Africa Civilizations Terms and People Review rifts a long, deep valley formed by the movement of the earth’s crust sub-Saharan Africa Africa south of the Sahara Sahel a semi-arid region in Africa south of the Sahara that separates the desert from wetter areas Savannah an open grassland with scattered trees rain forests a moist, densely wooded area that contains many different plants and animals extended family a family group that includes the father, mother, children, and close relatives animism the belief that bodies of water, animals, trees, and other natural objects have spirits Tunka Manin King of the Ghana Empire; his kingdom was visited by Muslim writers silent barter a process in which people exchange goods without contacting each other directly Sundiata Founder of the Mali Empire Mansa Musa Mali’s greatest and most famous mansa, or ruler. A devout Muslim. Made a pilgrimage to Mecca. proverbs short sayings of wisdom or truth oral history a spoken record of past events griots a West African storyteller Sunni Ali Emperor of Songhai. (Sunni means emperor) Conquered Mali and made Songhai into a powerful state. kente a hand-woven, brightly colored West African fabric Askia the Great Songhai ruler. High point of Songhai culture.