African Kingdom Project
• Timelines
• Rulers- important ones with some
• Map
• Major trade items- Exports and Imports
• Religion- Official and Unofficial
Kingdom of Ghana
The Rise
• By 800 CE rulers had
united farming
villages to create the
kingdom of Ghana.
Senegal and Niger
Bustling Trade
• Ghana profited from the gold and salt
trade across the Sahara- Research to
find more trade items for Ancient Ghana
• Flow of gold was high, because it met
in the middle of the Arab traders and
the West African Gold rich lands of the
• Capital: Kumbi Saleh
• two separate walled towns, royal palace,
and domed buildings
• The King was a semi-divine figure, who
presided over justice and order
“Ghana”=Arabic word meaning “ruler”
Click on Ghana to learn more!
• Islamic faith was brought to Ghana by Islamic
• The King employed Muslims as counselors and
officials => written language, coins, business
methods, architecture.
• But Ghanains mostly they followed their own
beliefs=> Soninke
They did not adopt Islam as the official religion
• 1050 CE the Almoravids- the pious
Muslims of north Africa had launched a
campaign to spread Islam.
• Ghana was swallowed up into Mali…..
Empire of Mali
• Mali is an Arab version of the Mandinka
word meaning “where the king dwells”
Mali Scavenger Hunt
• After the fall of Ghana, the Mandinke
people suffered defeat from a rival
• The king and all his sons, except one
(Sundiata) were executed
• We will read the Epic of Sundiata next
Gold and salt trade
Malian Trade Routes
Mansa Musa: the great king of
Mali- comes to the thrown in 1312 CE
”Mansa” means “King”
Click on Mansa Musa to learn more about Mali!
Expansion and the Hajj
• 25 year reign-expanded Mali’s borders
toward the Atlantic ocean
• Ibn Battuta
• Converted to Islam and based the
system of Justice on the Quran-did not
adopt all of the customs of Islam
• 1324 CE- Hajj (pilgrimage
to Mecca)
• The Hajj takes 1 year
• Forged new ties with
other muslim states
• Movement of wealth,
people and ideas
increased Mali’s fame
• Timbuktu is at its height
• In the 1400s, disputes of succession
weakened Mali- Fight over who would
rule- Roman Empire?
• Subject peoples broke away, and the
empire shriveled
• By 1450 a new wealthy trading city had
emerged in Gao =>
The Songhai Empire!
• The conde (Conday) mask of the
Maninka empire
• link
• ://
• Rulers• 1100 to 1450 AD
• local agricultural trade, in which
cattle were especially important
• Great birds thought to represent
the rulers of Zimbabwe
• Began its decline due to over
population and trade routes
moving off to the north (1