Ch. 5-6 Study Guide Student Version


Chapter 5-6 West Africa Study Guide

The following information will assist you in preparing for your chapter test. History is a broad topic, and this study guide will help you focus on the key concepts that will be tested. If you complete, study, and know the following information, your overall performance on the test should be high. Do your best and ace the test!

Section 5.1


West Africa’s great civilizations arose along what geographical feature? 2.

List Africa’s rainfall by region, from most to least? 3.

Describe the Sahel. 4.

What are the two main crops of West Africa? 5.

What are the two main mineral resources in Africa?

Section 5.2


In what way did climate change affect people in West Africa? 7.

In traditional West African society, who were men and women loyal to? 8.

How did using camels affect trading in the desert? 9.

What did people south of the Sahara trade for gold?

Section 6.1


How did Ghana become so powerful? #10 11.

What made it possible for Ghana’s towns, villages, and population to grow? 12.

Ghana’s central location influenced its wealth since ______________ were to the south and ___________ was in the north. 13.

What made salt so valuable to the people of Ghana? 14.

Why was silent barter a useful practice in West Africa?


Ghana’s rulers were smart businessmen who took advantage of opportunities to make money. What specific example can you describe which illustrates this fact? 16.

What happened to Ghana’s fertile lands after the Almoravids arrived?

Section 6.2


How were the locations of Ghana and Mali similar? 18.

What leader from Mali took power away from local leaders, including their religious powers? 19.

What religion were most of Mali’s later rulers? 20.

The people of Mali traditionally believed food was plentiful because ______________________________? 21.

Why was Mansa Musa’s hajj to Mecca so important? 22.

What evidence suggests that Mansa Musa practiced religious tolerance?

Section 6.3


Which city was the center of both the Mali and Songhai Empires? 24.

Why was Sunni Baru overthrown by the people of Songhai? 25.

Who created specialized government offices and a permanent professional army?

Section 6.4


Define griots. 27.

How was music and dance used in the lives of early West African people? 28.

What two books contain many West African epics? 29.

Where might we experience West Africa’s early musical traditions today? 30.

West African Kings and Queens wore clothing made of a brightly colored cloth called__________________.