Global Studies Africa Diverse Societies in Africa

Diverse Societies
in Africa
What is the Geographic
Geography of Africa
• Large continent, but coastline has few
ports, harbors, or inlets
Challenging Environments
• Africa has many deserts, including huge
• The southern edge of expanding Sahara
is called the Sahel.
• Rainforests are found near the central
part of the continent.
What is the Geographic
Welcoming Lands
• Northern Coast and southern tip of
Africa have Mediterranean Climates
• Savannas, or grasslands cover most of
How did the Early Humans Adapt
to their Environments?
Nomadic Lifestyle
• Earliest peoples are nomadic hunter-gatherers.
• Herders drive animals to find waters and graze
Transition to a Settled Lifestyle
• Agriculture probably develops by 6,000 B.C.
• As the Sahara dried up farmers move to West
Africa or Nile Valley.
• Agriculture allows permanent settlements and
governments to develop
How did the Early Societies in
Africa organize?
Societies organized by Family Groups
• Extended families made up several generations
• Families with common ancestors form groups known as
Local Religions
• Early religions usually include elements of animismbelief in spirits inhabiting objects
Keeping a History
• Few African societies have written languages
• History, literature, culture passed on by story tellers
called griots.
• Cultures in West Africa are advanced long before
outsiders arrive.
West African Iron Age
Learning about the past
• Artifacts reveal how people lived in the
• Evidence of sub-Saharan cultures
producing iron around 500 B.C.
Nok Culture
• Nok—West Africa’s earliest known
culture—made iron tools and weapons
West African Iron Age
• From 600-200 B.C., cities began to
develop near rivers and oases
• Djenne-Djeno, Africa’s oldest known
city, was discovered in 1977.
• It was a bustling trade center that was
linked to other West African towns
through camel trade routes.