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Chapter 11

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Mairi Cowan

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EarlyAfrican Societies: Before Islam: • Human life evolved inAfrica but it not written in history • What we know aboutAfrican is though legends and folklore (mouth to mouth) • Africa was introduced by invaders, missionaries, Islam, Christianity • African society varied by geographically and climate Bantu Migrations: • Between 500 B.C.E and 1000C.E • Tribes known as African as Bantu • Migrated gradually from their homeland in WestAfrica, near the boundary between Nigeria and Cameroon • Believe they travel from east, central south and spread their knowledge of farming and ironworking • No written accounts of migration • They had mastered agriculture before migrating • Iron for tools, equipment, weapons • clear a forest and cultivate efficiently • Organized into clans and families • Villages, towns, cities were governed by ruling council – composed of male heads of families • Chief – with everything • Decentralized was the system until population increased • 14 century C.E. – centralized Bantu kingdom became known as Kongo had emerged in CentralAfrica • King of Kongo: manage resources, dispense, justice, and defended from external threats • Bantu migrating was ending as Islam was beginning • Muslims emerged fromArabia and NorthAfrica crossed Sahara o Establishing commercial and cultural contacts with West (Ghana, Mali) • Muslims sailed down the eastern coast ofAfrica, binging their language and religion Religion CulturalAdaptions: • Second largest continent • Diversity climate and topography • Deserts: Sahara, Kalahari, Namib – no rain • On both sides of equator, lie a dense rain forest – too much moisture to cultivate • Valleys of Nile, Niger rivers offer settlements • African adapted their culture to their climates • Mild north, the Berbers, Caucasian people adopted Phoenician culture and language, lived along Mediterranean coast o Fished, farmed, maritime commerce with Egyptian, Phoenicians, Greek, Romans o Developed series of trade route by camel o Even conquered byArabs – trained to ethnic heritage • Sudan – south of Sahara (rain forest north) o Cattle, sorghum, millet, yams o Lived in villages, grouping into families and clans o Organizing life to according to cattle and crops o Cattle – symbol of status and wealth  Offer as gift for bride  On divorce – return the cattle o Cow’s blood - desirable beverage o Early resident s of Sudan were Bantu speakers Clans and Kingdoms: • Bantu developed differing social organization • Sub-Saharan – large groups under regional ruler who exercised both spiritual and temporal authority • South – small groups formed coalitions, societies tended to remain stateless – ruled by local chiefs and councils • Central rainforests and Eastern plains, some foraging societies managed survive as small, nomadic clans • Clans provide foundation forAfrican life • Male head, polygamy • Some were matrilineal – trace their ancestors through their mother African Traditional Religion: • Polytheistic • Each god represented a different natural force and different function • Practiced animism – belief that spirits existed that could either help or harm human beings • Cast priest or prophet preformed the rituals • Believed that after death the king was rewarded by becoming a lesser god • Ancestor worship • Bad luck reminder to honor the death • Reinforces royal authority • Muslims arrived – many converted to believe one god EarlyAfrican Culture: • Architecture, art , music, dance reinforce religion • Literature, poetry – chants • Dance to method of communication to ancestor • Music and chant was crucial – birth, coming of age ritual, wedding, political ceremonies, funerals • Woodcarving – mask and head pieces • NEAfrica – religion building out of stone • SAfrica – stone structure as ceremonial purpose • Lived in hut out of mud or thatch • Religion building of durable stone • When Muslims came – learned to build from brick making ISLAMICAFRICAAND SPAIN: COMMERICALAND CULTURAL NETWORKS • NAfrica remained on the margin of Mediterranean commerce and political connections with Rome and Constantinople but orientation changed after becoming the part of Islamic civilization Islam NorthAfrica: • Its culture become isolated after the Roman Empire’s collapse • Populated with Berbers – pursed their own heritage • Christianity flourished in NAfrica • Egyptian faith – Coptic Christianity – Monophysite view of Jesus • Egyptian converted to Islam for not only spiritual reason by economical and practical o No tax for Muslims, free from intimidation or coercion • Islam connects NAfrica and SWAsia Cosmopolitan Umayyad Spain: • Muslims arrived in Spain as guests • Germanic king of Spain died in709 led to contest over his throne– throne appealed to the IslamicAmir of NAfrica for help • He responded by sending anArab Berber expeditionary force under General Tariq ibn Zeya o Defeated about go home but heard rumor about treasure of the ancient Jewish king Solomon was hidden in cellar but he found rats • Next yearAmir himself, conquered Spain with an army of 20000 • Muslims called their new acquired territory al-Andalus as Spaniard called itAndalusia • Spain and NAfrica was linked • Islamic Spain was ruled byAmir – Umayyad Caliphate in Damascus • Umayyad got overthrown byAbbasids – as one son escaped and governed Spain from Cordoba • Ak-Andalus 0 become last bastion of Umayyad – ruled byAbbasid Caliphate • Baghdad – new capital of theAbbasid • As long as Spain remain loyal to Sunni – were willing to leave Spanish Umayyad’s in peace • Arabs created: irrigated garden, splendid mosques, palaces, elegant fountains, courtyards • Science, poetry, philosophy • Muslims married in Spanish families – they join with Spaniards to create a Hispano-Arab • This cosmopolitan culture emerged • Libraries, medicine, mathematics, medical • Figs, dates, tangerines, pears, oranges, apricots, • Exported steel, timber, WAfrica gold • Shiite Fatimid – struggle to break away fromAbbasid and establish own caliphate • The unity of umma shattered • Islamic state of Spain – known as Caliphate of Cordoba – was separate Sunni Muslims • Christians and Jews were not tolerated in Cordoba Fatimid Egypt: • Shiite found refuge • Abbasid rule was stronger inAsia andAr
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