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Lecture 10

Lecture 10 - West Africa

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York University
HUMA 1770
William Gleberzon

Lecture 10 1 June 6th, 2011 So far in this course?  Ways people come together? o Mainly through trade and migration o Spread of land, resources o Warfare and conquests o Expansion  Religion? o How to understand the world, and how we got here  Technology/knowledge? o Early universities and research centre o Timbuktu = centre of several empire in middle ages of western Africa = CENTRE OF LEARNING  Culture?  Agricultural techniques? Map  Timbuktu as crossroad to trading routes  Not unified as a continent but discrete empires that interacted through trade  West Africa developed internal trade routes because there’s poor natural harbour  Horizontal belt with various climates West Africa  Ghana and Mali developed while Europe was in a feudal disaster  King of Mali created centralized state Ghana  West of Timbuktu  First western African Empire  8 -9 century, king of Ghana ruled over all land from rivers  Powerful army  Large pastoral and agricultural community  Went south to get gold, agriculture and slave  Central trading place = able to tax as a source of revenue The Decline of Ghana  Took over by the Arabs from the north  Encompassed most of NW Africa  1076: ruled by Islamics from the North, but short lived o Consequence of this conquest of Ghana by empire from the north = traveling of Islam to this region Mali  Ghana declined because they were invaded, and replaced by Mali  Lasted 1230-1600  Its peak = larger than Europe Lecture 10 2 June 6th, 2011 Mansa Musa  Emperor of Mali  Profound effect on history of the region  Legendary figure, his pilgrimage took 2 years  Travelled with 500 men, gave away gold everywhere he went  Gold in Egypt fell because he flooded the market  He brought with scholars from the places he travelled (Mecca)  Many scholars came to Timbuktu to reinforce the idea of “CENTRE OF LEARNING” as well as trade  Global culture diffusion with his travel and encouraging many scholars to come back with him o Scholars, architects to build, artists General Points to Remember  Land routes opened up as the use of camel includes  Attempts to expand, but led to decline (high taxation from war)  Diffusion of Islam during this period because of conquest o Didn’t full penetrate in western Africa o Became religion of the ruling/wealth class o The workers/slaves practiced animism Religion  Animism = believed by rural Africa  Based on = people are linked by spirits of ancestors to guide you  Individual is part of the community as he/she is part of the nature  Linking with the dead together  Spirits of ancestors = guides you and advices your behaviour  Dominant religious thinking in Africa before monotheistic religion African Masks  Made of strict tribes, identifies clans Nubia and Ethiopia  Nubia = south of Egypt (where Suden is today)  Nubia and Ethiopia = dominant civilization in this area in Middle Ages converted to Christianity th th  4 and 6 (Nubia) century
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