Africa During the Post classical Period

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COT : African Trade with
Eurasia
West and East
Ghana-Songhai
Axum-Swahili city-states
Africa During the Post classical
Period
From stateless
Societies to
Empires the
Desire for
Sudanic Gold
Permeated the
period, the Arab
Slave trade will
Also begin this
Period and
Continue through
The 20th century
East Coast begins
As Christian
Kingdom of
Axum est
Mediterranean
And Red Sea
Trade with Rome
Later Byzantine
Only to move
Inward once
Muslim invaders
Come in and
Integrate into
Coastal (Swahili)
City-states
African Kingdom Similarities and
Differences
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Common Elements in African
Societies
Bantu migration(ends 1000 C.E)
Animism
lineage important in relation with
god (matrilineal)
Women elevated in society
(bridewealth)
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The Arrival of Islam in North
Africa
Arrival of Islam (Spain, by 711)
Berber Almoravids
Almohads
succeed Berbers, 12th
century
Kingdom of mali est. 13thh ce
providing 2/3 of World’s gold
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The Christian
Kingdoms: Nubia and
Ethiopia
Copts
Egyptian Christians
spread to Nubia (Kush)
Ethiopia-interior
migration after Muslim
expansion
Empires of Africa
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Kingdoms of the
Grasslands
Caravans
Sahel - transfer point
Sudanic States
Rulers sacred
Islam
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Mansa Kankan Musa
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pilgrimage
Ishal al-Sahili (Sp.
Architect)
beaten clay architecture
Established city of
Timbuktu (Islamic
Scholarship flourishes)
Empires of the Western Sudan
The Empire of Mali
Malinke peoples from
Ghana
Agriculture, gold trade
Sundiata (d.1260)
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the “Lion Prince”
mansa (ruler)
expanded state
African Kingdoms
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City Dwellers and
Villagers
Jenne, Timbuktu
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thrive with
expansion
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The Songhay Kingdom
(Capital: Gao)
Middle Niger valley
Independent by 700
Muslim by 1010
Sunni Ali (1464-1492)
Hausa states, northern
Nigeria
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Some merchants
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Religious
diffusion?
Majority farmers
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Muslim center
Political and Social Life in the
Sudanic States
Fusion of traditions
Swahili Coast
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The Swahili Coast of East Africa
Trading ports
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The Coastal Trading Ports
(*Mogadishu*, Mombasa, Malindi,
Kilwa, Pate, Zanzibar)
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Don’t need to know, just be familiar
Madagascar
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Muslim influence
Cultural diffusion and synthesis
SEA imports
Blended culture (Bantu-Arabic-India)
The Swahili Coast
Swahili Coast (cont’d)
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The Mixture of Cultures on the
Swahili Coast
Islam unifies
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Other Characteristics
Egalitarian/homogenous to
cosmopolitan/diverse
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Key Exports & Imports (interior African
goods for exterior Eurasian good)
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Two distinct “trading seasons”
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Connection to China?
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When did this exchange with China end?
COT Africa Trade 600-1450
Changes
Continuities
Mali and Songhai
Expanded trade past Mediterranean world
Swahili city-states
Role of Indian Ocean trade
Role of Islam
Mansa Musa’s Hajj
Timbuktu and Jene Jene
Gold and Salt trade increased with Europe’s insatiable
demand
Camel caravanaseri’s increase due to the increased global
demand for African goods (Gold, animal skins, ivory,)
Soldiers cleared land for planting rice, yams, beans and to raise cattle,
sheep and goats
Mali became productive farming region
Rainforest Kingdoms like Benin and Kongo provide woven fabrics and
wood, ivory and metal art for trade)
Africans who were the link (middlemen) between foreign traders and
iInland Africans brought: gold, copper, & ivory Arab traders brought:
porcelain, spices & fabrics
Met in coastal city-states ( Mombasa, Sofala, Kilwa)
Use of the Arab Dhow to utilize seasonal monsoon winds
Camel Caravans
Trans-Saharan tade
Use of Nile and red sea for trade (coptic Christianity still
in East Africa modern Ethiopia)
Animism still predominant
Women still important economically ( cattle raisers,
matrilineal, bridewealth)
Stateless societies persist which engage in trade
Gold and Sal trade continue
Regional trade still exists amongst African stateless
societies (although now increasingly interconnected with
global trade)
Geography still serves to hinder many merchants’
Use of iron metallurgy still important for agriculture and
safe trade
Bantu still a commonly spoken family of languages for
merchants.
Dumb barter still utilized (although replaced in many
areas by Muslim regulations on trade)
From 600-1450 African trade intensified across the Sahara and Indian Ocean
aided and abetted by the growth of the Muslim territories, it enhanced trade
regulations through the enforcement of Sharia, Koran and hadith, however, the
commodities of gold, salt, iron and ivory remain staples for the economies of
African stateless societies.
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