based constitution
Flag of Ghana

Works Cited

  • http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/africa/ghana/ghland.htm
  • https://my.vanderbilt.edu/f13afdevfilm/2013/09/religion-in-ghana/
  • http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/history/slave-trade.php
  • History Textbook
  • http://www.commisceo-global.com/country-guides/ghana-guide
  • http://thecommonwealth.org/our-member-countries/ghana/constitution-politics

Mali

Map of Mali
  • savanna grassland that rolls over high plateaus
  • around 65% is covered by desert (hot and dry)
  • highest point, Hombori Tondo, rises 3,789 feet
  • Niger River
  • 98% Muslim
  • controlled trade all across the Sahara
  • slave trade helped the food surplus
  • agriculture advancements allowed them to grow and trade beans, onions, rice, and cotton, along with gold and salt
  • rose to power under Sundiata
  • gained wealth, power, and fame under their most famous ruler, Mansa Musa
  • in 1324 Mansa Musa left Mali on a pilgrimage to Mecca
  • by the 1500's the empire crashed due to poor leadership
  • population composed of many ethnic groups
  • French is the official language
  • music plays a key role
  • democracy today led by Ibrahim Boubacar Keita
  • many terrorists acts and droughts today
Flag of Mali

Works Cited

  • http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/africa/mali/mlland.htm
  • https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/may/03/mali-war-religious-faultlines
  • http://jjcweb.jjay.cuny.edu/history/worldspring09/mali.html
  • History Textbook
  • http://www.our-africa.org/mali/people-culture
  • http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-13881370

Songhai

Map of Songhai
  • landforms- rainforest, Niger River, Sahara Desert, and the grasses of the savanna
  • hot and wet from May to October
  • cold and dry from November to February
  • main religion is Islam
  • trusted slaves to not overthrow there rulers and to proved unbiased advice
  • traded with people all across Sahara to Morocco and the Middle East
  • exchanged gold, salt, copper, iron, kola nuts, and cloth
  • trade was vital for economic growth and political stability of Songhai
  • rebelled in the 1400's to get freedom
  • expansion led by Sunni Ali who became ruler in 1464
  • Muhammad Ture led rebellion against Sunni Baru and later gained the title, Askia the Great
  • Moroccan army set out in 1591 and destroyed the empire
  • blend of traditional West African beliefs
  • daily life based on teachings of Islam
  • language was Songhay
  • lived in large families
  • millet was the main part of their diet
  • men generally wear trousers and loose-fitting shirts
  • parents see formal schooling as a loss
  • system set up in provinces
  • dynastic
  • organized by a caste system
Flag of Songhai

Works Cited

  • http://songhaiempire1.weebly.com/geography.html
  • https://ancientafricah.wikispaces.com/Songhai%27s+religion
  • http://www.sahistory.org.za/topic/songhai-african-empire-15-16th-century
  • History Textbook
  • http://www.ducksters.com/history/africa/songhai_empire.php
  • http://www.everyculture.com/wc/Japan-to-Mali/Songhay.html
  • http://ic.galegroup.com/ic/whic/ReferenceDetailsPage/ReferenceDetailsWindow?zid=a23cd7c68785f1a4a851d0f82857f5e6&action=2&catId=&documentId=GALE%7CCX3048600061&userGroupName=seat24826&jsid=5c6cbc46bafc38b2b6a3b52ffad

Zimbabwe

Map of Zimbabwe
  • tropical climate
  • Manfungabusa plateau covers most of Zimbabwe
  • average elevation is 4,500 feet
  • monotheistic religion with a god named Mwari
  • no slave trade in Zimbabwe
  • economy based on cattle husbandry, crop cultivation, and the trade of gold
  • Zimbabwe means "stone houses"
  • abandoned in the 15th century
  • wealthy lived in large, stone homes while the poor lived in mud huts
  • Robert Mugabe is currently president
  • population of around 14 million
Flag of Zimbabwe

Works Cited

  • http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/africa/zimbabwe/zwland.htm
  • http://www.victoriafalls-guide.net/
  • www.afrik-news.com/article18317.html
  • https://www.britannica.com/place/Great-Zimbabwe
  • www.ushistory.org/civ17d.asp
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Jack Dorolek
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