Africa Cyberhunt - World History Reiff 2

Africa Cyberhunt
Click on the blue links to find the answers to the questions. Answer the
questions using complete sentences on your own paper.
1. When did Ghana exist? Ghana existed About AD 300 to about 1100.
2. What rivers did Ghana exist between? An ancient African civilization we call Ghana
existed in West Africa between the Niger and the Gambia Rivers.
3. Why were the rivers important? The rivers were important to Ghana because its
economy was based on trade.
4. How did Ghana get wealthy? The rivers were important to Ghana because its economy
was based on trade.
5. What were the two most important items traded in Ghana? The two most important
items that were traded were gold and salt.
6. What religion did many people in Ghana become? Why? The religion that they
became is called muslim because, Muslim warriors known as Almoravids called a jihad
(“struggle” in Arabic) on Ghana because the Ghanaian people kept their traditional beliefs and
refused to accept Islam. The Almoravids were successful in weakening Ghana, but the empire
continued to exist for more than a century. Many local warriors throughout the formerly mighty
kingdom formed small states that threatened the vital trade routes through West Africa.
Gold for Salt
7. What was gold made into in Ghana? Gold was turned into jewelry in Ghana.
8. How did Ghana grow rich trading gold for salt? They traded gold for spices and
other luxury goods as well as salt.
9. How did the king of Ghana make his kingdom rich? With the arrival of camel
trains, the caravans, the Kingdom of Ghana expanded their control to include trade
with the foreigners.
10. Describe silent barter? The king established a system of silent barter. Rather
than meet and argue a price, gold would be left at a special place for the traders to
take. If ample goods were not left in exchange, all trade ceased. The traders of Ghana
did not speak the language of many of the new traders who crossed the Sahara via the
Trans-Sahara Trade Routes.
Ancient Africa
11. What is a griot? A Griot is a West African Story teller.
12. What did the griot often memorize? A griot would often memorize the history of His/
Hers people.
13. What was the first empire in Mali? Mali, the largest country in West Africa, is
bordered by seven other states: Algeria lies to the north and northeast, Niger to the east,
Burkina Faso to the southeast and, with the Ivory Coast, to the south. On the west are
Senegal and Mauritania.
14. What was the famous trading city in Mali? Timbuktu was the biggest trade city in
15. What empire did Mali fall to? In the late nineteenth century, Mali became a French
colony, and in 1960 it became independent. The country has suffered from periods of internal
and external strife, as well as from an extended drought in the early 1970s, but today it appears to
by moving toward a stable, multi-party democratic government.
16. What religion are most people in Mali today? The religion is called Muslim.
17. What is the official language of Mali? The majority of Mali's people are Muslim, and
the official language is French. Bambara, however, is the country's true lingua franca.
Mansa Musa
18. Where did Mansa Musa make a pilgrimage to in 1324? Mansa Musa captured the
attention of the Arab world when he left his home in the West African kingdom of Mali to make
a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324.
19. Why did he go on this pilgrimage? Unlike his grandfather Sundiata, Mansa Musa was a
devout Muslim. Islamic law requires that all faithful Muslims make a hajj, or holy visit, to the
city on the Arabian Peninsula where the faith was started.
20. What did Mansa Musa carry a lot of on his journey? Mansa Musa was a very rich
king. He was said to have taken more than 500 people with him on the hajj, each carrying a staff
of solid gold.
21. What was Timbuktu known for? No name brings the splendor ancient Africa to mind
more than Timbuktu, a great city that flourished on a bend in the Niger River for more than four
hundred years. Timbuktu was at the end of the camel caravan route that linked sub-Saharan
Africa to North Africa and Arabia. Gold, ivory, and kola nuts passed through Timbuktu, but the
most important commodity was salt. Timbuktu was located near several salt mines. Caravans
hauled salt from nearby mines to trade for gold.
22. What type of city did Timbuktu develop into? It developed into a city of Mali.
23. What did Mansa Musa build in Timbuktu? Mansa Musa built a great mosque, or
Islamic temple, in Timbuktu. The mosque attracted scholars from as far away as Saudi Arabia.
24. How was Timbuktu destroyed? The city was destroyed at the end of the sixteenth
century by the war between Morocco and Songhai. At one time, historians estimate that more
than 100,000 people lived in Timbuktu, but today it remains a shadow of its former self, a mudbuilt town of 20,000 people on the edge of the Sahara Desert.
The Empires of Ghana and Mali
25. What does it mean that the Berber's were a nomadic people? The word nomadic
means without a permanent home, so the nomadic people didn’t have a permanent home.
26. Why was Ghana in a good location? Although founded by Berbers, Ghana eventually
was controlled by the Soninke, a group of people living in the region. They built their capital
city, Kumbi Saleh, right on the edge of the Sahara and the city quickly became the most
important southern trade center of the Saharan trade routes. The kingdom was ruled by a king
called the ghana. In addition to holding military power, the king was the supreme judge of the
kingdom. Gradually, Ghana grew very rich, due in large part to the trans- Saharan trade. The
Ghana required traders to give him a percentage of the products they were trading. If a trader was
trading in gold, he was required to pay the ghana part of his gold. The ghana also placed a tax on
the local goldmines. As Ghana grew richer, the kingdom expanded into an empire, requiring
neighboring groups of people to pay tribute. This increased Ghana’s wealth and power even
27. What was the name of the capital of Ghana? Kumbi Saleh was the capital of Ghana.
28. What did the capital quickly become? It actually two cities six miles apart, separated
by a road. Most of the houses were built of wood and clay, but wealthy and important residents
lived in homes of wood and stone. About 30,000 people lived in Kumbi Saleh. The most
important part of the city was protected by a stone wall and served as the royal and spiritual
capital of the empire. Here is where the king lived, his palace being the grandest structure in the
city. It also contained a sacred grove of trees used for religious ceremonies. The other part of the
city was the center of trade and served as a business district of the capital. It was inhabited
almost entirely by Arab and Berber merchants, and contained more than a dozen mosques.
29. What was trans-Saharan trade? Trade across the Sahara is what trans-Saharan trade
30. How did Ghana grow rich? From the north came salt; from the west came the rich
resources of gold, ivory, and other goods. Ghana was located in the middle of the salt and gold
trade routes. That is how Ghana became rich.
31. What empire grew out of Ghana's demise? The Mali empire rose from the demise of
32. Who was Mali's first king and what does his name mean? Sundiata, the historical
founder of Mali (whose name meant “Hungering Lion”), ruled Mali from 1230-1255 CE.
33. Who was Mali's greatest king? Mansa Musa was Mali’s greatest king, ruling from
1312 to 1337 CE.
34. Why was Timbuktu important? Timbuktu, an important city in Mali, became one of the
major cultural centers not only of Africa but of the entire world.
35. How did Mansa Musa get famous? Mansa Musa, who was Muslim, was perhaps best
known outside of Mali for his pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324 C.E. According to some accounts,
60,000 people accompanied him, along with 200 camels laden with gold, food, clothing, and
other goods. This pilgrimage displayed Mansa Musa’s enormous wealth and generosity.
36. Why did Mali collapse? After the death of Mansa Musa, the power of Mali began to
decline. Mansa Musa’s sons could not hold the empire together. In 1430 C.E., the Berbers in the
north took much of Mali’s territory, including the city of Timbuktu, and gradually Mali lost its
hold on trade until the empire crumbled.
Ibn Battuta: The Greatest Traveler in the Middle Ages
37. What year did Ibn Battuta leave on his journey? In 1325, the year after Marco Polo's
death, another young traveler, Ibn Battuta, embarked on a tour of Asia and Africa that lasted
nearly 30 years.
38. How many miles did he cover? His travels took him throughout the Islamic world. In
total, he traveled an astonishing 75,000 miles.
39. When was Ibn Battuta born? Abu Abdallah ibn Battuta was born in 1304 in Tangier,
Morocco, across the Strait of Gibraltar from Spain.
40. Why did Ibn Battuta leave home at 21? In 1325, at age 21, Ibn Battuta left his parents
to go on a hajj.
41. When did Ibn Battuta finally reach Mecca? In 1326, he finally reached Mecca.
42. Read through the rest of the story and list all the places Ibn Battuta visited.
In Ibn Battuta's time, Dar al-Islam (The Home of Islam) extended from West Africa across North
Africa to the Middle East, Persia, Central Asia, India, and the East Indies. Throughout these
regions, Islam unified many different peoples with a common religion and system of law.