Geography of Africa Second largest continent on Earth Mountain Ranges Atlas Mtns in the far northwest Drakensberg Mtns in the far southwest corner Northern Sahara (Saharan) Africa Desert is the world’s largest desert Area has few fresh water sources Arabian and Nubian Deserts lie east of the Nile River Nile River is the world’s longest river Sub-Saharan Area Africa south of the Saharan Desert West Africa (Arm pit and west) Dominated by the Niger River, lands suitable for farming and grazing Traditionally they produce dates, kola nuts, and grains Resources Gold, salt, fresh water sources, plenty of wood, and food sources, especially fish West African Early Life Extended family Included mother, father, children and close relatives in the household Stressed loyalty to the family and to people in the community their age Men hunted, farmed, and raised livestock Women farmed, collected firewood, ground grain, and cared for children Religion Ancestor worship Carved statues and offered food Animism Worshiped spirits of water, animals, trees and other natural objects Technological Used development iron for tools and weapons Economic As trade the advanced, they began to trade with other areas of the world Traded gold, ivory, slaves, salt, cloth, to North Africa and the Islamic world 1. 2. 3. What are the two groups to which a person in early West Africa may have owed loyalty? How did the use of iron change farming practices? How did geography have an impact on the lives of early Africans? Ghana Empire Trading empire in West Africa (in Senegal and Mali) that lasted from around 800AD until 1200sAD Soninke people dominated the Ghana Empire trading salt and gold with each other Silent barter – exchanged goods without contacting each other directly Ghana became more powerful as trade grew Traded with Northern Africa for wheat, Southern Africa for sheep, wheat, and honey Military started to use iron weapons Controlled West Africa’s trade routes Taxed traders who passed through Ghana rulers would not allow anyone to own gold nuggets, but hoarded it for themselves They used their wealth to expand their empire and reached their height under Tunka Manin Decline North Africa group called the Almoravids shortly invaded and weakened the empire They overgrazed the pastures of Ghana and the soil was blown away Conquered areas rebelled and took over, but Ghana then fell apart 1. 2. 3. 4. What were the two major resources traded in Ghana? How did the silent barter system work? What group invaded Mali, and why do you think they did? How did overgrazing help cause the fall of Ghana Other Civilizations Mali Located on the Senegal River and upper Niger River After Ghana fell, Sundiata rose up an army and overthrew a harsh local ruler Then conquered Ghana Cleared new farmlands for growing beans, onions, and rice and started growing cotton for the first time Sundiata made himself the sole political and religious ruler, or mansa Mansa Musa, a later Muslim Mali ruler, spread Islam throughout West Africa taking over Timbuktu On his hajj pilgrimage, he became famous Would start schools in Mali and build mosques all over West Africa Mansa Musa’s son was weak and the empire was lost to invaders including the Tuareg nomads from the Sahara Songhai Empire in the western part of Ghana/Mali grew Was conquered by Mansa Musa Grew rich from trade with the Berbers of N. Africa because they were both Muslim Sunni Ali Organized the empire and after the fall of Mali, incorporated most of it Allowed freedom of religion participating in both local and Muslim religions Askia the Great Took Songhai from Sunni Ali’s son to ensure Muslim trade The cities of Timbuktu and Djenne grew due to their schools, libraries, universities and mosques Morocco invaded Songhai in 1591 bringing cannons and early guns They destroyed Timbuktu and the capital Gao; and the empire. Great Zimbabwe Southern African kingdom of Zimbabwe grew to be great because of the gold mines there But because of a decline in the gold trade it disappeared 1. 2. 3. 4. What major river was important to the people of Mali? Why? What effects did the rule of Mansa Musa have on Mali and West Africa? How did Askia the Great’s support of education affect Timbuktu? What made Great Zimbabwe great and led to its decline?