Class notes

African Adventure
By Lisa
Introduction to Zimbabwe
Archie the time traveling archeologist has set out for his
long journey to discover the ruins of ancient Africa.
Many Europeans had thought that merchants passing
through the land had created the the empire of
Zimbabwe. Archie thought different, and decided to
find out the truth by traveling into 700AD when the
empire had first started. By 1000AD most people were
hunters and gathers. Archie had seen one of the most
famous buildings they had created. The Great
Enclosure. This building was thought to be built for
kings and for a religious place. It was made from
granite so that it would last. The sight astounded Archie
because who knew that these people had this much
knowledge with building
Class notes, Mr. Carver
Introduction Continued with
Well time for Archie to continue his journey to Ghana.
Unlike the people who wanted to get to Ghana to trade,
Archie didn’t have to make his way through the “death
road.” He had time traveled to the beginning of the
empire in 400AD. Many people who wanted to trade in
Ghana had to pay a special tax. While there he noticed
many things like they were extremely skilled in
working with iron and made quality tools and weapons.
Many of the people turned out to be religious and were
Muslim. There were still some people who were
Class notes, Mr. Armstrong
Introduction continued with Mali
Archie’s journey continued to Mali. He had time traveled
into 1200AD to see Sandiata Keita who had over
thrown the empire of Mali. Sundiata Keita was
nicknamed the lion king and there is a modern movie
called the lion king. The idea for the movie came from
his legend. When Archie had came upon the people he
saw them trading salt and gold near the Niger River.
Salt was used for preserving meats and gold was
traded to Europeans. When strolling down an alley he
saw a griot fascinating the children with stories passed
down from generation to generation. By this time
almost everyone was a Muslim.
Class notes, Mr. Armstrong
Archie’s journey continued to Benin
Whew my last stop of this journey. Were going to the
rainforest. You can really tell it is the rainforest because
of the humidity. Since there is rainfall all year long
there is lots of vegetation and farmers have no difficulty
with food supply. In Benin artists excelled at sculpting
and carving metal, wood, and ivory. Often farmers
would have a surplus of food and would be able to trade
it for things like copper, salt and leather goods. While
many people were trading other people as slaves,
Muslims could not enslave other Muslims so they just
enslaved non Muslims. The people also lived in
extended families.
Classwork, Mrs. Kallens
Explanation for Zimbabwe
• Great Zimbabwe was about 250 miles inland from
the southeastern coast of Africa
• During the time when Zimbabwe was at its height
it was the capital of the trading empire.
• The Great Enclosure was made with rock that is
small enough for a single man to carry. The walls
were 17 feet thick and 36 in height at its greatest.
• The Great Enclosure was most likely built by
Bantu speaking Shona people.
• People were mostly herders and hunters because
of the vast grasslands perfect for herding and
Explanation for Ghana
• By 1000AD Ghana was a wealthy and powerful
• The main trading item was gold from the rich
mines. The traders who traveled to Ghana had to
pay a special tax in order to trade.
• The beginning of 1054 a group of Muslim Berbers
took over many of Ghana's key cites including the
capital. For a while Ghana stayed independent but
it eventually declined.
• Some people who worked with iron made quality
tools and weapons.
• Most people were Muslim, but there were some
people who were still polytheistic.
Explanation for Ghana continued
• The Soninka kings completely controlled the trade
of gold. Any gold nuggets transported or even
mined from Ghana was claimed by the kings and
called there property.
• One of Ghana’s most famous leaders was Dinge
Cisse was was responsible for uniting most of
western Africa.
• Griots told stories to to teach children important
Explanation for Mali
• Mali lasted from 1200 – 1468 A.D.
• Mali was the trading empire and during 13th to 15th
centuries, Mali ruled large position of West Africa.
• Sundiata Keita- he took charge of Mali in A.D. 1230.
He was a leader of Malinke, and they soon came to
control of Ghana.They made Ghana the main
producer and distributor of gold.
• Mali had control over salt, gold mines, diamonds,
and copper production.
• Slave trade market made rapid agricultural
• The artisans in Mali did wood carving, jewelry
making, and ornament production.
Explanation for Mali continued
• Mansa Musa- he was the last strong king of Mali.
He was a good leader and was able to stop people
from conquering Mali.
• Most people were Muslims, and very few were
• Made masks to cerebrate important occasions like
holiday, birthday, and death. It was made of
different material, wood, gold, and mud.
• There were griots, which were story tellers who
taught children, stories that were passed from
generation to generation.
Explanation for Benin
• In Benin, artists were good at carving, and
sculpting metal, wood, and ivory.
• There were griots, the story teller and they taught
oral history, which was stories passed down from
generation to generation.
• It had warm climate all year long and also had
high humidity.
• Many types of trees and trees provided shade,
food, and shelter.
• Many people lived in extended families.
• Some were matrilineal, meaning that they traced
their descent through mothers rather than fathers.
Explanation for Benin continued
• The education was carried through out the family
and other villagers.
• Trade and slavery was really common in Benin.
Farmers produced a surplus, or extra supply of
bananas, yams, and rice. They traded those surplus
for copper, salt, and leather goods from the
Savannas.However, when the trade with Muslims
grew, they started to trade people.
Zimbabwe to modern life
I can connect modern America to Zimbabwe
because in Zimbabwe the people were
hunters and herders. Today people still hunt
for various animals such as deer. Also many
people today farm many animals such as
cows, sheep, and goats. We use these
animals for food, clothing, and various
other things. The hunters hunted elephants
for there ivory.
Ghana to modern life
I can connect Ghana to modern life because
in Ghana people worked with iron and made
quality tools and weapons. Today we still
use iron for certain tools, but not all tools.