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Lecture 4

HIS295H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Soninke People, Great Zimbabwe, History Of Africa

Course Code
Mac Arthur

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Medieval Africa: Political and Intellectual life
African political organization
Pre-colonial it is divided by state and stateless
The state is hierarchal, communities are linked together by a centralized ruler. Chief
leadership, autonomous clans, monarchy.
Stateless: societies that are more organized horizontal, small scale communities, it is
associated with nomads, pastoralists, agriculturalist take this as well
There is always authority and power in these communities, these are strategies, they
aren’t permanent
The Bantu, multiple different movements and immigrate to the south east of Africa. They
start to develop more complex forms of agricultural, they date at the 3rd century, the
spread of iron working and developmental of complicated political structures.
The Toutswe Tradition develop of pottery and large kingdoms start to develop, the rapid
growth of cattle owning populations. The largest was found was found in Zimbabwe
Stone closed buildings were built to keep the cattle, cattle is wealth. What was the
purpose of these closed closures? It was for the king, to show his wealth and power, the
king charged taxation to the Shona through ivory, gold
Trade shifted to the coast, especially the trade between Islamic. The end of
In the 19th century the British think that the Shona is an example of stateless
Archeologists were pressure to say that the great Zimbabwe was built by Europeans and
not the Shona
There is controversy on who gets to own great Zimbabwe
State in North and West Africa
The Sahara was a trading route, it was made much easier to trade with horses and
Trading in gold, camels, horses
Ghana previously was a Sahara kingdom, it was partially known for gold mining. Highly
centralized kingdom, gold helped the political leaders to established their rule
The kingdom of Ghana becomes converted in Islam as it was expanding to the Borgu
Mandinke or Mandinle
Soninke people who had ruled Ghana, Sundiata
Griots the keepers of history, historians
State-building in Medieval North and West Africa
The spread of Islam
It was powerful in the region
711 AD the army was ready to conquered Spain: social order rather than conversion
The trade into the Sahara, Islam was spread to West Africa
The Almoravid movement, launched into Spain into Portugal
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