medieval africa. geography africa is the world’s second largest continent
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- MEDIEVAL AFRICA
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- GEOGRAPHY Africa is the worlds second largest continent.
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- Savannas cover the largest area of Africa.
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- North and south of the savannas are deserts. Sahara to the north and the Kalahari in the south. These large seas of sand, blocked trade for many years.
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- The Sahara is the worlds largest desert.
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- Almost all of Africa, except for the coastal plains, rests on a plateau. A plateau is an area of high land.
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- The Niger River runs through West Africa and gave rise to several civilizations. The Nile and Niger Rivers both had civilizations grow up along their banks.
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- The rich soil along the Niger River grows many crops and gave rise to several civilizations. The Niger River also helped unite the region as merchants and travelers spread good and ideas up and down the river.
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- QUESTION Why is the Niger River important?
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- The Bantu were early Africans who moved throughout the continent. The Sahara desert prevented them from moving into North Africa. AFRICAN TRADING EMPIRES
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- BERBERS Around 400 B.C. North Africans known as Berbers moved across the Sahara and into West Africa. The Berbers transported goods across the hot desert, thus opening trade routes.
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- THE EMPIRE OF GHANA
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- GHANA Traders in caravans brought salt and cloth to West Africa for gold and ivory.
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- GHANA When I say Ghana you say Gold!
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- GHANA The first empire to arise in West Africa was Ghana. Ghana rose to power in 400 A.D. Ghana was located on a major trade route and was rich with gold, but had no salt to preserve their food.
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- TIMELINE 300 A.D.400 A.D.570 A.D. Roman Empire divided into two Ghana rises to power Prophet Muhammad born
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- GHANA Trading gold for salt made Ghana very wealthy. Ghana was also powerful because of its big army with iron weapons.
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- GHANA Ghanas power eventually declined as new gold mines were discovered outside the empire. In addition, heavy farming robbed the soil of minerals and made it harder to grow crops.
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- GHANA Government of Ghana The king ruled with absolute authority over all the provinces.
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- QUESTION What two items were traded in Ghana? Why was Ghana so powerful?
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- MALI In the 1200s, the kingdom of Mali conquered Ghana.
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- MALI West African griots or storytellers give credit to the great warrior-king named Sundiata Keita Lion Prince for capturing Ghana in 1240.
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- He also conquered the city of Timbuktu, making Malis empire even larger than Ghanas.
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- MALI Malis greatest king was Mansa Musa. He led a huge pilgrimage to Mecca that helped put West Africa on the map.
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- MALI Mali decreased in power after the death of Mansa Musa.
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- QUESTION Which great warrior king seized Ghana? (Sunidata Keita or Mansa Musa)
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- SONGHAI In1468, Sunni Ali, leader of the Songhai, conquered Timbuktu and drove out the Berbers by controlling economic resources. By the time of his death, Sunni Ali had built the largest empire in West Africa.
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- SONGHAI In 1591, a small army from Morocco crossed the Sahara armed with cannons and guns easily cut down Songhai soldiers armed with swords, spears, and bows. Within months, Songhais empire was gone.
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- QUESTION Which ruler of Songhai helped build the largest empire in West Africa?
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- GHANA SONGHAI MALI
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- Many traditional African religions were similar to Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. How? TRADITIONAL AFRICAN RELIGION
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- One supreme god
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- Ibn Buttuta was a Muslim lawyer from Morocco. He traveled through out the Muslim world for 30 years. When he got to Africa Islam had been there for hundreds of years, but not everyone accepted Islam. He was amazed that West Africans studied the Quran. ISLAM
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- Mansa Musa ISLAM The great Muslim Mali king, Mansa Musa, allowed people to practice their own religion, but was devoted to making Islam stronger.
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- ISLAM In 1324, Mansa Musa made his famous pilgrimage to Mecca and thus brought attention to the kingdom of Mali. While in Mecca, Mansa Musa convinced some of Islams finest architects, teachers, and writers to accompany him back to Mali. He brought: Thousands of people, 100 pack camels carrying gold,
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- Islam also influenced African art and buildings. ISLAM
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- Africans who accepted Islam also accepted Islamic laws and ideas. ISLAMS IMPACT
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- Islam also advanced learning with the creation of Muslim schools. ISLAMS IMPACT
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- The Arabic language quickly spread across the continent. It also influenced art and buildings (mosques and palaces. ISLAMS IMPACT
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- AFRICAN CULTURE
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- We are almost a nation of dancers, musicians, and poets.
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- Enslaved Africans developed rich cultures that influenced many other cultures, including their own.
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- AFRICAN ART Cave paintings are the earliest form of African art we know about.
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- AFRICAN ART Woodcarvers made masks and statues to celebrate African religious beliefs.
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- AFRICAN ART Kente cloth of West Africa
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- AFRICAN MUSIC AND DANCE Drums, horns, flutes, or banjos were used to keep the beat.
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- AFRICAN MUSIC AND DANCE Africans believed that dance allowed spirits to express to themselves.
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- AFRICAN MUSIC AND DANCE They used dance to celebrate important events such as birth and death. Individual dancers leaped and twirled while drummers sounded in the background/
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- AFRICAN MUSIC AND DANCE African slaves used music to remember their homeland.
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- AFRICAN MUSIC AND DANCE Many types of music came out of their hard times and hopes for freedom. Blues, gospel, ragtime, jazz, rock and roll, and rap all came from Africa.
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- AFRICAN STORYTELLING African storytellers passed down their stories to younger generations. African griots also told their stories
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